Strega Nona Entertaining: Conjuring Creative Fun

From recipes to rituals, I will kindly divine the perfect celebration for you!

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Time for a Corn Harvest Festival

Lughnasadh is all about the corn, and I am not referring to the effectively creepy Stephen King short story. You simply cannot celebrate without featuring this sweet juicy veggie in some way, shape, or form. Instead of reserving it as an afterthought or side dish, place it front and center and celebrate it! There are many local and small-town corn festivals that you can attend. That way everything is ready-made and ready-to-go. One of the oldest in Wisconsin makes its home in Sun Prairie. According to their Chamber of Commerce website, its humble origins date all the way back to 1953. I do have fond memories of munching the delectable cobs as a youngster there. You could douse them to your heart's content from salt shakers hanging from the tops of tents. The Sun Prairie Sweet Corn Festival has now extended to four days and serves some 100,000 corn enthusiasts. There is a craft fair, parade, tractor pull, music, contests, and all the corn your can eat. Make a road trip of it with your favorite corny companions, and spend the day in farm country. Even if you don't plan to attend them all, it's fun to peruse the different websites. You can view pictures of people dressed as scarecrows and enjoying the harvest activities offered in each locale. 

The Corn/Grain Moon will be making an appearance on Sunday the 10th, and this is indeed an ancient food honored by Aztec and American Indians. To get you in the mood, I have a healthy recipe to sample, since it is a Lammas classic combo of bread and corn:

PARMESAN-CORN BREAD MUFFINS

Cooking Light JUNE 2004

Yield: 10 servings (serving size: 1 muffin)

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour

2/3 cup yellow cornmeal

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup fat-free buttermilk

3 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 large egg whites, lightly beaten

Cooking spray

1/4 cup (1 ounce) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Lightly spoon flour and cornmeal into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Make a well in center of mixture. Combine buttermilk, oil, and egg whites; add to flour mixture, stirring just until moist.

Spoon batter into 10 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with cheese. Bake at 425 F for 10 minutes or until muffins spring back when touched lightly in center. Remove muffins from pan immediately; place on a wire rack. Serve warm.

To wrap it up, here is a nice range of corn festivals held this year in August:

WISCONSIN

http://www.sunprairiechamber.com/Sweet-Corn-Festival.68.0.html

MINNESOTA

http://www.cokato.mn.us/?page_id=164

ILLINOIS

http://www.sweetcornfestival.com/

NEW YORK

http://www.edencornfest.com/

PENNSYLVANIA

http://shippensburgcornfestival.net/

CALIFORNIA

http://lahabracornfestival.com/

COLORADO

http://www.olathesweetcornfest.com/

NEBRASKA

https://www.lauritzengardens.org/Visit/Events_and_Exhibits/Sweet_Corn_Festival/

 

Resources:

http://www.cookinglight.com/

"Sweet Corn" photo by Sura Nualpradid from http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

 

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Colleen DuVall has written articles, plays, short films, and a novel. Most recently, her work was featured in Crone Magazine and the Marquette Journal online. She resides with a black cat named Bootsie, who always wants to keep her company at her computer.

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