MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

July 3, 2013

Sweet corn now available at Farmers’ Market

By Doug Walton
Fresh at the Market

— Just in time for the Fourth of July, locally-grown sweet corn is now available at the Muskogee Farmers’ Market, open today from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. and on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon.

Whether cooked on the stovetop or roasted on the grill, corn-on-the-cob is one of those foods that signifies summer is under way, despite the cooler temperatures of late.

Besides the crisp sweetness of just-picked corn, those golden yellow or gleaming white kernels are full of fiber, plus vitamins and minerals like thiamin, folate, vitamin C and phosphorus. Because sweet corn is actually immature seed on the cob, it is also a good source of protein, as are most other seed crops and grains.

To preserve the sweetness until eating, get those ears into the fridge or some other cool place as soon as possible, to slow the eventual conversion of sugars to starch.

Local growers will also have a variety of fresh produce such as yellow squash and zucchini, red, yellow and white onions, cucumbers, green and red tomatoes, cabbage, green and colored bell peppers, new potatoes and green beans, Brussels sprouts, basil, cilantro and other fresh-cut herbs, radishes, beets, turnips, kohlrabi, cabbage, garlic, lettuce, carrots, broccoli, asian spinach, collards, swiss chard, kale, mustards, micro greens and more.

Farmers will also have free-range eggs, plus bedding plants, hanging baskets, fresh cut-flower bouquets, potted herbs and vegetable transplants including tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, squash and more.

Other food items expected at the market include various ready to eat lunch and breakfast items such as tamales, burritos, hot dogs and links with grilled veggies, lemonade and other.

Vendors will also have hand-made candles, soaps, natural body care products, pet treats, jewelry, aprons, handbags and more. Not all produce or other products listed are available on Wednesdays.

SNAP benefits (food stamps) are accepted at the farmers’ market. Customers wishing to purchase eligible foods with their Oklahoma Access card can visit the farmers’ market tent, swipe their card in exchange for tokens, and shop with vendors offering eligible items, which also include food-bearing plants.

And on most Saturdays, B.J. Charbonneau of the Muskogee Swim and Fitness Center will teach free Tai Chi classes near the band-shell and lawn area next to the market at about 10 a.m., weather permitting.

For more information, reach Doug Walton, at (918) 360-2012, or email him at doug.ewalton@gmail.com.



Tomato-corn relish

Makes 2 1/2 cups

2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced

1 cup corn kernels

1/2 cup diced green bell pepper

1/2 cup diced celery or swiss chard stem

1/3 cup diced red onion

2 1/2 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 garlic clove, minced

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1 tablespoon Dijon-style mustard

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Combine all ingredients in bowl, stir and let sit 30 minutes.

2. Stir again and serve as picnic side dish, or as condiment to hot dogs and hamburgers.

Grilled in the Husk Sweet Corn

Soak ears in cool tap water for 15 – 20 minutes

Remove from water, let drain from tip briefly

Pull silks just from end of ear, but don’t open or unwrap husks

Place ears on grate over medium temperature coals or burner

Rotate 1/2 turn every 3-5 minutes, until husk is evenly light brown

Remove from grill, allow to cool slightly then shuck

Add butter, salt and pepper to taste (all are optional, as home-grown sweet corn doesn’t need much seasoning)