I’ve realised that an emotional imbalance with food and eating is not a rejection or obsession with solely food, per se, but a deep hunger for something beyond it. Something perhaps that connects us back to ourselves, the earth, community and family. Food seems to often be the link in that chain, that grows as an unhealthy tool of desire in order to fill a space that it simply cannot. As we act out our lack upon food, the way we eat suffers, as do we as a result.
Through various practices I am trying to redress this balance, and bring back a healthy relationship with food, that once brought me so much joy; both in the eating of it, and preparation of it with family and friends. So as we use food as a portal towards love and nourishment, as opposed to deprivation and punishment, the obvious thing to do is cook and eat in synchronicity with the season.
Although summer and her fruits are still very much a colourful part of our surroundings, the last few days have brought the first chilly whispers of autumn air. The trees are beginning to acquire their first signs of copper. I absolutely love this time of year, with the promise of rusted woodland patchworks and earthy harvest fares.
In honour of the turn, I thought a warming corn soup would be perfect; the sunny yellows of corn given an autumnal depth from the spice of turmeric and pepper. I think corn, so often disregarded as an easy tinned ingredient for sandwich fillers, is not used enough in hearty English soups and stews. And you know those twisted, womanly shaped corn sculptures you often see in old pubs and on your Grandparent’s mantelpiece? Well, they are actually part of pagan lore, which told that the Corn goddess resided amongst the corn fields, so when they came to be harvested, the last corn picker was tasked to weave a ‘corn doll’ in order for the goddess to have a home to reside over winter, until the new corns appeared again come Spring. I love that! So it goes…
Warm Corn & Turmeric Chowder
a good glog of British rapeseed oil
1 small white onion
a shaking of white pepper
heaped teaspoon fresh turmeric, grated
1 can coconut milk
one white potato, finely diced
300ml boiling water
200g corn (weight after removing from cob)
4 spring onions, thinly sliced
zest of one lemon
Add your diced onion to the heated oil, and sweat until sweaty. Pop in the turmeric and white pepper and fry for a minute. Then add in the potato, along with the coco milk and water, bring up to the boil, reduce and simmer for around 10 mins, until the potatoes prove tender with a prod. Now add your corn, continue to simmer for a couple more mins, and then turn off the heat as you add the spring onion and lemon zest. Hey presto! Chow down my lovelies.