This Apron Strings blog post comes from Chris Eaton. Chris is a local novelist. His books include The Inactivist and The Grammar Architect. He is als a musician
with the band Rock Plaza Central and father of the spectacular Idris. The photo features many Eaton generations including Chris’ grandfather, both his dad’s grandfathers (one of whom is Idris’s namesake), Chris and his dad. Chris is the smallest fella pictured here.
My father didn’t cook much when we were growing up. In fact, I asked my siblings for their memories about this, and all anyone could recall was charred hamburgers
and hot dogs. My grandfather, however, was very connected to his food, with a huge garden every summer, and his father was apparently also a very good gardener and
cook. And it turns out that my father learned a few things from great-grandfather that he just never shared until he was ready.
I have always been immensely proud of my father. He’s amazing. And since retiring, his activities as an activist and environmentalist have made me even more so. He
has been campaigning to save heritage buildings in my hometown of Sackville, NB,built an energy-efficient home to live in, and took up the family mantle of a huge
garden. He even started cooking, and I love that his recipe for his grandfather’s succotash has a total prep and cooking time of several months.
My take on Grandpa’s Succotash
Take 3 8-foot poles and make a tripod to sit in the garden. Around the base of each pole, plant 12 magic purple beans (I save my scarlet runner beans from the
year before) in a 1 foot circle. At the same time plant several rows of peaches and cream corn. In August, the tripod will be covered with a brilliant display of scarlet
blossoms. Allow the beans to fully mature before picking and shell to discover the large purple beans. At the same time, pick the mature ears of corn.
Select a strong 1½ cups of beans and soak overnight in 4 cups of water. The next morning, cut the kernels off 6 good-sized ears of corn and throw both the cobs and
kernels in a large pot together with the beans and water. Add water to cover. Bring to a boil and simmer for an hour. Then discard the cobs. Place half of the mixture in
a container for the freezer to make a future batch of succotash.
To the hot pot, now add the following ingredients:
• can of peaches and cream corn kernels
• can of evaporated milk
• 500 ml of coffee cream
• several ounces of sherry
• a dozen shakes of Worcestershire sauce
• half a handful of garlic powder
• half a handful of tarragon
• and a large chunk of butter
Stir and allow to cool and refrigerate overnight.
For serving use a large ladle to fill a large soup bowl and place a small pad of butter
on top. Nuke (about 4 minutes) until the butter is completely melted.
Delicious (especially with fresh bread and butter) !!!