Fruits of the land and their little hands
Last spring we planted corn, squash, potatoes, and beans on a little plot of land a short walk from the school. Yesterday the children harvested the early corn, called elote. Did you realize that what we know as yellow "corn on the cob" is simply the early harvest? All corn is yellow at this stage. If you leave it on the stalk until October, all corn hardens into colorful Indian corn, known here as maiz. I never knew, even though my family planted corn when I was a child. We must have harvested it all early, given the fact that we didn't make corn tortillas from scratch.
Here in Mexico the maiz is essential, as it doesn't spoil and can be stored through the winter. It is a major food source for the indigenous Tarahumara people, who live as subsistence farmers on a diet consisting mainly of corn tortillas and beans.
On my plate (literally and figuratively) this weekend is a recipe I've had since I was in Montessori school. We affectionately refer to it as "Meggie's Montessori Harvest Loaf Cake." I hope you love it as much as I do!
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 3/4 cup flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
3/4 cup cooked (or canned) pumpkin
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
Cream butter and add sugar gradually. Cream at high speed until light and fluffy. Blend in eggs. Beat well. Alternately add dry ingredients and pumpkin, beginning and ending with pumpkin. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Pour into a loaf pan that has been greased on the bottom. Bake 1 - 1:15 at 350F. Cool completely.
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