Here’s the thing with corn: it’s really, really good when it’s really, really fresh. When it’s sweet and crisp and the corn kernels pop in your mouth when you bite into freshly grilled corn on the cob, slathered with avocado butter and drizzled with some flaky salt. Heaven. There’s just one problem with heaven; it apparently doesn’t always have a place in danish grocery stores – and that’s a real pity and a shame, since corn grows well in Denmark. Should I really have to go into a supermarket to pick up some fresh corn and find some (granted, all right looking) corn imported from Morocco? Understandable maybe in May when nothing much is seasonal here yet, but in August? During corn season? Corn might look like a sturdy plant and corn cobs aren’t fragile in the “don’t drop the shopping basket, there’s eggs in there” way, but once they’re picked, the clock starts ticking and the beautifully sweet milk inside each corn kernel starts converting into starch – the longer it takes to get the corn from field to market, the starchier the corn gets and a starchy ear of corn is not a good thing to sink your teeth into, no matter how much butter you put on top of it.
In our little greenhouse the harvest season has begun: the first round of chiles has been picked, roasted and skinned, waiting to be turned into chile stew, the heirloom tomatoes are producing fruit faithfully, it’s amazing the size some of them have – the other day Martin and me shared a tomato for lunch…- but there are four plants quietly growing in there that I can say of, with conviction, won’t be found in many greenhouses in Denmark: tomatillos. They’re native to Mexico and though they’re almost as commonplace in many US grocery stores as their distant cousin, the tomato, they’re a rarity here and cannot be bought in any shop for any price, but this year they’re growing in my greenhouse, and they’re ripe.
Making Mole Poblano is a time consuming business, if not a very difficult one. You have to start well in advance, way before you even feel like eating it for dinner – tomorrow nights’ dinner, that’s understood. Making Mole is not rocket science, but finding the right ingredients can be. If you, like I don’t, live close-ish to a mexican market, it’s a simple matter of leaving the house with your elbow-length ingredient list and coming back with everything you needed, plus those mexican popsicles, coconut flavor, mangoes and avocados, because they looked good, tomatillos, because they go so well as a salsa with the nice, thick-cut tortilla chips one aisle down, and some extra queso fresco, since it’s tasty crumbled on many things. And – that pork shoulder had to wait until next time, since it’s time for mole, not carnitas. Next weekend. Did I miss anything?