• The Best Corn Ever: Bacon Fat Corn-On-The-Cob

    corn1If you live in the States, pretty much wherever you are, there should be some rockin’ corn on the cob available (if not, bummer, sorry dude). And while there is nothing wrong with the traditional version of corn, butter, salt and pepper, it is always good to experiment. And sometimes those experiments pay off. This is one of those times. (There are also those “other” times, but we choose not to blog about those….)

    corn6cornBeyond the normal corn on the cob recipes, we often like what is called “Mexican Corn” where you add some mayo, spices, and/or cheese to your corn on the cob. You might even grill the corn for more smoky flavor. All good, but a bit of a pain in the a$$ “complicated”. On the other hand, we figured that simplicity may be the answer. Why not take the basic ingredients and substitute a few favorites? And when we think of favorites, we think bacon fat…bacon is the 8th wonder of the world, after all. Out goes the butter, in goes the bacon fat.

    corn5Yes, it may seem wrong to use bacon fat directly on fresh corn on the cob, but we use it all the time in cut corn preparations, so why not? And since we were adding some nice smoky flavor, we decided to double-down and substitute smoked paprika for black pepper. We kept the salt. Salt, there is no substitute.

    corn2How did it turn out? Well, “you had us a bacon fat”. We loved it, the boys loved it and there was no extra effort. Boil water, cook corn, apply bacon fat, add seasoning, consume, repeat. And the taste was as expected, sweet and salty with an extra layer of deep smoky flavor. And that smoky flavor comes without using a grill for cooking the corn. Nice.

    corn4So, will we always do “bacon fat corn on the cob”? No, we still like butter as well. But this is already a standard here at the farm, we suggest you give it a try. Besides, it is a good excuse to cook up some bacon…

    Bacon Fat Corn-On-The Cob:

    Notes: No notes. Go make some bacon and save that fat! And if you want to chop that bacon real fine and roll the corn in it, that won’t suck either.


    • 6 ears fresh corn on the cob, shucked
    • 3 tablespoons bacon fat
    • Kosher salt
    • Smoked paprika


    1. Fill a large pot with water, place over high heat and bring to a rolling boil. When boiling, add the corn and cook for 3 minutes. Remove corn from the water and set on a large plate or baking sheet.
    2. While the corn is still very warm, drizzle each ear of corn with about 1/2 tablespoon of the bacon fat (rub it in as needed). Season lightly with salt and smoked paprika. Leave out extra salt and paprika to allow your guest to adjust seasoning to taste. Serve.


  • Mixology Monday XCVIII Cocktail: Abeilles et Lavande

    lav5Since we are hosting Mixology Monday (and don’t worry, the due date is 6/15) we thought we should post a few cocktails for our “Hometown Hooch” theme over the next few days- this is our first. Here is the breakdown:

    One of the best recent developments in the world of cocktails and spirits is the reemergence of regional, craft distillers. And we say “reemergence” because 100+ years ago, before the twin scourges of Prohibition and virtual monopolization “industrialization,” distilling was often a truly local endeavor. Not so long ago, if you wanted some booze, it was often made in your neighborhood and for the tastes of the locals. Sadly, for a few generations, that wasn’t the case… But, quite happily, those days are back… There are literally hundreds of local and regional distillers making some seriously tasty spirits… and now is the time for our monthly online cocktail party to send them some love.

    Your quest is simple. Create a new cocktail, or refashion a classic, using your favorite “hometown hooch” (and we can expand the definition of “hooch” to include spirits, liqueurs, aperitifs and beer)… A little local flavor or history on your “hometown hooch” is very welcome.

    We have to admit, we chose this theme because we have a few local distillers in mind; one well-established and nationally recognized, another a new kid on the block. We will start with the new kid on the block, Venus Spirits of Santa Cruz. The brainchild of Sean Venus, Venus Spirits makes a range of booze including whiskeys, aquavit, an excellent tequila (or “agave spirit”, since it is made in the states) and some very tasty gin. Not surprisingly, we really like the gin (the tequila didn’t last long either).

    lavlav1lav2Venus Spirits Gin Blend No. 01 has a cool feature where they show the list of botanicals they use in their gin. In this particular blend, the flavor that truly stands out from the standard juniper and citrus is a delightful touch of lavender. You know the lavender is there but it never dominates or drowns out other flavors. And, most importantly, it doesn’t have any “soapy” flavors you often get with flowers like lavender or violets. With such a unique flavor profile, this is gin worth seeking out.

    lav4As for the cocktail, we decided to use local lavender for inspiration. We have the gin with lavender notes. And as it turns out, Putney Farm honey is mostly lavender and the lavender patch is right by our Meyer lemon tree. From there, we looked at our favorite gin and lemon cocktails and went for a riff on the classic French 75. We sub our lavender honey for sugar syrup, use a local sparking wine instead of champagne and garnish with a lavender flower from the garden. It tastes like a French 75 but with sweet floral aromas and light lavender flavor. A good sip from beginning to end- think lavender lemonade, just better…..way better.

    lav6We call the drink the “Abeilles et Lavande” (translation: Bees and Lavender). This is a serious “hometown hooch” cocktail.  In fact, everything in this drink comes from well within 50 miles….heck, the lemons, honey and lavender come from within 50 yards.

    lav7Abeilles et Lavande:


    • 1 1/2 oz. Venus Spirits Gin Blend No. 1*
    • 3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice
    • 3/4 oz. lavender honey syrup (1-1 honey and hot water)
    • 2-3 oz. sparkling wine or champagne
    • Lavender flowers, for garnish

    * Note, if you can’t get Venus gin but want the lavender flavor, we suggest you lightly infuse a lemon/honey mixture with just a touch of lavender, a little goes a long way.


    1. Put the gin, lemon and honey syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake until well-chilled and strain into a chilled flute or coupé. Add the sparkling wine.
    2. Slap the lavender flower in your hand and add to the top of the cocktail as garnish. Serve.