In autumn, all over Northern Italy corn is being harvested.
My dad grows organic corn on a small scale, enough to feed the family and to make polenta which is a good substitute for bread and potatoes. It goes very well with meat, fish or cheese.
You can also make cakes, biscuits, tortillas and corn flour can be added to bread to give it a more rustic consistency.
Nowadays all corn is being picked by huge machines which can do the job of 1000 people in a very short space of time! We decided to hand pick it the old fashioned way to give the children an experience of what it meant working in the fields, being in touch with nature and understanding where your food comes from. These days children spend far too many hours in front of screens and less outside playing in the fresh air. Some hardly ever climb trees or ever enjoy the smells of fresh meadow and wild flowers!
I was amazed by how much they enjoyed picking the corn, they took it very seriously and actually they picked lots of it!
After picking, the corn is cleaned from the cob and milled to release the flour
To make polenta you bring some salty water to the boil, put all the flour in at once whilst stirring to avoid lumps and you slow-cook it for about 50 minutes.
And… this was the final product: our polenta!! Buon appetito!
What a nice day it was. It felt great to cook a meal entirely from scratch and yes, we did have an early night on that day!