Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Upcoming Grocery Costs

Corn "Futures"

Yep, we all know grocery costs will be up this year due to the widespread drought in the US. Corn is in almost everything for sale at the supermarket even if it doesn't look like corn. Never mind the cost of bread, or wheat flour...

What I don't understand is how much food prices are affected by Gamblers... those guys who play the "Futures" market, and "wouldn't know a corn stalk from a hoe handle". (See Source for quote)

Right now the highs in corn prices are over $8 a bushel, wheat over $9, soybeans over $17 and all three are expected to keep on climbing. These are unprecedented historic highs, as speculators (read: Gamblers) react (and likely overreact) to coming shortages.

Furthermore this year more acres have been put into corn than any time since the 1930s, and lots of that increase went on land too poor to grow profitable corn in any year. It was planted solely with the idea of taking advantage of the high prices. The risk is covered by subsidized crop insurance, another example of [our] money being used to encourage bad farming.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Knowing Your Local Farmers

Photo by Watershed Post

Meat recalls... I get bulletins almost every day from FSIS (the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service) about meat recalls. It's disgusting. This month, Cargill recalled 29,000 pounds, (more than 14 tons) of ground beef as a salmonella outbreak sickened dozens of people in seven US states. 

I follow a blog about permaculture written by a medical doctor serving in the US military, and he also writes for AgriTrue.com, where he posted some interesting comments about beef recalls.

"First, this is a lot of meat. I wondered how many steers (or old dairy cows) it takes to make 14 tons of ground beef. This is not such a simple question to answer. Was the beef made from mostly old dairy cows, which would be used almost entirely for ground beef, or was the beef from large-breed, healthy steers, which would be used for steaks, roasts, and other cuts, with a much smaller portion going into ground beef production? Let’s for arguments sake pick a weight number somewhere in the middle of the two realms… 500 lbs. This would mean that it would take 56 animals to produce 14 tons of ground meat.

Unfortunately, this recall pales in comparison to the 71,500 tons of beef recalled in 2008. Using our math, that would be over 280,000 animals “wasted”.  
I also thought about how these types of recalls are really a product of large scale agriculture. Is there anything inherently wrong with large scale agriculture? Well, I don’t know. I do know that there are a lot of problems that arise from the practices associated with it. I know that there is a lot of waste. I know that there is a lot of environmental damage. I know that the product being produced is typically far inferior in flavor and nutrition. I know that when a mistake is made, that mistake is proportionately as large as the corporation behind it. So, yeah, maybe there is something inherently wrong with large scale agriculture.

Now, I also had to admit that there can be contamination and illness issues from small, local producers. However, these issues are going to be significantly smaller. They will affect substantially fewer people. In addition, when it is a smaller operation, fewer mistakes are made. This is just logical. When you are only processing five animals from your farm, you will have much greater attention to detail. Your mind won’t start to drift and daydream because you are doing something new the whole time. You will not be lulled into autopilot as you do the same thing over and over again. Unfortunately, this is exactly what happens on the factory floors of the large animal processing facilities. Of course I understand that the small scale beef producer rarely processes his own meat, but the point is that smaller is usually safer."

His point is well taken by me. I buy beef from a man who slaughters only half a dozen beef a year. I know how he raises them, and I know how he amends the soil that grows the grasses they eat. I don't much like the processing facility he uses, but it's the only one for many, many miles around. (The USDA inspector has a permanent office there.) They make as much money from the non-meaty parts (offal, hides, hooves, etc.) sold to outside buyers as they do processing the meats for local farmers.

This leads me into our drought conditions and the price of feed for CAFO beef, which are mostly grain-fed, but that's for another post. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Chive Blossom Vinegar, Pretty in Pink

Chive Blossom vinegar is easy to make, and the taste in a vinaigrette on salads is wonderful. I just take a handful of chive blossoms and put them in a jar with champagne vinegar. (I like that better than most store-bought vinegars as it's fairly mild. I have to buy a case of 4 gallons to get a good price, but it lasts a long time and I use it as a base for other flavored vinegars.)

The more chive blossoms I use, the darker the pink color will be, along with the chive taste. I let mine sit in a dark cool place for about 2 weeks, then strain into sterilized bottles/jars.

ps, I'm planning to make some blackberry vinegar soon... stay tuned!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

No GMO Apples!

"A small BC (British Columbia) company called Okanagan Specialty Fruits (OSF) has developed a genetically modified apple that will not turn brown when it is cut, even though 10 years ago, the genetically engineered (or genetically modified, GM) “non-browning” apple was actually driven out of Canada when BC apple growers successfully stopped planned field trials at a local government research station. Nonetheless, the company has now asked Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) for approval.

When apple flesh is cut and exposed to oxygen, it begins to brown. But the GM apple or “Arctic Apple,” as the company calls it, “will decay naturally just like any other apple, but it will not turn brown from bruising, cutting or biting – not in minutes, hours or days.” In fact, the company president has told reporters the GM apple will not brown for 15 to 18 days.

But browning in fruit is not a problem; on the contrary, it’s helpful information. Without this visual cue for freshness, we could be eating apple pieces that are old and decaying. Non-browning is a cosmetic change that consumers have not asked for, especially as we already have techniques that slow browning – in our kitchens, we use lemon juice and the food service industry uses ascorbic acid (vitamin C).

OSF is asking for approval to sell two varieties of genetically engineered apples: GM Golden Delicious and GM Granny Smith, but president Neal Carter also says, “Our Arctic program isn’t going to stop with golden and the granny; those are just the first out of the pipe.” In fact, OSF says they are planning to engineer Gala and Fuji apples and also lists “future products” that include cherries and pears with the same non-browning technology.

OSF says the US could approve the GM apple this year and by 2014 it could be on sale in Canada. While our government has set up regulation to approve GM foods quickly and quietly, without any consideration of the impact on farmers and consumers, the GM apple and proposed GM alfalfa are putting this system to the test. While the federal government ignores the negative effects on farmers, local and regional governments cannot. On May 28, the City of Richmond just south of Vancouver, unanimously passed a resolution that states, “No further GM crops, trees or plants should be grown in the City of Richmond. This also includes GM fruit trees, all GM plants and shrubbery, GM vegetables, GM commodity crops and any and all field tests for medical and experimental GM crops.”


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

It's all a little too pat...

Do you ever wonder how much more is going on than really meets the eye? I have ranted for years about the government's control (and attempts at control) of my food supply, but now I wonder if it isn't more widespread attempts at overall control.

I'm seeing and hearing some disturbing things about the recent shooting spree in Colorado... Many of my questions were addressed in this article. Questions such as how did this starving college student afford that expensive military-grade weaponry and sophisticated gear? How did he learn to booby-trap his apartment enough so that it took FBI and ATF several hours to get in? How about that the FBI was warned over 2 months ago about terrorism coming to movie theaters and ignored it? Or that the FBI was on the scene of the shootingsbefore many of the Aurora police officers were on the scene. A reasonable person might be inclined to ask, what did the FBI know?

Is it just coincidence that on July 27, 2012, President Obama and Hillary Clinton are going to sign the UN gun control treaty? Obama only needs a few more senators to sign the treaty to make it the law of the land. Of course, we are supposed to believe that this Colorado shooting tragedy and the immediate media calls for more stringent gun control (and the coincidence with the UN gun control treaty signing date) following this tragedy, is merely one big coincidence!

There is an thoughtful post about "The Lie of Safety - Gun Free Zones" that is well worth reading.

"Chicago is the city with the strictest gun laws in the nation, yet on an average summer weekend they have more shooting deaths than any place in the country. Murder is up 54% from last year."  

How's that for gun control?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Lowered Expectations

Who among us hasn't lowered their expectations for garden vegetable production this year? I know I have, yet a couple of things have surprised me. I've tried to grow onions for the last 4-5 years, and finally this year the soil has been amended enough that I actually grew a few! (Not enough, but it's a start.)

I already posted my garlic and shallot harvests; both produced enough to see me through the winter.

Lemon Squash

I harvested quite a few Costata Romanesco zucchini (now finished, many used in frozen quiche for winter meals) but the lemon squash continue to proliferate. I'm amazed at the insect resistance. I've given some away, shredded and frozen some, but most have been sliced half an inch thick, steamed for 3 minutes, and dehydrated. I'm out of freezer space!

Red Kuri winter squash

My biggest disappointment is in the winter squash, planted on my new hugelkultur berm. Some of it is due to hot and dry weather, but the rest is because I didn't get the berm well-covered with soil, and it dries out quickly even with daily watering. I'll add more soil and mulch this fall after the squash are finished and it should be more productive next year... plus the logs will be decomposing and hold more water. I do have a few Red Kuri growing, just not enough to feed me all winter.

I still have hopes for a few pole beans. The photo above is the Cherokee "Trail of Tears" which is an unassuming black bean that I grew just for the name, and to save some heritage seeds. I don't have pods yet on my Kentucky Wonder Beans... danged rabbits keep eating the plants!

I have a few tomato and pepper plants scattered around the garden, but zero hopes of any of them fruiting.

Now that I've collected (and caused the demise of) about 10,000 Japanese Beetles, I should have a few filberts and some fall rhubarb. Plus, I have enough dandelion greens for a soup kitchen!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The War on Front Yards

Can you believe this gorgeous vegetable garden in Quebec is illegal? The owners have until July 24th to dismantle it or face legal action.

Something is very wrong in the world when crappy foods and hunger abound, and yet this kind of thing is allowed to happen.


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Overlooked or Forgotten Heroic Actions, "Granny D"

Doris Haddock, called "Granny D" by her grandchildren, burdened by arthritis and emphysema, walked 3,000 miles from California to Washington, DC in the year 2000 to deliver her message. And, deliver her message she did! 

She was arrested, and her statement before the court is reprinted below:

"Your Honor, the old woman who stands before you was arrested for reading the Declaration of Independence in America's Capitol Building. I did not raise my voice to do so and I blocked no hall.

The First Amendment to the Constitution, Your Honor, says that Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances, so I cannot imagine what legitimate law I could have broken. We peaceably assembled there, Your Honor, careful to not offend the rights of any other citizen nor interrupt the peaceful enjoyment of their day. The people we met were supportive of what we were saying and I think they--especially the children--were shocked that we would be arrested for such a thoroughly wholesome American activity as respectfully voicing our opinion in our own hall. Any American standing there would have been shocked. For we were a most peaceable assembly, until Trent Lott's and Mitch McConnell's police came in with their bullhorns and their shackles to arrest us. One of us, who is here today, was injured and required a number of stitches to his head after he fell and could not break his own fall. He was detained for over four hours without medical care. I am glad we were only reading from the Declaration of Independence --I shudder to think what might have happened had we read from the Bill of Rights.

I was reading from the Declaration of Independence to make the point that we must declare our independence from the corrupting bonds of big money in our election campaigns.

And so I was reading these very words when my hands were pulled behind me and bound: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it."

Your Honor, we would never seek to abolish our dear United States. But alter it? Yes. it is our constant intention that it should be a government of, by and for the people, not the special interests, so that people may use this government in service to each other's needs and to protect the condition of our earth.

Your Honor, it is now your turn to be a part of this arrest. If your concern is that we might have interfered with the visitor's right to a meaningful tour of their Capitol, I tell you that we helped them have a more meaningful one. If your concern is that we might have been blocking the halls of our government, let me assure you that we stood to one side of the Rotunda where we would not be in anyone's way. But I inform you that the halls are indeed blocked over there.

They are blocked by the shameless sale of public policy to campaign contributors, which bars the doors and the halls to the people's legitimate needs and the flow of proper representation. We Americans must put an end to it in any peaceful way that we can. Yes, we can speak when we vote, and we do. But we must also give our best effort to encourage the repair of a very broken system. We must do both.

And the courts and prosecutors in government have a role, too. If Attorney General Reno would properly enforce the federal bribery statute, we would see lobbyists and elected officials dragged from the Capitol Building and the White House, their wrists tied, not ours. I would be home in New Hampshire, happily applauding the television news as my government cleaned its own house.

In my 90 years, this is the first time I have been arrested. I risk my good name --for I do indeed care what my neighbors think about me. But, Your Honor, some of us do not have much power, except to put our bodies in the way of an injustice--to picket, to walk, or to just stand in the way. It will not change the world overnight, but it is all we can do.

So I am here today while others block the halls with their corruption. Twenty-five million dollars are changing hands this very evening at a fund raiser down the street. It is the corrupt sale of public policy, and everyone knows it. I would refer those officials and those lobbyists, Your Honor, to Mr. Bob Dylan's advice when he wrote: "Come senators, congressmen, Please heed the call. Don't stand in the doorway, don't block up the hall."

Your Honor, the song was a few years early, but the time has now come for change. The times are changing because they must. And they will sweep away the old politician --the self-serving, the self-absorbed, the corrupt. The time of that leader is rapidly fading. We have come through a brief time when we have allowed ourselves to be entertained by corrupt and hapless leaders because they offer so little else, and because, as citizens, we have been priced out of participation and can only try to get some enjoyment out of their follies. But the earth itself can no longer afford them. We owe this change to our children and our grandchildren and our great grandchildren. We need have no fear that a self-governing people can creatively and effectively address their needs as a nation and a world if the corrupt and greedy are out of their way, and ethical leadership is given the helm.

Your Honor, to the business at hand: the old woman who stands before you was arrested for reading the Declaration of Independence in America's Capitol Building. I did not raise my voice to do so and I blocked no hall. But if it is a crime to read the Declaration of Independence in our great hall, then I am guilty."


Monday, July 16, 2012

My Health Update

I know many of my blog readers have known me for a long time (and some know me personally), I thought I'd post a brief update on my health status.

I had some medical tests this past week at Univ. Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, including an Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD) where they put me to sleep and a small camera is run down through the pharynx, esophagus, stomach, and duodenum to look for potential bleeders. From the feedback from the techs and nurses (unofficial), everything seems to be okay. I go back again in early August for some additional appointments.

I'm getting weary of the long (and expensive) trips that require a stay-over because it's so far, and gas prices are going up again. However, I'm glad these recent tests appear to be positive in outcome.

My doctors continue to be amazed at my improvement over the last 5 years (what I would call 'remission' although that's primarily a cancer term) and I attribute it completely to a non-chemical-laden healthy diet that's mostly "store-free" ingredients.

Thanks for your continuing support and encouragement!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Blackberries are abundant!

A few berries ready to freeze, and a quarter on the tray for size

My Triple Crown thornless blackberries are fruiting in abundance this year! I expect to get several gallons off my short row. One of the things I will be making is Blackberry Savory, used like cranberry sauce but less sweet than the canned cranberry sauce.

Blackberry Savory
(From Sensational Preserves by Hilarie Walden)
Serve with chicken, turkey, duck or any white meat
Makes about 4 cups

1 Tbs. whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp. allspice berries
4 pounds blackberries
2/3 cup Spiced Vinegar (recipe below)
4-1/2 cups sugar, warmed (see below)

Tie spices in a cheesecloth bag and put in a large non-reactive pan with the blackberries and vinegar. Bring to a boil, then simmer gently 30 minutes.

Strain mixture through a non-metallic sleeve, like a jelly bag, and return to the pan. Discard contents of the bag. Over low heat, stir in the warmed sugar until it has dissolved, then continue to simmer, stirring as necessary until well thickened.

Ladle savory jelly into warm, clean, dry jars. Cover and seal per normal jelly canning directions. Store in a cool, dark, dry place at least 3 weeks before eating.

Spiced Vinegar
Use for pickling, salad dressings and mayonnaise
Makes about 5 cups (I cut the recipe in half)

1 Tbs. Allspice Berries
1 tsp. Whole Cloves
2 Cinnamon Sticks
1 Tbs. Whole Black Peppercorns
2 blades of Mace
2 Bay Leaves, torn
4 dried red chilies
5 cups red or white wine vinegar

Put all ingredients in a non-reactive saucepan and bring to a boil. Pour into clean, dry bottles, distributing the flavorings evenly. Cover with acid-proof lids and seal.

This vinegar can be used after only one day, but it is better to leave it for 1-2 weeks before using. Store in a cool, dry place. If the vinegar is kept for some time, check the flavor. If it becomes too strong you might want to strain out the flavorings.

Warmed Sugar
Sugar will dissolve more quickly if warmed. Put the required amount of sugar in an ovenproof bowl and place in a pre-heated oven at the lowest setting for about 20 minutes until the sugar is warmed but not hot.,

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Government Crackdowns and Food Control

I haven't posted a rant about the government controlling what I eat in quite a while, but this news item below caught my eye. To me, it just sets up another means of the government tracking and ultimately controlling what I can grow in my own garden.

Utah Garden Challenge (for Suckers)

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food is promoting the Utah Garden Challenge in order to collect information about independent food production for the USDA.

The Utah Garden Challenge is a voluntary contest to register 10,000 gardens. The data mining project has a broad interest in any "resource" who is growing food:

"Whether you grow a tomato in a pot, a row in a community garden, have backyard gardens, a CSA or working fruit and vegetable farm, we want to hear from you because you are an important resource as a food producer."

While the contest paints a proud face on independent food production, it is important to remember that registering with the government sets up a system to track, tax, permit or confiscate the registered item. Gun ownership is a good example of this scheme.

According to a pop-up window on the official website, participants' gardens will be registered with the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS):

"We need to know how much food is being produced in Utah. The Census of Agriculture is done every 5 years.  Every agricultural operation in Utah, regardless of size, is vital to this question.  If you produce $1000 of agricultural products, you can influence economic development and decision making by filling out a NASS survey.  We will only share your information with NASS by your permission.  Your response to the census of agriculture is protected by law.  For more information, you can go to www.agcensus.gov  "

In other words, people who produce $1000 or more worth of food have an impact on the food market, and the USDA wants to know about what you are doing in your backyard.

Victory gardens in America produced up to 40% of all vegetables consumed during World War II, with over 20 millon home gardens and community plots that produced over 9 million tons of food.

The USDA is notorious for its corrupt partnerships and revolving door business relationships with big commercial agriculture.

Government Crackdowns and Food Control
Food is under attack because if you can grow your own food, have access to water and shelter, then what use do you have for a government master?

The federal government has profoundly overstepped its constitutional authority on all fronts, and there are a number of examples of the USDA's outrageous control over food that include SWAT team raids on raw milk sellers and fruit tree confiscation

The Food Safety Modernization Act expanded the power of the FDA and its sister agency, the USDA.  The law is bad for many reasons and is an overwhelming burden on small and independent farmers due to over-regulation and increase in paperwork and reporting. 

Why Is Utah a Threat?
1.  A few months ago Utah voted down a Food Freedom Bill that would have made it a crime for anyone, including Utah state agents, to enforce the Food Safety Modernization Act's unconstitutional mandates.  It would have made farmers who trade only inside of state lines exempt.  The bill was a direct constitutional challenge to federal overreach.

2. Highland City, Utah passed a Food Freedom ordinance that exempts residents from federal regulations on food that is produced, exchanged and consumed within city limits (state laws still apply).

3.  Utah has the largest concentration of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as Mormons) who have an official policy of food storage, currently set at a 1-year minimum supply.  This may be construed as a threat by the FBI, especially since a 1-year supply of food can cost as little as $225.

Survivalist.com points out that the Utah Garden Challenge is linked to the United Nations Agenda 21 Sustainable Development plan for totalitarian control. 

The Utah Garden Challenge is enticing Utahans with meager prizes (a 1-in-1000 chance of winning a giftcard or free restaurant dinner) to register their gardens and subject themselves to invasive government data mining.  But is your food independence worth it?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

My garden struggling in the heat

I know I am not alone in walking around my garden and seeing all the sun-baked plants, but it sure is disappointing. Here in the Appalachian mountains we have been running on average as much as 15ºF hotter than normal for most of June and into July. 

Shallot harvest 2012

A few things have done rather well, like garlic, shallots and onions, but those were all planted months ago. 

Lemon Squash

Summer squash have grown like gangbusters, of course. This year I planted Costata Romanesco zucchini, and lemon squash (it's "lemon" only in size and shape). I'm pleased at how insect resistant they have been. So far I have baked and frozen more than half a dozen squash quiche for winter meals (plus my Sis and I have eaten a couple more of them), and frozen some plain shredded zucchini in case I decide to make zucchini bread for the Christmas holidays. (I've gained a lot of weight and really don't need the temptation!)

The winter squash (Red Kuri and Spaghetti squash) planted on my new hugelkulture berm have finally taken off on one end, but the other end planted with just Red Kuri is languishing. The photo of the better end above was taken 2 weeks ago; the vines nearly cover the berm now. It is taking daily deep watering to keep the hugel berm plants growing since the sod/dirt layer is rather thin, but in a year or two the logs will have rotted enough to act as a sponge, and the smaller twigs/limbs will have broken down a lot. I do intend to cover the entire berm with newspapers and a heavy layer of wood chips before winter, so that should help next year.

Rabbits have repeatedly nibbled both kinds of pole beans I planted right to the ground (Kentucky Wonder and Cherokee Trail of Tears) but I finally have a few that I temporarily caged after re-planting so I may still get a few beans. I did stick in a few fava beans here and there, more for the soil than to eat.

The Finocchio (or Florence) fennel that is said to hate hot weather is actually producing a few bulbs although I lost most of my seedlings in the early heat wave.

If you are seeing funky formatting stuff on this blog, it's because I'm getting this message when I try to make a new post, or edit a post here on my blog:
Your browser is no longer supported by Blogger. Some parts of Blogger will not work and you may experience problems.

Unfortunately there's not much I can do about it until I afford another computer. My Mac is 6 years old, the last model before they started using an Intel processor, and it cannot be upgraded to run the newer browsers.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Posting Problems

If you are not seeing posts, or seeing funky formatting stuff on this blog, it's because I'm getting this message when I try to make a new post, or edit a post here on my blog: 

Your browser is no longer supported by Blogger. Some parts of Blogger will not work and you may experience problems.

Unfortunately there's not much I can do about it until I afford another computer. My Mac is 6 years old, the last model before they started using an Intel processor, and it cannot be upgraded to run the newer browsers.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Cheddar Corn Chowder

Sweet corn is ready to be harvested and I highly recommend this recipe! This is the best soup I've made in ages, and unfortunately, I cannot even take credit for the recipe, nor did I get any photos. The recipe is from Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, 1999. I would call it a real old-fashioned chowder.

I made the first batch about 2-3 weeks ago and took a bowl to my neighbor Buster. When he brought the bowl back, he said he licked the bowl it was so good! Last weekend I cooked another batch for a get-together, and everyone ate 2-3 servings (served along with a fresh garden salad and crusty bread) and really raved about it. There was enough left to send take-home containers with everyone. (I already had put 10 pints in my freezer; it's not a good candidate for canning because of the cream.)

Makes 6½ to 7 quarts, 10 to 12 servings. The recipe filled my enameled cast iron pot to the very brim.

    * 8 ounces bacon, chopped (I used applewood smoked bacon)
    * 1/4 cup good olive oil
    * 6 cups chopped yellow onions (about 4 large onions, I used Vidalia onions)
    * 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter (I used organic pastured butter)
    * 1/2 cup flour
    * 2 teaspoons kosher salt
    * 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
    * 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
    * 12 cups chicken stock (I used homemade)
    * 6 cups medium-diced white boiling potatoes, unpeeled (~2 pounds, I used red-skinned fingerlings)
    * 10 cups corn kernels, fresh (10 ears) or frozen (3 pounds). I used fresh corn, cut off the cob and blanched
    * 2 cups half-and-half
    * 1/2 pound sharp white cheddar cheese, grated (I used imported Irish cheddar)

In a large stockpot over medium-high heat, cook the bacon in the olive oil until the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve. Reduce the heat to medium, add the onions and butter to the fat, and cook for 10 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.

Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, and turmeric and cook for 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and potatoes, bring to a boil, and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. If using fresh corn, cut the kernels off the cob and blanch them for 3 minutes in boiling salted water. Drain. (If using frozen corn you can skip this step.) Add the corn to the soup, then add the half-and-half and cheddar. Cook for 5 more minutes, until the cheese is melted. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Serve hot with a garnish of bacon.

The only change I made was the kind of potatoes, and to add the cooked bacon to the chowder when I added the half-and-half and cheddar.