Shorter days, cooler weather, an explosion of autumn hues – we’ve all got a reason to fall in love with fall. And what better way to keep this harvest season holy than getting your hands a little dirty on the farm? Race through the corn maze, pluck the hay from your hair and spend an excessive amount of time choosing the perfect pumpkin. And when your alma mater isn’t living up to the winning season you imagined, distract yourself with all of these fall favorites at the Buford Corn Maze.
Thanks to this year’s corporate sponsor, Nationwide, locals can visit Rodney Miller’s farm starting Sept. 5 and celebrate the beginning of fall with a corn maze, pumpkin patch, pony rides, animal pens, hay rides and a haunted forest. Tickets are $15 for the maze, $15 for the haunted forest or $24 for a both.
Miller, a lifelong farmer from Southern Illinois (where he still maintains an 800 acre farming operation) and co-host on the highly-rated National TV Show, Small Town Big Deal, that airs every Thursday night on the RFD-TV Network and FamilyNet, cherishes the lifestyle of the American farmer and wanted to, in some small way, bring attention to that worthy profession.
He dreamed of creating a family friendly agritourism destination for many years before finally opening the Buford Corn Maze in 2009 with the help of Kendra Miller, Jerome Beggs and Tina Beggs.
So, get lost in the sky-high corn stalks, pile on the hay ride and grab your bravest friend to lead you through the haunted forest. This fall is going to be a-maize-ing.
FUN ON THE COB!
Your parents never told you not to play in your food – a loophole in dining etiquette that quite possibly led to the celebrated fall tradition of corn mazes. Another fall fundamental? Football. Hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, wings, cookies – they’re all staples of the monotonous menu at every single tailgate. So, don’t you think it’s time to spice things up? Let’s add a little bit of color to those carbs. Served hot or cold, this corn dip will be your new fall favorite. Whip-up this a-maize-ing dish at your next tailgate, and your newest fans will beg you for the recipe. And in between games, peel yourself away from the TV long enough to check out some fall festivals going on around your city.
ZESTY CORN DIP
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 ears corn, shucked
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 tablespoons crumbled cotija cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon chili powder, or more, to taste
1 clove garlic, pressed
1 Lime (juice)
Melt butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add corn kernels and jalapeño, and cook, stirring occasionally, until cooked through and slightly charred, about 8-10 minutes.
Stir in mayonnaise, cotija, cilantro, chili powder, garlic and lime juice.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Yield: 4 servings