This Sunday morning we are freezing local fresh sweet corn.
Last week, on a whim, I followed “Sweet Corn” signs through L’Anse, turn here, now turn there, out by the Little League ball field, to a pickup truck filled to the brim with green-husked corn creatures, manned by a mom and pop and smiling granddaughter.
How many do you want?
The corn lay bundled in plastic grocery bags, half-dozen or dozen, depending on your crew waiting at home eager to munch into hot steamed cobs lathered with butter and sprinkled with salt.
A half-dozen, please. Thank you.
I tossed the corn in the crisper, way down at the bottom of the frig, when Barry arrived home from work with two more cobs of corn, and now, this sunny, 65 degree Sunday morning, it’s time to heat up the black pot and dunk the creatures within to blanch fiercely for 4 minutes before immersing in ice-cold water.
But first, you remember, don’t you, the husking away of green and silk? Husk away, dear cookers and eaters. Aren’t cleaning away the soft wispy silky hairs a pain one must endure in order to reach naked corn free from corn-floss?
Clean, clean, clean your corn.
Q: Why didn’t anyone laugh at the gardener’s jokes?
A: Because they were too corny!
Barry told stories this morning of making creamed corn with his grandparents years ago. A bushel of ears lined the garage floor and Barry and his little brother, Craig, husked and cleaned and made a darn mess while Grandpa knifed those yellow corn cobs, knife penetrating deeply into the rows to scrape off embedded mini-kernels to release every darn last corn-tooth.
Inside the house, Grandma told stories while she and Mom cooked creamed corn, Smoky Mountain style, freezing it in Tupperware to enjoy through long winter suppers.
Barry never liked creamed corn much. He preferred his plain.
Q: What do you get when a Corn cob is run over by a truck?
A: “Creamed” corn.
I remember opening a can of creamed corn from Chandler’s Market and devouring the entire can, slurping up the sweet milky liquid.
I also remember Mom simmering huge pots of corn on the cob. My brothers and dad ate one, two, maybe three corn per meal!
This was truly late summer, our family eating corn around the kitchen table, kernels sticking in our teeth, our smiles buttery and happy.
Q: What do Corn cobs call their father?
A: “Pop” corn.
Our Little House in the Big Woods family has a corn on the cob tradition, too.
We simmer the late-summer ears in boiling water, 5-10 minutes depending on freshness, and eat them on the deck in hot summer evenings. When we’re done munching and crunching (some of us cut the kernels off the cob with sharp silver knives before eating) we sling the cobs into the woods–who can throw the farthest?–darn, a dud always lands in the mowed yard–the thrower must retrieve the delinquent ear and re-toss it into the forest. Marauding raccoons finish them for late-night treats.
And you? Do you like corn on the cob in late summer? What is your favorite way to eat it? Do you blanch and freeze?
Thank you. Thus ends a corny tale, slathered in butter and sprinkled liberally with dreams of dinner.
Q: What did the corn say when he got complimented?
A: Aww, shucks!