For the earth bringeth forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.
(Editor's Note: This article was originally published on August 8, 2007. Your comments are welcome, but please be aware that authors of previously published articles may not be able to promptly respond to new questions or comments.)
“Bi or Yellow?” “Yellow, bi gets picked in the morning.” “8 please”…. “oh, is it just you and your husband tonight?” “Um, yes, just the two of us tonight and thanks – see ya tomorrow!”
Mrs. Maynes knows us. Her stand for sweet corn has stood for years and years. We drive past the field each day on our way to the office eagerly watching for the blades to appear and then rise from the ground as they turn into stalks with those long awaited ears on them.
Bi or Yellow – we don’t much care. It’s late July and time for sweet corn – the stuff we won’t grow until we move and even then, we may have to visit with Mrs. Mayne now and then if we’re not successful.
The bobcat comes up the long drive from the farm, its bucket carrying a load of freshly picked goodness. Sometimes we must wait as Mr. Maynes makes his way up from the field….you stand there and just soak it all up! They planted, they tended and now here it comes straight from the stalks and only 2.3 miles to go home – life is good!
Peel away the sheaths, strip off the silk, put shields back up or put down and tie. Either school of thought produces grilled corn that cannot be beat – nowhere, no-how. Lay these on a grill of hot coals; smell and watch – maybe a total of 5 minutes, maximum. If your corn is super fresh, you’re just heating them up!
Table time….again, different schools of thought. We melt butter before hand; stir in a generous squeeze of lime juice and a handful of finely chopped basil. The brush we got for 29 cents at WalMart is the perfect applicator – not too much, not too little.
How do you eat it? Typewriter style or are you a rotational consumer? Do the kids at your table have front teeth or must they re-edit their ear? What a great munch time around the dinner table be it old or young!
Now about those who don’t enjoy gnawing on the cob – here’s a superb recipe tried and true and I give all credit to Jacques Pepin for this marvelous fresh corn polenta. It tastes nothing like the polenta made with corn meal. You can use this as a bed for anything you like – grilled fish, chicken, roasted veggies – just anything at all – try it!
Fresh Corn Polenta
2 1/2 cups corn kernels (from about 4 ears corn) 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Put the corn kernels in a blender and process until smooth. (You will have about 2 cups.)
Heat the butter in a saucepan, and add the corn puree along with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Bring to a boil and cook for about 30 seconds, or until the puree thickens
However you eat your fresh sweet corn, mostly just enjoy it – what a treat! We watch the earth bring it forth and anticipate the wonder and taste. Are we blessed or what?
As always, eat well and healthy my gardening friends….count your blessings and have fun in your gardens!
About Dea O'Hopp
I'm a long time DG'er, super merry wife to the greatest guy on this earth, Michael. By day, we're self employed Mortgage Bankers along with my son Andy. By evenings and weekends we're gardeners trying to get the best out of 3 acres that we can.
Andy and DDIL Michelle gave us the greatest gift of all several years ago. We hope to inspire our Grandson to have the same love of gardening and cooking we do.
I truly hope you'll enjoy the occasional articles I submit and most importantly have fun cooking from your garden or your local farms.
Happy Gardening and Garden Cooking to all!