Saturday, August 9, 2008

How do YOU eat it?

Today's thoughts are about corn. Yes, there is more than just corn in Indiana, but in August we must talk about corn out here. It's everywhere, and it's knock-your-socks-off fresh!

This afternoon, we had plans to drive out to the orchard that we annually visit this time of year, to pick up our bushel of corn. Yep, a bushel. Never thought this City Girl would be talking bushels of anything. I probably learned how many were in a bushel sometime in grade school, but when you live in the city, you don't really have a need to make that sort of info stick. To save you city folks some time, a bushel is 60 ears of corn. What might we be doing with 60 ears of corn you ask? Freeze it of course! Yep, I feel like a pilgrim this time of year too. After all, my roots do hail from the state of the Mayflower's arrival and all, so it does seem a little fitting.

Marrying into a family that still has its feet in the farming business along the family tree, having fresh corn throughout the fall and winter has become a traditional way of life for us. And I have even dragged my own parents into the mix and we have made it an annual event together. Tomorrow's the day we will have sticky hands from shucking all the fresh ears, and our fingertips will be pruned from the juiciness of the ears as we cut each delicious kernel from it's cob.

It starts off with my parents arriving at our place, sleeves rolled up and a stick of butter unwrapped. The butter of course is for the stray ear or three that might get eaten in the process. Just can't have corn without it slathered in butter right? Anyway, so we'll shuck it all out on the deck (this part reminds me of my late grandfather as he'd corner all of us kids around to pull off the silks after he'd shuck)... I'm digressing, I can't help it. We'll have two giant stock pots up to a boil with water and drop the ears in for about a 4 minute roll. When that's done, the ears take a dive into some coolers filled with ice and water to stop the cooking. After that, we cut the corn off the cob into a giant bowl and then fill freezer storage bags with the sweet bi-colored gems. This whole process gives us about 25 bags of fresh corn on hand. It takes plenty of time, but it's so worth it.

Surely you have had an ear of corn sometime in your life that did not come from the grocery store right? Where the kernels just about pop themselves off into your mouth without much effort when you bite into the cob - corn so sweet you'd swear you sprinkled sugar on it instead of salt? Well, if not, that's what it's like. I've become a corn snob this time of year - who'd think to buy corn from the supermarket? *faint* It's just not the same, especially when you can buy it off the back of a "George's" pickup truck parked at the intersecting county roads, literally fresh from the rows behind him. Mmmm good.

So, the question begs to be asked... how do you eat yours? Do you munch from left to right or right to left in a straight line across the ear, or perhaps gnaw in a circle around the cob? Do you haphazardly take bites of your ear with fervor, or are you neat and precise with your nibbles? Salt and butter? Do you stop to wipe your mouth and hands, or wait until said ear is stripped of its kernels?

Wow...*gulp*... I'm sounding like a Hoosier!


John said...

Well Mr. Anal here actually is actually a random nibbler. Shocking I know. Just trying to clean off the cob in the end. Butter and salt of course. I roll on top of the butter stick. Taboo in some households. Sticky hands are a no no for me (Mr. Anal). I pause and eat something else to prolong the yummy.

Andrea said...

SO funny! I'm a left to right (starting at the little end of kernels), straight line, butter & xtra salt, pausing between a few bites to wipe off, kind of girl!

Anonymous said...

Andrea, What I want to know is, have you learned how to make Aunt Libby's corn? MJ

Grampy said...

Am I the only one that uses pepper along with the salt and buttah.

Denese S. said...

I love this post! Man, if I didn't know any better Andrea, I'd think you grew up here or something. The way you rave about corn is so Hoosieresque! I love corn too...especially State Fair kind, drowning in butter and with a fair amount of salt. I eat it from the narrow end on the left to the fat end on the right, then reapeat.

Denese :)

Did you know an old Hoosier trick for buttering your corn? Take a piece of bread and slather it with butter then roll your corn in it. The butter really gets down in all the little nooks and crannies.