Sunday, April 24, 2011

Corn. On the cob. And in your Teeth.

CORN! BEAUTIFUL CORN! ~I’m singing!~ Quick. Plug your ears. ~ Follow the yellow brick to all the beautiful ears of corn!!!!!!

I debated whether or not to slather these beauties in gorgeous pats of unsalted butter, speckled with coarse flakes of kosher blessed salt and freshly ground pepper….. then I thought NAH – I’ll leave ’em al natural. (again, leaving out my use of the french accento mark)

I’ll leave them in their golden glory basking in the warm sunlight, steam rising, ready and waiting for my teeth to sink in and grab every last kernel.

Then searching for every said kernel with a toothpick. After failing with the toothpick, finally excusing myself from the kitchen with sweetness and grace, I begin to tear apart my medicine cave cabinet searching for the un-minted floss, taking those kernels from their toothy home, and finally sliding my tongue across my fresh and clean teeth.

Without hesitation, I then run back into the kitchen to grab another ear, and do it all over again.

This summarizes my love for corn.

This also explains my frustration after trying many ways to cook corn – only to come back to my mother’s way. And my mother’s way came from her mother’s way who came from her mother’s way who came from her mother’s way who came from her mother who didn’t have corn, but maybe raised maize.

Anyhow. As I tell my students: Keep It Simple, Stupid Silly.

Begin with a fresh water bath. Bathe the corn in your freshly collected rain water.
Ha. Just Kidding.
Wash the corn after you rip off all the husk and silk.
Running under cold water helps remove these silky strands.

Bring a large pot of water to boil.

HERE IS THE KEY PEOPLE:
Add about a 1/4 cup of milk. And a (small ,very small) pinch of salt.

I swear it works, and only very special families know about this little secret.

Place your ears of corn in the pot – the water will stop boiling.

Bring back to a boil, and boil for 3-7 minutes.

My mother pointed out that I should warn ya’ll, I promise – no matter HOW closely you watch this, adding the milk always makes the pot boil over. Sad face. But, the corn is so sweet, you won’t regret it. ipromise.
And, if you do, I’ll come over and help you clean it with my “homemade save the earth vinegar cleaner.”
(ingredients: vinegar. water. elbow grease.)

I like mine crisper, so I boil 3-5 minutes.
Others like theirs very soft, so they boil 7 minutes.
Anything after that turns gummy.

On another note, BBQ-ed corn tastes DELICIOUS too!

I’ll take a picture sometime and post it.

But, you’ll leave the husks ON, and SOAK the whole cob in milk and water for about an hour.
Then place on the grill for approximately 15 minutes.

If you don’t soak the cobs, the husk becomes charred. The corn tastes smoky. Not good.

After grilling, peel back the husk, which now makes a great “handle,” dip your corn in your vat of pre-melted butter, and dress with salt, pepper, parmesan cheese, MAYO (yes mayo) tastes great, some chile or lime. That’s how they do it in South Texas!

I hope ya’ll are hankerin’ for some fresh summer corn now! I’m makin’ me another batch tonight!

~Peace, Love, and Grilling Ya’ll!

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