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Posts Tagged ‘corn on the cob’

Aw, shucks

The bin was new. It stood a few feet from a table filled to overflowing with freshly picked corn. A portly picker was joined by a woman with a kerchief on her head and a sleek woman in heals who was likely on her lunch break from her office nearby. A hand-lettered sign read

PLEASE SHUCK YOUR CORN HERE – THANK YOU”.

I wandered a bit, slowly pushing my squeaky cart, selecting some zucchini and a few bright vine-ripened red tomatoes, then I headed over to the corn just as another boxful was being dumped onto the table. I stowed my cart close by and started going through the corn, feeling them for soft spots and selecting a half-dozen ears of somewhat equal size. I put them, one-by-one, into my cart and shuffled over to the shucking bin.

“This is new” I said to a woman whose attention was firmly focussed on the ear of corn she was undressing. “Yes, It is. Already a lot of silk and husks in here.” I started to shuck my first cob, over the bin, tossing the corn’s coverings inside. “I wonder what they do with these?” said another. Compost? Bedding for farm animals? We shucked and talked and shucked some more, as others came to the bin with their desired dole of sweet corn.

The conversation was pleasant. “The pickles look good”, said one as another commented on the fresh blueberries and peaches inside the barn, along with some freshly drawn honey. We discussed the best way to cook corn – a dozen ways to corn-on-the-cob heaven – and agreed that it was nice to be able to toss the leavings into the bin instead of the mess in our kitchens or decks. We were an amicable group of varying ages and from different walks of life enjoying the chat and the prospect of sweet corn over dinner come suppertime.

t wondered, silently to myself, if this was what it was like to be among women at a communal oven for baking bread – or the proverbial well. There we were, on a hot midsummer’s afternoon, gleaners of the glory of sweet corn, chuckling and chattering as we shucked the corn, offering tips on cooking or serving this midwestern summertime indulgence.

That evening, the Antler Man and I had a simple supper of broiled salmon, salad and sweet corn-on-the-cob, without the usual corny mess, thanks to the shucking station at my favorite farmstand.

How about you? What have you gleaned lately?

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Big

 Nothing says summer here in the Midwest quite like corn on the cob. While crops are suffering tragically this year, with a bleak future for farmers and consumers alike, there is still local sweet corn to be found.  Not knowing quite what tomorrow will bring, I made a spur-of-the-moment decision to head  to a farmers market where I knew the first ears of sweetness might be.

A dozen silken ears clothed in green husks immediately found their way into my car. Half of them were on the table for Wednesday night supper.

 I nibbled away, attacking each golden kernel with determination, butter dripping recklessly down my fingers, barely catching my breath, and feeling a bit like Tom Hanks in the movie Big.

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