I’m not a good cook. We’ve already discussed that. But I have been trying to get better. I’ve been trying to expand the borders of my small culinary intellect to at least rival that of my husband’s. I normally fail.
But recently I had a triumph with corn. I had actually never cooked it myself. Really…I’m totally serious. I had seen it made but never had the courage to do it myself. Somehow all the little yellow beads intimidated me.
Anyway, I made some corn this last weekend while my Aunt, Uncle and their twin boys were visiting. It turned out to be a success and it got me to thinking: What makes a really good corn on the cob?
First: You have to have the essentials – butter, salt and pepper. Olive oil isn’t that bad either if you’re looking for heart healthy.
Second: You have to get some corn. I know, I know…but really.
This is where I get confused on the moral laws of corn searching.
Corn comes wrapped in nature. It has these huge leaves and stringy things that stick out everywhere and make it impossible to see if the corn is wrinkled and nasty or plump and beautiful. Even though I know it is rude to go into the supermarket and touch every vegetable and then put it back…it’s different with corn. It just is.
You have to semi shuck the corn to know if it’s any good. You have to get dirty to get the goods. You have to rip open that packaging like a mean old lady, examine it inches away from your face and either greedily shove it into a bag or sneer and toss it back on the pile in contempt. You can’t only examine one of the batch and expect the rest are good. You have to peal open each one to determine if it is suitable for consumption.
Some may object to my etiquette but I simply must agree then to disagree. I won’t be had. You have to have good corn if you’re going to make good corn on the cob.
Third: You have to give the corn enough room in the pot to maneuver. This isn’t the crowded streets of New York City Folks! Give that corn some room to breathe! Make sure to cook it until the water becomes a nice translucent yellow.
Fourth: If you’re planning on grilling the corn…shuck it ahead of time. At a recent family function we all decided that you could cook the corn in the husks.
The leaves go up into flames and get ashes all over the corn.
Fifth: For maximum enjoyment of corn…you must, must, must leave your manors at the door. People are going to accidently spit on you. People are going to make sounds you didn’t think humans could make. People are going to look like this is the first piece of food they have had in months – partially because you just make the best corn on the cob ever but mostly because that is just the nature of the beast. Corn is sloppy.
In other news:
Last night Andrew made me sushi…yeah…now you see what I have to compete with. I’m working on a basic starch that dimwitted pilgrims, used to hard tack, were able to cook while he is getting ready to enter the competition for Iron Chef America.