The Art of Eating Corn on the Cob

Several years ago I read a wonderful book by Barbara Kingsolver, “Animal,  Vegetable,  Miracle: A Year of Food Life”.   It introduced a new word into my vocabulary  locovor – the basic premise is you that eat produce that is in season, and purchased from local vendors (ah, how blessed we are to live in a county that still has good healthy dirt).  I liked that word –locovor–, I liked the concept.    I wanted to be a  locovor.   This could work for me because I am someone who works full-time, currently only has a 4’x20’ raised bed garden, built by hubby, and maintained by youngest daughter and fiancé.  But if I want to be a  locovor, I am still dependent on the local farmers.

Being a locovor in the summer is the easy part.   In the summer time the weekend meal usually revolves around what wonderful fresh produce I can select from the vendors at  the Clarke County Farmer’s Market  on Saturday morning.   I have learned to just go and browse all the stalls, making a mental menu in my head as I am walking around.   Then I go back and make my final selections, bring my bounty home, and let the feasting begin!  This weekend not only did we find tomatoes that dribbled down your chin with each bite, but some wonderful bi-color corn.

As a young teen my dad used to grow corn.   He would say to mom…”Start boiling the water I am going out to pick the corn now”…That’s how fresh our corn was.

While preparing the corn for last Sunday’s supper, my girls (who are now young women and great cooks in their own right) were walking down memory lane.   My mom would prepare her corn by dropping it into boiling salt water, and cook it for 5 minutes and called it done.   I now wrap mine in wax paper, zap it in the micro for 3-5 minutes and call it done.

The girls were remembering how their grandpa would eat corn.   He would put a LARGE pat of real butter on his plate. Then sprinkle the butter with salt and fresh ground pepper (from the pepper grinder he had made himself).  Next he mixed the butter, salt and pepper into a little mound on his plate. He would stand his corn on end (he did not use those fancy corn holders, the calluses on his finger’s protected him from heat burns) and slather each row with his special butter mixture.

Then it was ready to consume.

He would proceed to eat one single row at a time.  If you are able, remember with me the rhythm of an old fashioned manual typewriter clicking away — then ding, the bell rings and he would head to the next row.   When he was done it was the cleanest piece of corn around.

My oldest daughter has mastered the art of “how to eat corn” passed down to her by her grandfather.

As my family was gathered around the table and we were consuming the wonderful, fresh, delicious, local produce, a joy came over me and I could not resist the urge to spread my arms open wide and burst into song. Singing at the top of my lungs, the words from “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” from the musical Oklahoma!

There’s a bright golden haze on the meadow,

There’s a bright golden haze on the meadow,

The corn is as high as an elephant’s eye,

An’ it looks like it’s climbin’ clear up to the sky.

Oh, what a beautiful mornin’,

Oh, what a beautiful day.

I got a beautiful feelin’

Ev’rything’s goin’ my way.