Wednesday, June 21, 2006


I had run into the local Publix to pick up a few items.

Soup and pain meds for the Missus. Bunwad. Fresh milk.

On the way though the produce section, a display of fresh corn-on-the-cob caught my eye. The ears were four for $1.99, and there were trash bins set up so you could shuck ’em right on the spot.

I’ve been a sucker for fresh corn-on-the-cob since my Snot-Nose Days, but I really learned to appreciate the Fresh Stuff when we lived in northwestern New Jersey 25+ years ago. You could buy it at farmstands immediately after it had been yanked right off the cornstalks, and if you boiled it up right away, nothing tasted as sweet.

And thus it was that I found myself the proud owner of three freshly-shucked ears of corn.

It ain’t Brain Surgery to fix corn. I could have thrown it in a huge cauldron of boiling salted water, but that would have taken too long; it would have steamed up the house, too. Instead, I simply steamed them for about 10 minutes, then let the ears cool enough so I could handle them without burning the crap out of my fingers. Using a sharp knife, I sliced and scraped the kernels off all three ears and into a bowl. A couple of minutes in the microwave to get them nice and hot, and then I threw in a thumb-sized chunk of sweet butter, a sprinkling of sea salt, a couple of grinds of fresh black pepper, and a couple of shots of red pepper. Simplicity itself.

Eating that corn was like running through the green country fields of Warren County, New Jersey on a warm summer day. It’s all the supper I needed.

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