Corn season is almost over in these parts. I can tell because I have to wear slippers (like a proper Chinese person) and butter won’t soften just because I left it on the kitchen table (though that has as much to do with household thermostat policies as the weather outside). This photo is of some corn we bought at the Ithaca Farmer’s Market. We took it home, with no plans in particular, and when we shucked it (husked? Whatever, I like “shucked”), it looked good enough to eat – pearly white and yellow with irregular kernels so plump (sorry, I hate that word too) they almost looked decadent, fatty, excessive, like obscenely marbled steak.
I couldn’t resist taking a bite. And that bite, and the subsequent bites (I ate the whole thing), inspired me to take this rather terrible photo so that I would remember how insanely sweet and, well, corn-y this ear of corn was. Corn from the grocery store or corn that has been sitting in the fridge too long can approximate the texture of fresh sweet corn, maybe, but has nothing on its taste. Chowing down on this ear was like eating a candy bar, with all of the snap and sweetness, only way, way better (for you).
We ended up sauteeing the kernels with double-smoked bacon and coconut oil, and garnished the dish with cilantro, black pepper, and milk from the cob, obtained via Max’s technique – using the back of the knife to scrape and squeeze all that corny goodness out of each ear. The dish was amazing. Even so, I don’t know if I’d trade it for eating corn straight off the cob, utterly raw and crazily sweet (while watching a Top Gear marathon). They were both amazing.
Anyway, we’re heading to the Copley Square Farmer’s Market this afternoon. I’ll probably buy a bag or two of corn, maybe to freeze, maybe for soup, maybe to eat right off the cob. We’ll see! I won’t miss summer, or corn (corn… corn… corn!), at least not for now. Fall brings lots of excitement, even and especially for root crops, which I’m sure I’ll hate by the end of winter. Visit your local market, support your local farmers and gardeners, and they’ll have plenty of sweet corn for you next summer.