August 5, 2010

Corn, Corn, Corn {Webisode #35}

What’s Going on Today: Spending a week in Cooperstown, trip to the farmer’s market, morning at the lake.
Naptime Goals: Shuck corn for boiling, spend time in the garden reading.
Tonight’s Menu: Grilled corn, grilled sausage, tomatoes with cucumbers.
Parenting Lesson of the Day: Ironically, children seem to sleep better when they’re on vacation.

Growing up in the heart of upstate NY corn country has made me a bit of a corn snob. I refuse to eat corn that is shrink-wrapped in the grocery store or, likewise, is sold in cans filled with wet goo. I like my ears fresh off the stalk, or not at all. For six weeks each year I eat it practically every night and still find myself wishing the season would never end. I can’t remember a summer I haven’t had it, and hope I never do.

I am in Cooperstown on vacation right now and, as you’ll see, I’ve been snapping up corn at the farmer’s market left and right. The corn in this region is so sweet and tasty this year it could almost be served for dessert. There are two ways I like to cook corn and I’ve filmed them both here. The boiling method is easy and delivers guaranteed results. The grilling method is slightly more involved, but gives each ear a slightly smokey caramelized flavor I find irresistible.

Since many hands make light work I’ve been spending less time cooking dinner during my visit. Instead, my parents and I split responsibilities, each working on one portion of the meal. Corn is great to be in charge of because it barely requires any attention. Even during naptime the most work I put into it is shucking the stalks or putting them in water to soak. The rest of my free time is spent catching up with friends and family and enjoying the garden. Which is exactly what summer vacation should be.

Corn, Two Ways

Boiling Corn: Shuck the ears of corn and remove all the silk. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook for 7 minutes. Start timing the cooking AFTER the water has returned to a boil. Remove from pot with a pair of tongs and serve hot with lots of butter.

Grilling Corn: Remove silk from the tips of corn. Fill a large pot or sink basin with cool water and soak corn for 20-30 minutes. Heat a grill to medium flame. Remove the corn from the water and shake the excess water off, but don’t dry it with a towel. Place wet corn on the grill and turn it occasionally for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, pull off husks and serve hot with lots of butter.

Naptime Notes:
Naptime Recipe Ideas: Flavored butters are delicious with corn. Alternatively, take the corn off the stalk and use it for corn salad.
Naptime Stopwatch: The boiling method takes approximately 20 minutes from start to finish (including shucking time) and the grilling method takes 40 minutes (including soaking time).
Naptime Reviews: We like the grilling method for the added flavor, but the boiling method works beautifully on days when we don’t turn on the grill.