Saturday, June 11, 2011

Corn on the Cob

Have you ever seen the movie PollyAnna?  It is a Disney movie that was released in 1960 staring Haley Mills about a young girl in a small Iowa town who brings joy and a new outlook to the whole community.  It is a wonderful heartwarming story that Im guessing takes place in the 1920's or 30's.   There is a scene in the movie where the town puts on a "bazaar" to raise money for the town's orphanage.  Several children put on a show, and booths are set up for selling things.  You should see the slice of cake that sells for a dime!  It is huge!  But the thing that caught my attention was the big silver kettle sitting on the fire.  Inside the pot are ears and ears of corn swimming in butter.  The two small stars of the movie walk up and get the corn and start chomping away.  It is as if you could almost taste it yourself!

 I remember when I was younger, going to the farmer's market with my grandmother and getting big brown grocery bags full of corn on the cob then going home to shuck them.  Its a little harder these days to eat corn on the cob, the hulls get caught in between your teeth, so make sure you have dental floss on hand afterwards!

Cooking corn is really easy to do, even a novice in the kitchen can perform this task.  First, you remove the husks and "silk" from the corn and snap off the stalk.  Make sure to wash it to remove any access silk.   Then there are 3 ways to cook it, (4 if you want to grill it) 

This method is good when you are cooking only 2 or 3 ears of corn. If you are cooking more, you should choose one of the other cooking methods or do it in batches in the microwave.

Place the corn in a microwave safe dish and add about 2 Tablespoons of water to the dish.  Cover the dish with plastic wrap, making sure to leave a small opening (a steam vent) in the corner to let the steam escape.
Microwave the corn on high for about 2 minutes - depending on the strength of your microwave.
Carefully remove the plastic wrap from the corn. There will be a lot of very hot steam escaping, so you probably should use a pair of tongs to remove the plastic wrap.

There is another handy way to microwave your corn - in those nice little streamer bags.

Cooking on stove top with cold water:

Place the shucked corn in a large pot. Cover it with COLD tap water. Cover the pot and set it on the stove. Bring the pot to a boil. Once the pot has reached a boil, the corn is cooked.

Cooking on stove top with boiling water:
Fill a large pot half way with COLD water.  There should be enough water in the pot so that when you add the corn, it is covered with water but not overflowing.

Bring the pot of COLD water to a boil. Using a pair of tongs, carefully drop each ear of corn into the pot.  Cover the pot and return the water to a boil.  Boil the corn for 5-7 minutes or until done.

(Granny’s rule – once the water is boiling (generally in three or four pots, kids high tail it into the garden, take two or three good ears, begin shucking and cleaning them, walk into the kitchen and hand to Granny.  She puts them into the water … you get a slice of bread or two, making sure there is lots of butter when the ears are ready.  Roll in buttered bread, season to taste and enjoy!!)

The cooking times listed above are general cooking times. Some people eat corn raw, and some dunk it in boiling water for 30 seconds to just heat it slightly. The simplest answer is to taste the corn to see if it cooked to your liking.  Salt and butter to taste.

On the Grill:
Preheat an outdoor grill for high heat and lightly oil grate.
Peel back corn husks and remove silk. Place 1 tablespoon butter, salt and pepper on each piece of corn. Close husks.

Wrap each ear of corn tightly in aluminum foil. Place on the prepared grill. Cook approximately 30 minutes, turning occasionally, until corn is tender.

So today, on Corn on the Cob day, grab some corn, cook it up, get a copy of Pollyanna and enjoy!

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