FYI about Corn (and “what on earth was I thinking?”)


Katherine adores corn on the cob and will transport into paroxysms of delight at being told she can have some. Ordinary corn is pretty good, too, but there’s something special about corn on the cob that elevates it to a higher plane of satisfaction in the realm of kid-dom. Katherine refers to corn on the cob as “corn bones”, to distinguish this manifestation of the vegetable from the niblet variety.

Autumn is a very special time of year, as we regularly head out to Lester’s Farm (Brookfield Road, St. John’s, Newfoundland) and get dozens of ears of fresh corn. Why, you ask yourself, am I telling you this in April? Well, because we also learned from the kind folks at the farm that ears of corn freeze well. You simply leave them in their husks and thrown them into bags and freeze. We bought several dozen ears, froze them in bags of six and have been eating them all winter. After some experimentation, I discovered that boiling them is really the best way to bring them back to warmth. Other ways seem not to penetrate the cob fully, so you’re left with uneven cooking. Boiling does the trick nicely in a rather short time. The resulting corn isn’t at all mushy, either, and tastes fabulous.

Anyway, we were having a right old scoff of corn bones yesterday for supper when Katherine picked up a bit of the silken strands from the cob.

“What are these?” she asked quizzically.

“Corn silk,” replied her father automatically.

“P-orn* silk,” I replied simultaneously.

Katherine looked from one to the other of us dubiously as we looked at each other and then decided which of us was less likely to be pulling one over.

“Right,” she said. “Corn silk.”

My credibility, apparently, ranks below that of a lawyer. What a dismal thought.

* In my defence, I was actually about to say, “put it on your plate and I’ll deal with it later,” hence the p-orn. Really.


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