Culinary Corner

Oh shucks, let’s eat some corn

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Welcome to my little corner of culinary delights.  I shall give you some very easy recipes on which you can practice.

The way I like to cook my corn on the cob is with them still in their husks but with the end of the corn at the base removed (the stim end and not the silk end).  I use a heavy-duty chef’s knife or smallish clever.  Place the corn into a stock pot or Dutch oven with sufficient water.  Add one tablespoon of sugar per gallon of water.  If hard water is being used, add a tablespoon of distilled vinegar as well.  In cooking, it is always best to use hard water notwithstanding is potential problems.  Do not add salt!  The salt will toughen the crenels.  Bring this to a rolling boil.  Reduce to a strong simmer.  Continue cooking for two minutes uncovered.  Remove from heat and let stand covered for ten minutes.  Now comes the fun part.

The husks hold in the flavor.  The boiling action helps to loosen the silks.  Drain the water off and spray with cool water enough to handle the ears.  Recall that the butt end of the ear was initially cutoff?  Hold the ear of corn in one hand with a protective glove.  Stick a kitchen fork well into the exposed end of the cob.  Twist to loosen the ear from the husks.  Continue twisting to gently extract the ear from the husks.  In one motion, you have shucked and desilked the ear of corn.  Think of the time saved.  There might be a few stragglers needing attention.  Do not be afraid of leaving a few silks attached.  The removal of silks is mainly for aesthetics.

I learned this next wonderful side dish from my maternal grandmother.  She was raised on the farm and became a farmer’s wife.  She had a hard life but a loving disposition.  This casserole always went over well at potlucks.

You can always make your own creamed corn.  I prefer the easy way if only a small amount is needed.  Purchase a few cans of creamed corn.  Do not drain any liquid from the corn.  You will also need some unsalted crackers.  I crumble my crackers as I go along so as to not waste any.  Recall from a previous article of mine how to use waxed paper and your fingers to produce medium flakes.  Spread a thin layer of flakes onto the bottom of a greased baking bowl.  On top of that, pour in creamed corn an inch or so thick.  Sprinkle a little bit of sugar over that and a pinch of salt.  Repeat for another layer starting with the cracker flacks and ending with them for the top.  Dot the top with butter.  Insert a teaspoon down the sides in six or eight places.  Pour milk into each cavity.  Bake at 350°F until bubbly and golden brown on top.  Enjoy.

Until next time, peace to all.