T H E J O Y S O F S U M M E R; Corn on the Cob and Fresh Corn and Avocado Salsa!
We waited a whole year for the corn to be ready again! The very best way to eat corn begins with something not everyone has, a garden with corn in it! We grew corn when we lived out in California. . .
Here’s our “corn garden” . . . it’s one thing to tickle the earth with a hoe, as they say, and have corn jump out of the ground, but Martha’s Vineyard (where we are now) is not California — you’re bound to run into trouble here (either too cold, too hot, too humid, too buggie, too rainy, too overcast, too something for unprofessional corn-grower, me, to take a chance and get my heart broken because it was set on a perfect row of corn). But let’s pretend we all have a big garden out there in the sun filled with rows of perfect ripe corn. If we did, and it was August, and the first corn was ripe . . .
. . . we’d fill a big kettle halfway with unsalted water, put the lid on, and bring it to a rolling boil. Then we’d run out to the garden and pick corn (make a little basket out of our apron skirt and fill it with ears), then back to the kitchen, husk it and drop it in the water.
Then all we do is get it piping hot, as vessel for butter; fresh sweet corn doesn’t have to be “cooked” — three minutes in the water is fine; it’s so good you can eat it with nothing on it …. or slather it with plenty of butter, salt, and pepper.
My dad especially loves sweet corn — he taught us to look for the whitest corn with small tight kernels, the kind that pops off the ear into your mouth. It’s dreamy, if you can find it, your eyes roll back in your head. I can still see all of us around our picnic table in the back yard, my four brothers, just out of the pool, barefooted, brown, and shirtless, my sisters in pink bathing suits with ruffled bottoms, corn kernels stuck to chins, butter rolling off fingers, and my dad, happy as a clam, at the head of the table, saying to my mother, “Pat, it’s so sweet, isn’t it sweet kids?” He LOVES corn season.
There are all kinds of recipes some people think are “improvements” to the corn; lime butter, jalapeno butter, garlic butter, or Parmesan cheese . . . I would definitely eat that if someone served it to me, but at home, we stick to the basics. Perfect is perfect enough for us. Since not all of us can grow it, fresh corn from roadside stands or farmer’s markets is the way to go and worth the trip. While you’re at it, make a few extra ears. . .
. . . the next day cut the corn off the cob (really easy to do, wide bowl, sharp knife) and make this quick fresh salsa to serve with lime tortilla chips and a salty Margarita one of these lazy hazy days of August.
C A L I F O R N I A C O R N S A L S A
- Kernels cut off of 3 ears of fresh corn (cooked or raw)
- 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 1/4 c. red onion, minced
- 1 ripe, bumpy-skinned avocado, cubed
- juice of one juicy lime
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 tsp. chili powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 c. cilantro (or to taste)
Put first four ingredients into a bowl. Combine lime juice, olive oil, chili powder and salt, and pour over the corn. Add the cilantro, gently toss. Watch out, it’s slightly dangerous; what sometimes happens when you eat this, is THIS: 🙂
Good morning Susan! I just got back from a fresh vegetable stand where I purchased two dozen ears of New Jersey sweetcorn! Were you reading my mind? LOL! Now I have a recipe for all the corn! Welcome back home! enjoy the Fourth of July!
PS I can tell your Internet connection is zooming! 😉 Mo more 15 minutes to load up your pictures!!!
SO exciting! My only problem now is, what to blog first? Too many good things and SO HARD to pick ONE!! That’s what’s slowing me down now!
Aiyayaya! Can hardly wait to try this recipe! Thanks! xo
You watched the video! 🙂
is your corn GMO?….this worries me, as there appears to be no regulation to keep corn, wheat, soy & vegetables “natural”.
This worries me…..so hope your lovely recipes encourage “Organic” to keep consumers healthy.
Honestly, I don’t believe there is anything organic about corn anymore. I think even the seed has been corrupted. I hope people know. But once a year, fresh corn is just a must on my summer to-do list. You are right, no regulation = very very unfortunate for the world, but big money maker for monsanto. or someone like that. Thank you Veronicka.
Indiana corn is the sweetest! 😉
Nothing better than fresh sweet corn on the cob with butter and salt! Heavenly.
You’ve mentioned Iowa in your books- the way you are describing your father’s love of corn it sounds like he might be the one with roots here!
My dad’s roots are in corn, my mom’s are in Iowa! 🙂
Thank you for the recipe! Your posts, your products always bring to my happy place. They just make life sweeter, thank you! The video was hilarious too!
Thanks so much Tiany!
Susan I can’t wait to give this recipe a try. I adore cilantro and I’m drooling all over the key board as I read the ingredients 🙂 If you are ever in Western Colorado from late July thru August, come stay with us and I’ll feed you the best sweet corn ever! – Olathe Sweet Corn – It is grown in a small town just south of us and shipped all over Colorado and Utha. Can’t wait to put it together with your recipe! Thanks for sharing with us.
I have spent the week-end enjoying England through the pages of your book. Now it’s on to corn!!! I’m with you. Simple is best.
This sounds so yummy. I must try it. Thank you Susan.
Oh Susan..last is first…first is last…lol First I love the end of this post!! So funny!! Of course we LOVE sweet corn here in Iowa! Our farmer brought us some the other day! Yumm nothing like it! And it was just like your dad likes…small kernels and especially great while slathered with butter (with salt and pepper!)… I know he would enjoy it! smile.. My folks use to raise and sell sweet corn every summer! Everyone remembers Mom sitting out in the front yard selling it! And she would sell it for $1.00 a dozen!!! So every time I see corn for up to $6.00 a dozen, I think my Mom would freak out!! Lol
She would Gert!
Must go get some corn on the cob today. I tried something I saw on the internet to husk corn, and it worked amazingly well. I microwaved them. It was about 2 minutes per ear and the husk and ALL the silk fell right off, but the kernels were still hard and uncooked.
I have been spending my evenings reading “A Fine Romance” not wanting to put it down, but not wanting it to end. I followed your blog during the trip, and while you were writing it so It felt like an old friend coming to the door. Thank you for everything you do.
Thank you Lee, and for the corn tip!
Susan, I have been in Chattanooga, getting my son packed for California and his new job with the Bodie Hills Conservation Partnership but I go home tomorrow to my own kitchen and your cookbooks (all of them!). I will get fresh corn at the North Myrtle Beach farmer’s market, rush home and cook me some “yellow gold!” Thank you for your instructions! Luvya, Barbara
You’re welcome! Best of luck to your son!
Our Jersey corn is delicious but we recently went all the way to the Hometown (PA) farmers market and bought Silver King ($2.50/dz) straight off the farm and it’s the best! Ayyiyiyiyi!! I’m thinking the big, fat kernels would make a fantastic salsa too. I’m loving reading your book at the end of the day when all the chores are done and its quiet time. I remember all the pictures from your blog and it feels so familar with the added plus of the extended commentary. You did a FAN-TAS-TIC job Kiddo. This is going to be a permanent addition to my home library. Hugs from NJ.
Love to hear it Carol!
I’m hoping you get notice of new questions because this post is old but it’s about corn. I want to make your Corn Salad from your “The Summer Book” but I’m not sure about the direction to cut corn and steam in a couple inches of water. Does that mean use a steamer above simmering water or does it mean put the corn inside the water and ‘cook’ for a few minutes. Thank you for any Sunday morning cooking lessons. A faithful friend.
No problem, it means to cut off the corn and put it in a quarter cup of water and bring to a boil and stir it a bit ~ really all I do now is make it hot and drain any leftover water . . . you want to keep the crunch but slightly cook it to take off the “raw.” Does that make sense?
Thanks SB. It now makes perfect sense. Recipe sounds delicious.