Two-year-old Gates Griffin concentrates on shucking an ear of corn Monday at the Hitching Lot Farmers’ Market. Gates’ parents are Mitch and Leigh Griffin of Columbus. Phil Lancaster of Hamilton grew the corn. Photo by: Luisa Porter/Dispatch Staff
August 13, 2014 10:36:55 AM
My memories of my Granddaddy and Grandmama West's farm in Pontotoc are few and precious. I was very young when Granddaddy died and his beloved Minnie moved back to Memphis, leaving behind the rural peace they had enjoyed together. Among my vivid childhood recollections is Granddaddy tending his garden and Grandmama making butter in a sturdy wooden churn. His corn and her butter were an outstanding combination. When I see fresh corn on the cob, it often reminds me of the Pontotoc years.
The delicious simplicity of hot corn drizzled with melted butter and seasoned with a bit of salt is hard to improve on. But it pays to venture outside the box.
A few weeks ago, I received a text from my son, who is living in North Carolina. He'd just been to a cookout. "Corn on the cob with mayo, salt and pepper. Try it! It will change your life." While life-changing powers remain to be proven, the idea of shaking things up from time to time appeals. To that end, Alison Ladman, recipe developer and tester for the Associated Press, has come up with 10 creative flavorings to knock corn out of the ballpark.
As mouth-watering as Ladman's flavorings sound, she also reminds us that corn doesn't have to be cooked to be good.
"Raw corn eaten right off the cob is easily one of the freshest, sweetest ways to capture the taste of summer," she said. "And adding raw corn kernels is an easy way to push just about any salad over the top."
The best way to cut kernels from an ear of corn - cooked or otherwise - is to stand each ear on its wide end on a cutting board, Ladman said. Then use a serrated to knife to saw down the side of the cob, cutting just deep enough to slice off the kernels. Rotate the cob and saw down again, repeating until all of the kernels are removed.
However you prefer your corn, take advantage of the fresh ears coming in to farmers' markets now. Try out some of Ladman's suggestions for variety. You don't even have to churn your own butter.
Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.