FOLLOW
WDC ON
INSTAGRAM

We post new recipes and tips regularly each week, so keep updated and don’t forget share your food with us!

#whatdadcooked

Sweet Corn Memories

Posted by

Californian Corn

As an American family, we have always associated sweetcorn with ‘corn on the cob’, or ‘corn’. We did not know corn as ‘sweetcorn’ as it is commonly known in Britain. We grew up during the 60’s in Southern California. It was a time when most of the local land was still in arable use; land which was not growing oranges, would be growing corn. We’d enjoy watching the tender young corn plants growing. Corn was planted in spring and the common wisdom was that it should be knee-high by the 4th of July. Modern genetics and growing practices probably make this advice obsolete –what is certainly true, is that at the end of the summer mature corn will tower above a tall man’s head.

Our hometown cornfields would always sell some of their harvest in roadside shacks – we’d often stop in the car and buy a dozen freshly picked ears for dinner. The corn would be shucked, cooked simply, piled high and smothered with melted butter. We’d pierce our cobs with corncob skewers – or just grab them with our bare hands – and chomp away at the precious kernels.

In the valley of the green giant

In those days, corporate America was busy processing all kinds of food into convenience products: including corn. One company’s mascot, the ‘jolly green giant’, supervised the harvesting and processing of ‘his’ valley’s golden cobs into canned ‘niblets’. What a shame we would think, why would you eat corn from a tin when you can eat it fresh on the cob? Having had such an abundance of fresh corn on our doorstep, our family became rather fussy about corn: we’d scoff at tinned corn, we’d turn away at frozen corn; we’d thank the host, but decline the corn and tuna pasta salad; and if we ever saw corn on a pizza – well, that was just silly!

The lure of cornfields

Anybody unfamiliar with cornfields should go on a trip to a pick-your-own farm. There they can experience first-hand the strange wonder of being inside an actual cornfield. These days, we like to take our grandchildren to pick corn. Children are fascinated by the treaded-down paths and secluded dens and hideouts and they’re intrigued to learn how nature creates such amazing food. To a child, pick-your-own becomes a daytime version of trick-or-treat as they walk from plant to plant filling their bags with ‘harvested’ goodies.

For an adult there’s plenty to admire in a cornfield, but there’s also an eerie spookiness about corn; its height and density can be unsettling; the repetitiveness of the plants can be mesmerizing; and for the greenhorn seeking the perfect cob, the corn will goad and taunt the unwary picker deeper into the field. A combination of these factors might lead to a moment of panic, when a little-one suddenly slips from the hand and disappears into the green abyss.  As adults hurriedly shuffle up and down the endless furrows calling out the little-one’s name, the cornfield darkens into a mischievous labyrinth, conspiring to ensnare and hide its prey. It’s no wonder cornfields feature in so many horror films.

But, of course, the little-ones are safe and sound – and we head home with our bags full of bounty, just as we did in the old days… The corn would be shucked, cooked simply, piled high and smothered with melted butter. What better way to eat corn?

 

 

Tags:

Post a Comment

To Confit or Not to Confit

How can we say we’re ‘worth our salt’ unless we’ve submitted to the mysteries and heartaches of the confit and lived to tell the tale?

Continue reading

Sweet Corn Memories

Growing up in Southern California in the 60s, our family was fussy about its corn…

Continue reading

Notes on Quick and Easy Cooking

I’ve recently posted a series of ‘quick and easy’ 30 minute recipes which have unexpectedly made me think again about the hyped-up online food industry – and my own cooking.

Continue reading

British Pie Banquet at The Thomas Cubitt

In case you didn’t know, this week is ‘British Pie Week’ – a fact that might have inspired The Tomas Cubitt gastro-pub to celebrate by hosting a British ‘Pie Banquet’ earlier in the week.

Continue reading

Pass the Gravy Please!

Gravy is a perfect sauce; meaty, smooth, stimulating to the palate – and it makes our food taste better.

Continue reading

Annatto, the Most Versatile – and Unknown – Seed in the World

Annatto is a jewel of a seed. It’s used for just about everything and red as red can be…

Continue reading

Why a foodie should walk down… Clerkenwell Road

Clerkenwell Road is part of a route linking east and west London, yet with its quiet passages and historic square it has the character of an intimate neighbourhood. It’s also home to a variety of foodie venues serving Clerkenwell’s creative community. Here’s some of our favourites.

Continue reading

Why Has Pho Become So Popular?

Vietnamese market stalls and restaurants are cropping up everywhere – and with them the hugely popular pho soup.

Continue reading

And what, exactly, are you supposed to do with a thousand-year-old egg?

This was one of many questions I had on my mind during my latest foray into London for January’s Time Out article.

Continue reading

Ode to an Omelette Pan

Those of a certain age will remember the post-Elizabeth David halcyon days of home gastronomy…

Continue reading

Foodies100 Index of UK Food Blogs
Foodies100


Copyright © 2017. All rights reserved. Recipes and photos created by Mr. WDC.