At this time of year, you’re likely to find roadside stands that sell nothing but sweet corn. Big wagons are piled high with irresistible ears that lure drivers to pull over to the side of the road. “How many do you want?” asked the girl at a local stop I made. Without any children left in the nest, I figured I would purchase conservatively and asked for six ears. As the girl began to shove the corn into the plastic bag, a few other customers arrived. She continued to pack corn into bags, doling out 10 dozen for one lady and 12 dozen for the other. Eventually, she looked in my direction and asked, “you did say six, right?” It suddenly dawned on me. She was packing six-dozen ears of corn!
What do you do when life hands you six-dozen ears of corn? Eat it as fast as you can. Corn is at its sweetest and most delicate within 24-hours of picking. Following that period, the sugars begin to convert to starch and the sweetness begins to fade. When fresh corn is in season, I prefer not to add salt to the boiling water because it can cause the corn to harden and lose flavour. Instead, try cooking your corn in slightly sweetened water.
One alternative to boiling corn is to cook it on the grill. Pull the husks back on each ear, but don’t rip them off. Strip off the silk and spread soft butter over the raw kernels. Finally, place the husks back over each cob. Grill them for about seven to 10 minutes, and be sure to turn them often. Serve the corn by pulling back the husks and sprinkling the cooked kernels with a little salt. The result is an indulgent but extraordinary treat!
Corn is a great summer veggie for kids because it’s one of nature’s finger foods. It’s also sweet and delicious. Who wouldn’t want to devour that fresh, golden, sweet corn, glazed with butter and a sprinkling of salt?
I didn’t quite get through my 6-dozen ears of corn, but there’s an easy solution to leftovers: blanch the cobs and slice off the kernels. Blanching first “sets” the corn milk so it doesn’t spurt when you scrape the kernels off the cob. Hold the ear end up on a plate, and cut down each cob, removing a few rows at a time. The corn is now ready to store in the fridge for a while or freeze, for use in salads or other dishes.
Sweet corn is one of my favourite summer vegetables, and it’s in season from the end of July to the end of September. Enjoy it by the dozens!
Lynn Ogryzlo is an international award winning food writer and Ontario’s Local Food Ambassador. You can reach Lynn for questions or comments at lynnogryzlo.com
by Lynn Ogryzlo
R Family Farm
3560 3 Line, Cookstown
U-pick also available
Hewitts Farm Market
3331 Townline Road, Coldwater
Corn Stands Throughout Barrie, Orillia, Midland & Bracebridge
3216 George Johnston Road, Minesing
Open June through October
Brown’s Sweet Corn and Pumpkin Farm
1809 County Road 93, Barrie
Corn till the end of September, October Weekends for Pumpkins
617 Penetanguishene Road, Barrie
Pumpkin festival & Haunted Barn