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~ The Corn Chronicles: Perfect Corn on the Cob ~

The Corn Chronicles #1What a wonderful gift the Native Americans gave to the world.  Everything on the corn plant can be used:  the husks for tamales, the silks for tea, the kernels for food and the stalks for fodder.  Modern day horticulturists developed our two most popular varieties: white (Country Gentleman) and yellow (Golden Bantam).  White corn kernels are smaller and sweeter.  Yellow corn kernels are larger and fuller-flavored.  The hybrid (Butter & Sugar Corn) produces ears speckled with both yellow and white kernels:  Corn Chronicles #5

Almost nothing beats a serving of fresh, steaming corn on the cob lacquered with sweet cream butter and sprinkled with salt.  Here in our beautiful and scenic "rolling hills of Pennsylvania", cornfields, miles of them, are a very common sight.  Sweet corn, hands down, is my family's favorite choice as a summer vegetable.  Unfortunately, corn has a relatively short season... not being at its peak until late July or August and past its prime by Labor Day.  As soon as it is picked, the corn's sugar immediately begins to convert to starch, which lessens its natural sweetness.  Therefore, it is important to buy corn as soon after it is picked as possible.  Corn connoisseurs claim to be able to tell immediately if corn has not been cooked the same day it has been picked!

 Selecting corn to eat is not a tricky business once you know what you are looking for:

Corn Chronicles #7 Choose ears that are bright green with snugly fitting husks and golden brown silk.  Gently strip/peel back a small portion of the outer husk.  The kernels should be plump and the rows should be tightly spaced. 

Pierce down into a kernel with your thumbnail.  If the kernal squirts a wet, milky juice, the corn is young, tender and ready to cook and eat.

To cook the corn you will need:


6-8  freshly picked, carefully selected, cobs of corn

2-4  tablespoons sugar

8  tablespoons salted butter

salt to taste

Strip away the husks and carefully remove the silks from each cob of corn (discard or compost the husks and silks).  In stockpot, bring 5 quarts of water to a rolling boil over high heat.  Add the sugar.  Ease the corn cobs, one at a time, into the pot of boiling water.  After the last cob has been added and the water has returned to a rolling boil, cover and cook for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and drain thoroughly.  Return corn to still warm stockpot and add the butter.  Cover and allow the butter to melt, about 2-3 minutes.  Give the pot a few gentle tosses to coat the corn in the butter.  Serve immediately with salt to taste!

Corn Chronicles #2                                                                                                                                                                                                           The Corn Chronicles:  Perfect Corn on the Cob:  Recipe yields 6-8 perfectly cooked cobs of buttered corn.

Special Equipment List:  8-quart stockpot w/lid; colander

Cook's Note:  Perfect corn on the cob can be prepared in large batches, shaved from the cob and used in many recipes, which I will be sharing with you! 

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2010)


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