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The ecstasy of fresh corn  

June 25, 2011

My neighbor, Brenda, has introduced me to a new way of living that has enriched my life – and possibly my cholesterol.
On a certain Saturday in June, her entire family rises at the crack of dawn and heads out to a small farm in Oktibbeha County to pick corn.  Actually, she corrected me, the technical term is “pulling” corn.
You can't imagine the haul she brought home just in time for lunch.   The back of her SUV was filled with corn and every pot and pan in the kitchen was brimming with the sweet young ears – so tender, you could eat them raw, right off the cob.
Never mind that she had been in the corn field since dawn, she didn’t have a right to look so good – sans make-up and all. People who can pull that off really tick me off!
But there she was – fresh as a daisy, standing over the kitchen sink with a big smile on her face, silking and blanching.  This was the day she both dreads and looks forward to all year long.
She had three eyes on the stove bubbling with huge pots, and her husband, David, revved up the fish cooker outside.  By three o’clock, she had blanched and packed away a minimum of 30 gallons of corn in her freezer.
I had to go buy her more freezer bags to get my cut.  I boiled up four ears I expected to last me until Monday.  I ate all four and was tempted to cook some more. 
You cannot believe how tender and flavorful corn right off the stalk tastes.  No wonder, I’ve never cared for corn.  Mine always came out of a can or those chewy frozen niblets from the freezer section at Kroger.  No contest.
Brenda even introduced me to a new way of eating corn which is well on its way to becoming an addiction. She spreads it with Hellman’s Mayonnaise. Oh man. I think I died and went to heaven.  Of course, real butter is always acceptable, but try the mayo trick.  It’s a keeper.
The bottom line is that I think it’s a travesty that one single ear of corn should be dedicated to making ethanol for fuel for our vehicles.  Anyone supporting that idea, has never had one of Brenda’s ears of corn, which were waving at her from atop a corn stalk at dawn and bubbling in the kettle at lunch.
Now, that’s what will keep your tank humming joyfully!

Emily Jones is a retired journalist who edits a website for bouncing baby boomers facing retirement.  She welcomes comments at

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