Sunday, August 30, 2015

Children of the Corn (New Jersey)

I spent a good amount of my summer childhood in Jersey shucking corn. All year long we waited for our famous, “Jersey sweet corn” to arrive, so almost every night, my mom would hand me a paper bag to take outside and shuck however many ears we needed.

The problem was, in the Jersey humidity, that corn silk would stick to every inch of you. It was like being covered in a head of fine hair that would inevitably get in the mouth, all over the legs, and usually a good amount would still be on the corn.

But I just recently found out the most amazing trick EVER!!!

1) Take the corn, still in its husk, and put it in the microwave - four minutes an ear.

2) Remove from the microwave and cut about an inch off the fat end with a sharp knife.

3) Squeeze from the skinny end and the ear shoots out without any hair on it!!

The heat must bring the fibers together, creating some type of slippery, silky net that allows the corn to slide out completely bald! I can’t imagine how many hours this could have saved me as a kid.

But then again…

There was something about having to help out with the meal and work a little for your food that was character building. Those times where I sat covered in corn weave were also peaceful, thoughtful moments; calming and methodical; comforting in the sounds that went along with the job - the freeing pop when pulling the husk away from the cob, the white noise of traffic; the blinking, neon flashes of the evening's first lightening bugs. I wouldn’t take that away from them….every kid should give a shuck.

But as for us adults – use the microwave! It’s a lifesaver.

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