Nothing says summer like an ear of fresh corn. In fact, I'm convinced that corn kernels are nothing more than sunshine broken into edible bits.
My corn growing scheme came up short this year. It was my first time trying to plant it in earnest, and I stubbornly refused the advice of all my gardening books and planted it in a long, crooked row. Foolish. The stalks grew straight and green but the ears of corn didn't pollinate. (They don't, since corn is wind pollinated and does better planted in 4' by 4' squares.) So I netted a total of five and a half ears of corn, each with missing and lazily lined-up kernels. Hardly a corn windfall, if you know what I mean. It was a disappointment; I love corn and it doesn't last long around here.
Oh well. I found fresh corn at the farmer's market - 5 ears for $1. Yeah. I blanched six and left them whole, hoping to enjoy them this winter. The rest I cut from the cobs, blanched, and bagged to freeze for winter soups and holiday corn casseroles. (And say what you will, but Rachael Ray's 2-bowl method for cutting corn from the cob is the best. Turn a small bowl upside down in a large bowl, stand the ear of corn upright on the small bowl, and turn the cob as you slice the kernels off, top to bottom. Easy as can be.)
I tossed all the husks and silks into a pail for composting. There's something about watching yesterday's corn waste become today's compost that feeds tomorrow's corn crop that makes me satisfied. Happy, almost. It's nice to see nothing go to waste; to waste not and want not.
Oh. And in case you were wondering, there are many uses for your naked corn cobs. Historically, they were used in outhouses for toilet paper. (Really.) Of course, you could also make corn cob pipes. You could have corn cob fights. You could burn the cobs for fuel, grind them up for feed, or leave them in the garden for organic compost.
Or you can give them to the puppy, who ran off with this one and mauled it so quickly that by the time I got my camera, there wasn't much left of it to snap.
We do love our corn here.
That said, the food preserving will be put on hold for a few days for a quick trip. (I have offers to go to Alaska, central Texas, and Wyoming. Where will I go next?) Enjoy your corn, nature, and sunshine this weekend. -Brin
(Update: advice in the comments says never give your dogs corn cobs as they can choke on them. Millie enjoyed chewing on the cob I gave her yesterday, but she is a puppy and cannot yet chew through it. To play it safe, it is probably best not to give your dogs corn cobs. Oh. And popular opinion is also that the bundt pan method for cutting corn off the cob is the best. I agree. It's just that I know most of my friends, and therefore many readers of this blog, don't own bundt pans. Nearly everyone owns two bowls, though. Use whichever is available and works for you.)