Monday, August 4, 2014

The Best Corn on the Cob

I made a trip to my local farm stand the other day. I am really lucky that I live in an area where a lot of local growers will just set up stands by the side of the road and sell whatever they have growing in their gardens. We have also have quite a few local farm stands that are really close by too.  My dad likes to prowl them daily on his way home from work - and the other day he called and said the first of the local corn was ON! 

The little kids and I jumped in the car immediately.  I love fresh corn on the cob, I think preparing and eating it is a really fun experience and I was really excited to share it with my little ones. 

One of the best things you can do to help introduce your kids to fruits and vegetables is to teach them where they come from. We have a corn field that we drive by often and we have been watching the stalks grow taller and taller since the farmer used his tractor and planted the seeds.  

We stood on the pallets and looked into the big cardboard bins and saw all the green ears. My 5 year old was really confused - This is corn?! He says. We picked out some that looked really good. 

When buying corn at the market, the husks (outer green covering) should be bright green and fit snugly around the ear of corn. The kernels should be in tight rows right to the tip of the ear of corn, and be plump and milky.

In the grocery store, it is perfectly acceptable (well maybe a little frowned on) to peel back the outer green husk to check and see if the corn looks ok to you.

For maximum freshness, husk the corn just before cooking. When ready to cook your corn on the cob, pull all the husks off of the corn and discard. Remove silk (the white hairy threads just under the husk) from the corn and discard. TIP: To help remove the silk, wet a paper towel and wipe down the corn.

Choose a pot large enough to hold the amount of corn you want to cook, with room for water to cover the corn. Cover pot and bring cold unsalted water just to a boil on high heat. Some people like to add a little sugar to the boiling water, but never add salt as it will only toughen the corn.

Add husked corn ears and bring the water back to a boil on high heat (covered or not). Since corn tends to float on top of the water, I cover the pot. This helps the water come back to a boil faster and helps the corn cook. It will take approximately 3 to 4 minutes to bring the water back to a boil. Once water comes back to a boil, immediately remove the corn ears from the water. The corn is now cooked perfectly and NOT overcooked.

Boiling time is a matter of taste; some people like to just boil them a minute or two to warm their corn on the cob, leaving the kernels crisp and fresh. Others like to let them boil 3 to 10 minutes for softer kernels. How long you cook your corn on the cob depends on your tastes.

 Enjoy your corn, We sure did. The kids are already asking to go back and get more. And I was specifically instructed that next time everybody needed at least two pieces of corn on the cob to eat.