The night before the Soroptimist Club of Tacoma has their scholarship fundraising golf tournament at Oakbrook in Lakewood, the members will gather to shuck a hundred ears of corn for the tournament dinner and auction. Corn on the cob will accompany the meal, which usually includes BBQ ribs and chicken, salad, and apple pie with ice cream. Shucking saves catering money and offers the members a chance to talk over last minute assignments. The corn will be boiled. Corn on the cob has become a yearly tradition for the golf tournament.
Some people cook their roasting ears on the grill; some people microwave the corn still in the husks, some people use pressure cookers, and some people put together a shrimp boil. I just attended a shrimp boil that included good size shrimp, onions, lemons, potatoes, kielbasa, Louisiana hot sausages . . . and corn on the cob. There was melted butter for dipping the shrimp and corn in. There was plenty for each of the nine person dinner party. I confess, I ate more shrimp than I did corn on the cob, but I enjoyed them both.
My parents used to have little corncob handles with metal skewers. You pushed the skewers into each end of the cob so you could daintily hold your corn without getting butter all over your fingers. I still see people using these and I simply shake my head. I hold each end of the cob without the handles, and lick my fingers afterward when no one is looking.
There are many ways to eat corn on the cob. It all depends on the individual. I remember an old Woody Woodpecker cartoon from the 1950s where he ate across the length of the cob and then reset back to where he started, like a typewriter and then start on the next row or rows of kernels. (Millennial explanation: A typewriter is an old mechanical device that pre-dates keyboards.) Some people just bite into the corn here and there, while others have their own methods. I like to rub butter over and around the cob and then sprinkle salt and pepper all around too. I then start at one end and turn the cob and I bite off the kernels and chew as I continue making a full-rotation.
Sometimes I get a little creative and take lime wedges and rub all the kernels down. I still use butter, salt and pepper, however. Mexican-style is another variation. Starting with the lime of course, and butter, but then dust with paprika, chili powder, and a shot or two of hot sauce. If you grate a little Parmesan cheese over the corn you can make an American/Italian/Mexican delight that will highlight any picnic.
Another innovation, which I have not tried, but it’s calling to me is miso corn on the cob. You mix white miso with soft butter and brush it on the ears of corn. You can sprinkle sesame seeds or chia seeds over the corn as well for a little extra crunch.
Peg and I were out in the Puyallup Valley last week and saw acres of corn growing. We just bought two ears of corn for 88 cents, so September looks like a good cheap eats month to me. No matter how you cook it, corn on the cob is delicious.