Macho Guy returned home wide-eyed with excitement from golf the other day. He was so ecstatic, I thought he was about to tell me that he made a hole in one. Nope. It was something far more important and life altering.
While driving in to the course, one of MG’s golfing buddies saw a sign outside Reese Farms, the growers of the best “peaches and cream” sweet corn in the area. Nearly drooling, all aglow with barely controlled glee, MG announced that the sweet corn is in! The roadside stand is open for business! We have to drive over there now, now, now, before they sell out!
I’m surprised he played golf and came home first instead of going straight to Reese Farms. MG is a man of the Midwest, Iowa to be precise. In Iowa, freshly picked corn on the cob is the acknowledged food of the gods. During corn season, bacon and ham run a distant second and third at best. The hogs are thrilled about this.
MG usually chows down three or four ears of corn to my one. I once observed him devour a half dozen. He inhales corn on the cob in much the same way I put away pasta, and this descendent of Sicilian peasants can seriously put away the pasta.
We peeled out of the driveway in our old Mustang convertible and zoomed down the scenic back roads to Reese Farms. MG was intent on getting there as fast as possible even if it meant exceeding the posted speed limit, which he did of course. I was intent on watching for Sheriff’s Deputies on patrol.
We arrived at Reese Farms to discover automobiles lined up in the parking area waiting for a space. MG panicked momentarily, fearing there would be no corn left for him, but when he noticed the sacks of corn piled high on the roadside stand’s counter, he breathed a sigh of relief.
The driver of the car behind us honked his horn at us. That riled MG because we were stuck in line and couldn’t move, but then he recognized the driver as one of his golf buddies. Another golf buddy was in line behind the first. The three converged and performed a ritual homage to the corn god, or maybe they just shook hands and patted each other on the back. I’m not sure. The three came away from the stand, eyes burning with corn lust, holding a sack of corn in each hand.
I wondered how we would manage to eat two-dozen ears of corn before they began to age and turn woody. As it turned out, there were 18 ears in each sack. That really had me worried, but my concern was unnecessary. In his buoyant mood, MG grabbed an extra sack so we might share our bounty with our neighbor. What a guy!
Back home again, MG lost no time in shucking six ears while I set the pot of water on to boil. [I cheat, by the way. I add sugar to the water so the corn is sweet no matter what.]
Since the corn on the cob would be the main course, the “go with” was inconsequential. In the interest of speed, I slapped together a couple of BLT sandwiches, put out pickles and olives, a shaker of salt, a stick of butter, a basting brush to slather butter on the corn, and corn holders to spare our fingertips from the piping hot corn cobs.
We got down to the business of making short work of dinner, especially the sweet corn. I made certain that my hands never got between MG and the corn platter. [I needed them in working order to be able to write this post.] I must confess that our table manners were atrocious. Both of us ate with our elbows propped on the table—unapologetically—while we gnawed on the corncobs.
It would have been so generous and understanding of Emily Post to grant an exemption to that elbows off the table rule of etiquette when eating corn on the cob. Maybe she might have if she had been born in Iowa instead of Baltimore, Maryland.
Fortunately, Schnoodle Dog was the only witness to our disgraceful exhibition—which we repeated shamelessly two nights in a row. Unlike Duke, the Bush’s Baked Beans dog in the commercials, Schnoodle Dog does not tell tales or give away family secrets. You have to love a dog that goes the extra mile to protect the reputations of his pet people. #sweetcorn #cornonthecob #Iowa #etiquette #EmilyPost