sweet corn is quite possibly my favorite thing about summertime. so many memories come to mind when peeling back the tough outer husks and patiently removing every last stand of silk from the the fresh ears. i remember sitting in the hammock in the back yard at pleasant meadow road husking corn nearly every night. my brother and i would break off the very tip and throw it into the yard for our black lab charsie to fetch and devour.
i remember 3 painful summers of having to cut it off the cob due to braces while knowing corn just tastes better on the cob. there is something about the sweet corn, rolled in butter, and sprinkled with salt that takes me back. i still remember that first ear of corn i ate the summer i had my braces removed. it tasted better than my thirteen year old self had remembered.
i remember my grandfather yelling at perhaps my 6 or 7 year old self for rolling my corn in the stick of butter on the table. our more relaxed dinner table at home may have allowed such actions, but at my grandfather's long formal dining table this was frowned upon more than elbows on the table or your napkin any place other than your lap. needless to say, i only made that mistake once. something tells me my mother may have gotten the brunt of that "talking to". lord only knows how she could allow her daughter to do such a thing.
while husking corn on our deck the other night i could almost smell the freshly cut grass as i thought back to riding in my parents emerald green '66 jeep CJ3 with a 3 speed on the floor. my brother and i usually sat on the carpeted benches in the back. with the top off, i can practically feel my pony tail whipping my face as the wind swirls through my hair. we would ride down the road to james' farm and walk through the field to pick sweet corn just before dinner. it doesn't get fresher than that. i know i'm lucky. few people can say they have eaten corn that freshly picked.
i like my corn young, with small, sweet kernels, just barely cooked. once the water comes to a boil - exactly three minutes, just like my mother made it. i pile it on a platter and keep it covered with a tea towel just as she did too - corn is best enjoyed warm after-all, with the butter dripping off. i still love my corn blanched but i also like it grilled.
the taste of smokey charcoal nearly caramelizes the corn pairs nicely with lime butter or a sprinkle of old bay. my perfect summer dinner is freshly steamed maryland blue crabs, an ice cold beer, and a pile of grilled sweet corn - kept warm by a tea towel of course - that's maryland for you and that's what i call home.
Grilled Maryland Sweet Corn
serves 2 hungry adults
4 un-husked ears of young, fresh sweet corn
on a hot charcoal grill (usually while something else is cooking in the center) place un-husked corn on the outermost edges of the grill. turning every 5 so minutes or so, cook for 10-15 minutes. remove corn and pull off husks and silk. place back on hottest part of the grill for a few seconds on all sides to give it some grill marks and flavor. remove and place on plate and cover with tea towel until ready to serve.
roll in stick of cold, salted butter and sprinkle all over with salt and old bay. enjoy!