Corn Season

Our first local corn of the season
At last, local fresh corn is available.  I'm not a corn snob, but I can't bring myself to eat corn out of season.  It's just too good when it's fresh, I'm not willing to compromise.  I see some at the grocery store during the winter and spring, but they have a taste I don't love - starchy and old.  For me, corn needs to be picked that morning and enjoyed before the sun sets.  It may sound a bit fanatical, but Eastern Ontario has some truly stellar corn.  My favourite being available from Hudson's Farm stand located at Panmure on Upper Dwyer Hill Road and at a farm stand beside the Almonte Fitness Centre.  They rotate their varieties every week or so - giving me the opportunity to try types I have never heard of.

I was truly giddy on Sunday when we were returning from a delicious brunch, to see that the stand was up.  I am faithful to my favourites.  Now, all that was remaining was choosing some yummy summery type dinner thingys to go with the corn. (Did you like how I used my big girl words there?).

My real delight was in knowing that stashed in my freezer, was a jar of ramp butter, which I prepared back in the spring - with corn season in mind.  Because I only eat corn on the cob between July and September, it is worth preparing and stashing this pot of emerald goodness, to be enjoyed right now.  When you smell ramp butter, you might imagine that it would overpower the delicate flavours of the corn - au contraire.  It adds an earthy depth of flavour that may be somewhat unexpected.  A few grinds of salt and we're good to go (I make the ramp butter with unsalted butter).

The flavour explosion was what I was waiting for.  That first slightly salty bite, redolent of spring, tender kernels popping as they are munched - I closed my eyes and had my moment.

Love the emerald green contrast on the cobs
The method of preparation that works best for me is the simplest.  Place the cobs, unhusked, on a BBQ grill (gas is fine) on medium-high heat for about 15 - 20 minutes.  Don't worry about the outer husks getting scorched - it won't affect the flavour.  Actually, if you scorch the silks, you get a slightly smokey flavour as well.  Husk carefully, then enjoy.  When the corn is cooked this way, I find the flavour is more intense - having not been diluted by boiling (yes, I am exaggerating here a tad bit...)  it stays warm longer also - allowing us to enjoy the corn with dinner, instead of before, as was our usual ritual.  My pair of Ove Gloves also comes in handy during these times.

To accompany the corn, since it was the star, we smoked some beef ribs and dined on a fresh tomato and basil salad.  Still a tad early for my tomatoes - these were from the Bayshore Farmer's Market.  It was a perfect day and the perfect meal for it.

Sprinkled with some smoked salt and drizzled with olive oil

Beef ribs, 6 hours on The Egg


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