My taste buds are readying for a treat they’ve anticipated all year: sweet corn.
I’ve doctored starchiness in store-bought corn by sprinkling sugar into its boiling water. However, it can’t make the grade if you’ve savored the fresh, Hoosier version since toddlerhood.
Early summer mornings, my mother paid a farmer 25 cents a dozen for dewy ears he loaded into our station wagon.
Helping Mom shuck, I played with silks resembling golden locks adorning fairy-tale princesses — and my little sister. Tresses I, a brunette, couldn’t hope to possess.
The corn’s taste, however, erased that frustration. My siblings and I, dribbling melted butter, pretended to type with our teeth: chomp-chomp-chomp-chomp-chomp-chomp–ding!
Mom battled greedy little hands that pilfered from bowls of kernels she was preparing for the freezer.
Our obsession, however, couldn’t compare with that of one consumer who ate 57 ears in 12 minutes. Gideon Oji won the 2021 National Sweet Corn Eating Championship in West Palm Beach, Florida.
I’ll bet Gideon’s mom wished she paid only 25 cents a dozen. Maybe she sneaked bagsful into the freezer at 2 a.m., hoping to hide them from her son.
Good luck with that, Mrs. Oji. He’s probably microwaving them as we speak.
I don’t possess Gideon’s speed, but might compete with his capacity. I could eat sweet corn all day, every day.
So, I eagerly await July, exchanging information at church with fellow corn addicts.
Me: Does the guy on Highway 5 have any?
Fellow Corn Addict 1: Not yet, but I saw him pull his wagon into the driveway. Should have the good stuff soon.
Fellow Corn Addict 2: Maybe the farmer who sells from his golf cart?
Me: Actually, I think he was off to play golf.
FCA 1: How about the little stand at the gas station?
FCA 2: Shh! (She glances around the fellowship area.) There’s Erma Plunk, and when it comes to corn, she’s all ears. Yesterday, I thought I’d beat her to the gas station, but she’d cleaned it out.
Me: Erma’s pulled the same thing for years. Let’s all go super early tomorrow and stuff our cars to the roof. (All nod.)
FCA 1: What if Erma shows up?
Me: We’ll pray for her.
However, the corn’s real Owner reminded me He’d grown those ears for everyone. My partners in corn conspiracy received the same memo.
We shared with Erma.
Sadly, all good things — even Hoosier sweet corn — come to an end. When we visit favorite sources and view “see you next year” signs, our taste buds languish.
Still, the corn we froze will keep us going when fields are covered with snow.
Sigh. We’ll survive until another summer in corn country.
Your Extraordinary Ordinary: Are you a sweet corn fanatic?