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Like many teenagers, my son Samuel doesn’t eat a lot of vegetables, but he loves corn, all the way from the “baby corn” that comes with Chinese food to big ears of corn on the cob. He doesn’t care too much for canned corn, which often tends to taste more like cob than corn, but if you put a plate of home-cut and cooked corn in front of him, it will quickly disappear.

I don’t know why you can’t buy frozen corn that tastes anything at all like it does when you prepare your own. But, since Samuel loves it so much, when a local supermarket put fresh (supposedly) sweet corn on sale for 29 cents an ear, I bought all I could fit into my handy-dandy, environmentally friendly reusable shopping, and brought it home.

Samuel went out to the patio with me and helped to shuck the corn and remove the silks before mosquitoes drove us indoors, where I stood over the sink for nearly two hours, carefully cutting the corn from the cob the way I learned to do it back home: one quick pass with a sharp knife to cut the tops from the kernels, then two more passes, each a little deeper, then a good hard scraping to get any remaining “milk” and other goodies from what remained.

That gave me two good pots full of corn to put on the stove and watch like a hawk, stirring constantly lest it stick, bringing it up to temperature before shifting each pot to a well of the sink filled with ice water, where I followed up with more frequent stirring so it would cool evenly.

By the time I finished, I had five quart bags of corn in the freezer and enough left over for dinner tonight. From start to finish, it took nearly four hours, which led me to wonder if it was worth all the trouble.

When Samuel celebrates the conclusion of his first day back at school by laying in to a plate full of creamy, buttery, corny goodness this evening, however, I’m sure I’ll have the answer. 

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