This blog is about to get corny.
See what I did there? I know, I know.
Puns and corny jokes are kind of my thing! I get that from my Momma. She was the Queen.
So, my birthday is on Saturday, and, well it’s a big one. The big 3-0. It’s not that I’m sad about leaving my 20’s…
Ok, that’s a lie.
Maybe I’m a little sad about leaving my 20’s.
With a September birthday, I was always one of the youngest kids in my class. Year after year I watched all my friends reach their milestones before me. Double digits! Sweet 16! Driving! Voting! Drinking!
I always thought that in due time we’ll all reach the age where we no longer look forward to those milestones, but dread them. As we all approached thirty, I thought, “Now is my time to relish in the joy of being the young one!”
But it didn’t exactly go down like that. No one seemed the least bit fazed by entering a new decade. In fact, they were stoked. They had parties! Really, really fun parties!
And now, here I am, all fazed about turning 30. What’s up with that? I’ve got a touch of Peter Pan Syndrome, I suppose
But there’s no turning back now. So I decided it’s in my best interest to enter my thirties the same way I entered my twenties: With reckless abandon! There’s no use in dwelling on the past when there are such great things to look forward to in the future. Bring it on, thirties. I’m ready for you!
I thought about baking myself a really cool birthday cake. One with lots of layers, scented with vanilla and slicked with super trendy ombre butter cream. But then I remembered, OH YEAH! I don’t have an oven. So that idea went out the window.
What I do have though, is a hot plate, a cast iron skillet, and loads of last-of-the-season sweet Jersey silver queen corn.
So sweet, it’s actually taking the place of my birthday cake this year.
Hahahaha, Just kidding. Come on now, that would never happen. There’s no such thing as a replacement for birthday cake. Except maybe a birthday pie. I’d totally be down for a birthday pie.
But this humble little side dish is really something worth celebrating. It’s creamy without being heavy, sweet but still savory, and has the slightest scent of rosemary without being overpowering.
Also, this method for cutting corn off the cob? It’s a total game changer. No more kernels flying all over creation.
Getting older is weird, can we all agree on that? It’s okay to admit it.
I’ve got a whole year to reconcile being thirty before it get’s really weird. But in the meantime, I plan on eating lots of birthday pie and telling lots of corny jokes. It’s the only way to live. And you never get too old for that
Rosemary Creamed Corn
Recipe adapted from Alton Brown’s “Better Than Grannie’s Creamed Corn”
Serves 4 as a side
I don’t think Alton Brown was my biggest fan on Food Network Star, but I’m still a pretty big fan of his creamed corn recipe. His original recipe includes turmeric, which I prefer to leave out. I love the beautiful pale color of the white corn, and the turmeric gives it an unnatural neon hue, with not a whole lot of added flavor. I also leave out the extra sugar. When corn is this perfectly sweet, there’s just no need.
I’ve altered the quantities a good bit as well, in order to achieve a looser, oozier consistency. “Oozier” might not be the best choice of words here, but something about it just makes my mouth water.
Oh, and more salt. Because, c’mon Alton.
5 ears fresh corn on the cob
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/2 sweet onion, diced
1 sprig fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon cornmeal
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
To remove the corn from the cob, place a small bowl upside down inside of a large mixing bowl. Take a cob and prop it up vertically on the smaller bowl. Use a sharp knife to slice off the kernels, allowing them to fall into the larger bowl. Rotate the cob as you go, until all of the kernels have been removed. Then, use the dull backside of your knife to scrape the liquid and remaining pulp.
Melt the butter in a large skillet (I prefer cast iron) over medium heat and add in the onion. Bruise the rosemary by rubbing it between your palms to release the oils and fragrance. Add it to the pan along with the salt, and sweat the onion until translucent, about 8 minutes.
Add the heavy cream to the pan and slowly whisk in the cornmeal. Allow it to thicken up for about a minute. Next, add in the corn and continue cooking for about 3 minutes more. I prefer the corn just barely cooked through, especially if it’s really good quality, fresh and sweet. Season with plenty of black pepper.
Serve it right out of the pan, because there’s no use in dirtying extra dishes, even when you have a fully functional kitchen.