Last week, I had the opportunity to travel to Oregon to join a fabulous group of fellow bloggers in a tour of the Medford, Oregon area sponsored by Harry and David. It was an incredible trip filled with great food and great wine, respect and wonder for what Harry and David does as a company and how they do it (more on this and the trip in a subsequent post), and fantastic friends.
Just look at these gorgeous ladies and Matt who is not a lady but a talented and enthusiastic horticulturalist. Hi, Matt!
I’m telling you, I tried valiantly to figure out how to take all of them home with me. Lori, Jessica, Jenna, Rachel, Maria, Amy, Matt, Sandy– who helped pull this stupendous weekend together (see her posts about it here and here), Bridget, Kristen, me, and Heidi had a wonderful time reconnecting (in some cases) and finally meeting in real life (in other cases.) I’m taking away an obsession with Harry and David peaches and pears, Rogue creamery cheese, the entire state of Oregon (again, this is another cup of coffee. It’s coming on another post.) and the company of all those fabulous bloggers with whom I was privileged to spend time. Talk about an inspiring and motivational group of people!
As I drove home from the airport on Saturday, I was so glad to see sweet corn signs had popped up all over the local roadsides. I pulled into my favourite stand (Hi, Mrs. Morton!), grabbed three dozen ears (WHAT?!? You don’t go a little nuts over the first sweet corn of the year?), and drove hell for leather to get home and squash the tar out of my menfolk (who apparently didn’t miss me all that much since my darlink little sister was way more fun that mommy. Folks, she helped the boys catch CRAYFISH to COOK and put in their macaroni and SMOKED cheese. ) and fire up the grill.
Yes. I said fire up the grill.
I know cooler corn is all the rage now, and if anyone could justify pouring buckets of boiling water into a cooler and cooking massive amounts of corn it’d be me. Truth is, though, I tried it (the cooler corn, that is) and wasn’t in love with the process. It took too long, the idea of pouring boiling water into plastic didn’t really ding my chimes, and I just plain love the flavour of roasted corn. Stick with what you love, right? Especially when we’re talking corn. Oh corn.
I do love you.
Grilling it somehow magnifies the, how to say, corniness of corn. You know, the sweetness, the freshness, the pure summer of the experience; it’s all made bigger by the application of fire rather than water. It is so good.
While eating it with obscene amounts of plain butter and salt is my usual method, I do so love dressing it up Mexican style with one of my favourite things: Chipotle Cilantro Lime Butter. This is the bees-knees, friends; smokey and spicy butter with the freshness of lime, studded with little emerald bits of cilantro to wake everything up. Here’s the beautiful thing- you whip up a batch of the butter, shape it into a log, roll it up in plastic wrap and store it in the freezer where you can store it for three months, lobbing off little pats of this butter to put on grilled chicken, fish, pork, corn or whatever floats your culinary boat.
Imagine this dripping down a freshly grilled ear of corn and onto your fingers. You know you’d better lick that off. It’s a sin to waste.
And gild the lily while you’re at it with a fistful of crumbled Queso blanco and a shower of freshly chopped cilantro. Mmmm.
I hate the heat, but I love summer for the corn. Now, if you’ll pardon me, I’m off to the farm stand for another three dozen. Summer only lasts so long here. I must take advantage of it!