Tuesday, September 15, 2015


Growing up I didn’t like corn on the cob. I didn’t like the feeling of it between my teeth, wedged, stuck.
Sure, I loved husking it- who doesn’t love to strip the protective layers off, one by one? Feeling the change in the texture, the change in the sound, and the change in the resistance as you get closer to the cob. The mildly compulsive part of me loved picking each silky hair off the cob, watching to see where it connected at the kernel. Trying to keep a single thread from breaking.
As I got older and stronger I loved to see how many of those layers I could pull off at a time without suffering any paper cuts from the leaves.

The best thing that could happen as a kid, was to find that elusive “baby corn”, that little tiny corn growing side by side with the mature cob, hidden within the green leafy layers. We’d try to pick the fattest cobs at the grocery store hoping to find mama and baby corns. Announcing loudly and proudly when they were found.

Baby corns were for playing with.
NOT for eating.

I’d dry out the husks and fold and tuck the baby corn into a special husk suit or blanket and carry it around for the rest of the day.

Eventually the “baby” status would wear off and they’d become rockets tossed high into the air. Little broken bodies all over the grass.

As I got older I realized I’d been missing so much deliciousness worrying about a few bits getting stuck in my teeth. I dove into the world of corn. Corn season got me excited and I’d drag bag after bag home from the store.

Till I met a friend who found out I bought my corn at the grocery store.
Lovingly she called me a “pin head” and introduced me to the wonder of the roadside stand.
Farmers proudly bringing bins from the field to the end of their driveways.
Corn so fresh you can eat it raw.
I'm a changed woman.

Now I drive my visiting city folk down Dale Road to the driveway with the tiny chalk board simply stating “corn”.
I don’t want them to make the same mistakes I've made. I want to save them the embarrassment.

“Did you know that Lesley used to buy her corn in the grocery store? What a PIN HEAD!”

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