Liralen Li (liralen) wrote,
Liralen Li

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Roasted Corn

I have to admit that with all the things at work and things happening to my friends, my personal ambitions have shrunk to nearly nothing more than surviving the summer, seeing a few movies, drinking a little coffee and tea, and perfecting roast corn.

A couple of weeks ago, work had a "fair" and one of the things they had was a couple who roasted corn. They just had huge sacks of sweet corn in the husk, they loaded them all up in an old-fashioned roaster that just dragged the ears through big propane flames and when the outsides were good and charred, and the air smelled fine, they took them out and threw them into an ice chest to keep them hot. When people wanted one, the lady with the welder's gloves would take one, peel the husk and silks back, wrap them with a paper towel and hand it to you. You got to dunk it or brush it with butter, sprinkle it with salt or pepper, and go off and burn the heck out of the roof of your mouth as you ate the gorgeous stuff.

I remember, as a kid, the summer ritual of getting the corn, husking it until it was clean, getting the pot on to boil, and then throwing them all in. Letting them boil for a good while, and then pulling them out, buttering and salting them and eating them in neat typewriter rows. But that memory seems bland compared to what I eat now.

Roasting concentrates the flavor in the kernels, by pulling the water out, the sugars and flavors caramelize and get intense.

Then, one day, we went to Whole Foods and they had a roasted lime-chile corn ear there, and we bought them and they were cold and grill marked. I bit into it and went, "Oh." It was gently sprinkled in very mild red chile and it had been kissed with the tangy balance of lime. It balanced the sweetness of the corn, which was actually unexpected. When you get roasted chile lime corn in Mexico, it's flour corn you get, not sweet corn, mealy and chewy and somehow more deeply flavored. This was sweet! And very good, too.

So I now prep our corn by just throwing it into a gas grill set on high for nearly 20 minutes, until the outer husks are crisp and charcoaled. The inside is hot through, by then, and we usually eat at least one course before starting on the corn so as to not burn ourselves. Then I peel mine, pull the silks of and a few get left, but it's good texture. :-) I butter it gently, and then sprinkle Penzy's medium chili powder on it. The chile powder has ancho chilies, garlic, onion, cumin, and not a trace of salt. I love it and as little as I put on it, it's not hot at all. This is the same medium chili powder that will make a chile I can barely, barely eat.


Today ended with that lovely moment.

The morning started with all three of us waking up well before 8 and not able to get back to sleep. They say it's a good thing to wake up at the same time very morning, makes you less groggy. But both John and I just couldn't get back to sleep.

I made dulce de leche cinnamon rolls from a Kroger tube. I think it was just their normal cinnamon roll dough, but they added a pouch of dulce de leche (milk sweet--a caramel made, traditionally, from cooking goats milk down until it's nothing but caramel) to squeeze on the rolls after they were baked. Jet said, "They're sooo good. I like cinnamon. You know, last week I forgot what to call cinnamon, but this week I am glad I know it."

Last week Jet was calling cinnamon "salmon". Wow.

After breakfast we watched some cartoons. I love my Xiao-Lin Showdown. Then we hit the Lafayette Peach Festival.

Four years ago, it was a tiny thing, one block, maybe, with some booths and one truck filled with Morton farms organic peaches. The booths were mostly the chamber of commerce, one booth that did peach smoothies and peach cobbler, and a two table "Art Show" in back with a few paintings, quilts, and things.

This year it was a solid half mile, lined both sides with booths, food concessions, arts, crafts, beauty products, and clothing sellers. There was an art show two blocks long behind the smoothie booth (which still hadn't changed). The biggest change, in my memory, was that there were now four different peach vendors from the west slope all vying for peach honors. We got our traditional smoothie. Jet, as before, spilled the first one, got portions of the second, and shied away from the free face painting. I bought one loaf of bread from a local baker. We bought two small bags of peaches, one gold, one white.

And then we left.

I wasn't brave enough to do the whole thing. Hadn't the heart. There was one booth that had a hand press, where you could go, lay in a piece of paper, pull a lever and it printed their non-profit business information, complete with URL, on a bookmark that they let you keep with the knowledge that you were one of the few who had ever actually used a hand press.

It was so simple looking, too, but the amount of history and time and engineering behind it!

They also teach bookbinding and paper making and other things related to book making. I would love to do that, someday.

From there we headed to the Cheese Importers. John got stuff, I got stuff, and then Jet fell asleep on the way home. We let him sleep a bit, but he woke up after less than an hour and was really cranky and grumpy about it.

So we looked and found that the theater about a mile away was playing Valiant. We had an hour, so we rearranged the house.

Okay. We just rearranged nearly all the compute power in the house. We cleared out a bunch of the desks upstairs, and I found that I had not one, but TWO desks where I could spread out all my scrapbooking stuff and never have to pick it up. Yeesh, what luxury! Hobby Lobby had had a half price sale, yesterday, and Jet and I had.. uhm... picked up a few more things, like patterned paper, a corner curver, and a few more refill pages as I was going well beyond my old "page a day" spread ideas. It was also nice to have the good computer by the printer, so that jobs wouldn't take forever, and I could do the photo editing on the same machine as I was going to print it from.

Then we went and saw "Valiant" and it was fun stuff. Not real deep, but Jet liked the good guys and the bad guys, and really liked the little pigeon who could. I have to admit myself tickled pink by hearing Tim Curry and John Cleese bantering away in glee.

When we came out Jet was really unhappy about everything, the short nap hadn't been nearly enough. A huge thunderstorm, with lots of lightning and thunder and, eventually, rain got him to go to the car pretty quick. We dropped by the farmer's roadside stand and John hopped out into the rain to get four ears of corn, and we went home. Jet was finally appeased by being able to help me make two egg's worth of pasta for the three of us. He helped with all the cranking, with deciding what kind of noodle to make which which pieces of dough, and was very happy to sit down and eat nearly an adult sized plateful of noodles with butter and mizithra cheese.

John and I added corn and buffalo moz on my tomatoes and basil from the garden. The essence of summer on a plate. Ah.

So I'm now up in my new photo lab poking and prodding at the software to get it to Work. Picassa has been very good at photo editing, but insists on printing 4x6's two to a page. It also won't SAVE the changes it did to a format I can use with anything else. Humph. Epson's software, on the other hand, is a PAIN to edit pictures with, but prints pretty much anything I want. Yeesh. Now I'm poking at Adobe's free download... we'll see...

I may just end up printing, using the Epson software, and cropping by hand like any traditional scrapbooker would.
Tags: food, scrapbooking, summer, sweet_corn, tomatoes

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