Thursday, July 27, 2006

Aw, Shucks

There have been so many years lately where I felt like summer was passing me by, spending so many hours of the day in an air-conditioned office. This year I can finally say that it truly feels like summer. We have been lucky enough to do many "summer" activities. We went on vacation to the beach, we've gone swimming several times, we went to a baseball game, we went to a cookout for July 4th, we've got lots of mosquito bites.

Tonight I had my first official summer meal of the season. My sister brought us corn, tomatoes and a zucchini from Amish country. That first bite of tomato was heaven. I ate 2 whole tomatoes with a dash of salt. When I was a kid, I ate so many tomatoes that I got sores in my mouth. My absolute favorite is a tomato sandwich: white bread, Miracle Whip and tomato.

I sat on my front porch and shucked the corn while a mosquito chowed down on my arm. It brought back memories of participating in this activity when I was a kid. We had an enormous garden for many years and my mom would get up early to pick the ears of corn, I would help shuck and then the fun part would start, cutting it off the cobb to freeze. My mom and grandma would set up a table outside and get to work, pieces of corn flying as they cut and talked. My mom valued speed above all else, but I was impressed with the person who could cut the corn off in long, thick rows. When I was finally old enough to be entrusted with a knife, I had my chance to try out this skill, and I soon learned it wasn't so much skill as a good knife. I also learned if I kept my mouth shut, I heard a lot more interesting gossip! We would then pile the corn into freezer boxes and store them away for the winter months. Seeing the milky white juice from the cut corn and that smell can really take me back.

I still love those long columns of corn still in one piece. I seem to be much better at achieving this than I once was, but maybe its just my knife. I sliced up the zucchini and fried it, using my mom's "recipe", if you can call it that ("Beat egg with some Milnot" "Dip in flour and salt" -- not so much with the measurements). It took a couple of batches to get it to come out right, just like I remembered it. Good memories. Ah, summer.

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