Think about a time in America when the providers of farmer’s seed catalogs made a practice of telling broad, overtly dumb jokes and posing brain-twisting riddles instead of the serious but dull metrics of crop production. It was from these catalogs that the seeds of corny jokes were cultivated. Is it only nostalgia? Or were we really more freely lighthearted within our more confined personal borders and lives? For sure, we felt comfortable being silly. For example:
What did the corn say when he was complimented?
What did one ear of corn say to the other?
Don’t look now, but we’re being stalked.
What do you call a mythical vegetable?
All over the United States during August and September, there are Corn Festivals. With festivals come contests, and those concerned with corn include corn eating, corn shucking, corn pitching, to single out a few. In 2019, a world record for ears of corn eaten in 12 minutes was set by Gideon Oji who consumed 57 ears of corn. We should note here that third place is held by Nick Wehry of Torrington who ate 35 ½ ears. It is hard to believe that there is actually a separate competition for maximum number of corn kernels consumed and yet another for the number of kernels eaten with a toothpick. Somehow, that doesn’t sound all that exciting.
Now assuming we are ever able to travel again in my lifetime, there is one extremely corny place I’d like to get to see, that is The Corn Palace.
The folks of Mitchell, South Dakota built their first Corn Palace in 1892 in preparation for the Corn Belt Exposition of that year. They replaced it in 1905 and rebuilt it once again in 1921. Today the Corn Palace hosts everything from agricultural events to popular concerts. Along the years, this magnificent edifice acquired Russian onion domes and Moorish minarets. Its most striking feature is that the exterior murals are redesigned and constructed annually using corn, cob and kernel. Each year a new corn theme is selected and artist compete for the winning design. These murals are put up with the aid of “corn by the number” drawings and tar paper. American knowhow
Native Americans called it maize. They probably still do. The term “corn” was commonly used throughout Europe to mean to any staple food crop, generally barley, wheat and oats. Initially the Europeans called the maize “Indian corn” when they added it to the list of European cereal crops.
This inelegant, handheld food leapfrogged all the world’s Miss Manners’ to ascend to the mouth-watering, butter-dripping, slippery-fingered summer treat that corn on the cob has become. Now that summer is officially in past, you may be ready to try a few other corny ideas. Our website contains many past published recipes from these pages including: Corn Salsa, Corn and Wild Rice Salad, Corn Chive Fritters, and Peaches, Corn, Basil and Red Onion Salsa. For the more ambitious, the website also has detailed instructions on an old-fashioned New England Clambake with seaweed roasted ears of corn. Today’s recipe is Creamy Corn Soup with many options for garnishing. Additionally, here is a link to a fast easy method of freezing some of that flavor for those grey cold winter days ahead: http://allrecipes.com/video/4067/how-to-freeze-corn/