Sweet Corn: An Iowa Feast

Speaking of traditions, our friends came down from Des Moines last night to join us for Fiddler on the Roof and see Suzanna performing in the chorus. After the matinee performance we all came back to the house for a traditional Iowa summer cookout. Burgers on the grill and freshly picked Iowa sweet corn.

For those of you not from Iowa, late July and early August are a very special time of year around here. The sweet corn is finally ripe and the landscape in every community is dotted with pick-up trucks in lawns and parking lots selling beds full of freshly picked corn on the cob. I have often said that a pint of Guinness tastes different and better in Ireland than it does anywhere else in the world. So I would tell you that sweet corn on the cob tastes different and is better in Iowa than anywhere else in the world. It’s nature’s candy and it comes on its own ready-made stick.

Between my sophomore and junior years in college I interned as youth pastor of the Community Church in Kamrar, Iowa (population 110, SAL-UTE!). I lived that summer with a sweet retired couple named Stoffer and Vianna Gelder. I will never forget the late July weekend when the sweet corn was finally ripe. Vianna cooked up several big pots of sweet corn and we feasted on sweet corn on the cob. That’s all we ate for two evenings straight. Cob after cob of juicy, sweet corn dripping with fresh, melted Iowa butter and salted to perfection.

If you’ve never had it like that, just swing by in late July or early August and let us know you’re coming. We’ll buy a dozen ears of peaches n’ cream sweet corn out of the pick-up truck just off the town square. It’s the honor system, by the way. Just take a dozen ears and put your money in the box. Then we’ll boil ’em up to perfection and have a feast.

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