I'm probably the last person on the internet to learn this little magic trick, but in case I'm not, I'm sharing. And if you all already knew it, why didn't you SHARE IT WITH ME?!
It's magically easy. So easy and so magical I called my MOTHER(*) to share it with her.
It's all about corn on the cob and the horrors of cleaning those millions of silky little threads that are never, ever completely removed and get stuck in between your teeth like corn-flavored floss.
Okay, maybe for most people cleaning corn it isn't a "horror". But here's a little back story that puts my personal horror into perspective.
So, I grew up in a house in the country surrounded by cornfields. I mean that literally. Our driveway was (is, as my parents still live there) a quarter mile long, single car wide dirt lane cut right down the middle of a corn field, that leads to the house sitting on about a half acre of cleared land that is completely circled by corn fields.
Here; I drew a picture to help you visualize:
Walking down to catch the school bus in the early morning darkness became an "experience" after Children of the Corn came out, let me tell you.
The guy who owns the farmland is a personal friend of my parents who also happens to be the guy who sold them the house. Like, they went to grade school together or some such thing. So when Farmer Bob was out working the corn fields, my dad was usually helping or my mom was running out lemonade and other such 1950's stuff.
Because Farmer Bob is a nice guy, and because my parents had more kids than they knew what to do with (nine. NINE.), he always invited my parents to help themselves to as much corn as they wanted, provided they weren't selling it or anything.
So they did help themselves. And we had to help them. Bushels full of corn, folks. Corn every night when it was in season. Corn picked to be canned. Corn picked to be frozen. Corn, corn, corn.
I remember many a hot summer day sitting on the porch shucking corn, with a bucket between my knees to catch the corn husks.
And the threads. The stubborn, stuck on, millions of tiny threads. Pick, pick, pick.
I had blisters. That's not even hyperbole, I swear. I had blisters from shucking corn. (Farmer Bob alternated his corn crop with green beans. Ask me how much I like snapping beans. >:-| )
Anyway! Even though I like the taste of corn, when I moved out on my own, I bet it was years before I touched a corn cob. Hate shucking corn. Hate picking threads off. Hate eating the threads. Hate. Hate. HATE.
But it's so yummy, you know? All smothered in hot, melty butter and sprinkled with salt and pepper. Mmmm. So I've relented over the years and I make corn on the cob sometimes. Once or twice a season, maybe. Plus, Babygirl chows it down like in the cartoons, type-writer style, until she's got little corn kernels all over her cheeks and nose. "MOAR CORN, BEEBAW!" Who can deny that? Not this granny!
So when I read this little tip on Pinterest, I figured since I've literally tried cooking corn on the cob every other way EVAR, why not give it one more go?
I'll tell you how it goes. It. were. beautiful. That's how.
Here's what you do. Make sure you're rested; it's exhausting.
Take an ear of corn and do nothing to it. Nothing. Don't shuck it. Don't open it. Don't cut it. Don't pull off a single thread. Put it in your microwave for 4 minutes(**). That's IT.
Put it in, turn it on, walk away.
Until it beeps and then you gotta walk back, but bring oven mitts. That little bugger is HOT.
Put the steamy ear of corn on a cutting board, take a big knife and saw off the root end (is there an official name for the root end? I don't know.)
Here's the magic part. Ready?
Using your oven mitts, hold the ear of corn up, cut end down, and squeeze. Your steamed to tender-crisp perfection, and PERFECTLY SILK FREE piece of corn on the cob will slide right out the cut end. Perfectly.
I forgot to take pictures, so let me draw you another one:
Perfect corn. Perfectly easy.
I made six ears, it took me about 25 minutes. It'd take me that long, or longer, to shuck, de-thread, and boil six ears.
I was amazed. Inappropriately so, perhaps.
Probably because of the memory of those blisters. ~nods~
(*)She was unimpressed by the way. I mean, of course she was. Not because she already knew of this trick-o-the-trade, but because she's convinced the microwaves radiate your brain. Did you know I grew up in a microwave-less house? I was so deprived. You have no idea.
(**)In my microwave, which is fairly powerful, it took 4 minutes per ear. Less powerful microwaves might take a few more minutes.