Opening Day at last!
No not baseball, although after being relegated to the occasional 5am South Korean League games I’m ready to see the Tigers take the field regardless of what could very well be a rough 60 game run.
I’m talking corn.
More specifically the gems that are found at the Kokx farm on Maple Island.
My lengthy love affair with sweet corn has been well chronicled in articles and columns here and other places dating back a decade or more and read by literally dozens of people - some not even relatives.
It’s kind of a genetic thing since I recall as a teen being commissioned by my father to transport him to the southern reaches of the state in early July based on a rumor...a rumor, mind you... that a farm stand there had some early stuff.
I’ve had favored dealers of this maize magic over the years, some spots lasting longer than others, but the quest for the best makes one a capricious corn consumer.
Several years ago when I was writing for the T-I, Deb the Ad Manager brought in a boatload of corn she had gotten and offered to let me take some home.
After careful consideration about how much would be too much I settled on 6.
That night Lil had her usual one ear and I had my usual 3.
Then ate 2 more.
The next day I stopped back at the paper.
“Uh, where’d the corn come from?”
“Joan Kokx. They have a farm on Maple Island.”
She told me and I left heading west where I found the farm, bought a dozen, and went through them by mid afternoon the next day (5 for dinner, 3 cold ones in the morning for breakfast and 4 during a late lunch.
And it’s been my go to place ever since.
Oh, I’ve strayed into other territory on occasion always willing to give somebody a shot at the title but thus far despite some worthy contenders no one has captured the crown.
Tuesday was Opening Day at the Maple Island farm and the traffic was steady according to Joan. Being no fool I called and reserved a 12 pack since I was unable to get there until mid afternoon but even at 3pm cars were coming and going in droves with happy folks leaving with sacks full of ears.
I got back home, tossed a couple of big salads and plunged 4 ears into a pot of boiling water.
Lil had her one ear per usual while an overall (and frequently futile) personal attempt at moderation had me limiting my intake to three.
It was like reuniting with an old friend and taking up where you last left off. Being a kind of corn snob I eschew any of the poor imitations that arrive on the grocery shelves in the off season from who knows where. I’ve found that while it often looks to be right and can be texturally in the same neighborhood…
It is not even close to the experience of a late July bite into some heavenly homegrown.
And with baseball hovering on the horizon?
Life is indeed good.
Letter to the Editor Policy
Near North Now welcomes original letters from readers on current topics of general interest. Simply fill out the form below. Letters submissions are limited to 300 words.