For people like me who love corn summertime is almost a religious experience. The Silver Queen. It ain’t no boat. It is that wonderful, sweet, white ear of corn goodness. I look forward to it almost like I do a homegrown damata. I have loved corn in almost all its incarnations: on the cob, off the cob, in chowder, in breads, and popped on the stove, and even occasionally in the microwave. Here in the South, we like our Silver Queen. I even heard it was mentioned in a Luke Bryan’s song. This will be the only time I ever mention Luke Bryan…..ever. What a joke. I digress. Silver Queen is the standard to which all other sweet corn varieties are compared. It has name recognition much like the Vidalia Onion, or Better Boy Tomato. You know if you buy it, it’s going to be really good.
I especially love creamed corn. Yeah I know you can get creamed corn in that tube in the grocery store , which is actually pretty good but there is nothing like buying a bushel, sharpening your best creaming knife and sit out on the patio and go to town. I was a kid in Indian Land SC like many self-sufficient people there we had a garden every year. A big garden. Each year my grandmother would either can or freeze corn and other veggies. Our refrigerator and freezer would be packed with bags of creamed corn.
My grandmother was an expert creamer of the corn. She had her special creaming knife. After expertly grabbing a handful of the husk she would separate it at the top then pull. It was gone after two pulls along with most of the silk or silt as we always called it. I’ve watched people gently peel back one layer of husk at a time and it pains me. After shucking the corn I watched her as she would slide the knife on the tops of the corn and then rake the knife over the remaining corn it and it’s juices into a big pot. It was a common technique but my grandmother was the Michael Jordan of the creaming corn world. If it was a olympic sport she would be the Michael Phelps. She would have been the Ric Flair of The Four Horsemen.
Another month or so Silver Queen will be available. My blade is sharpened and my pot is ready for blanching and the gallon bags have been bought. It’s a right of passage as memories will flood like they do every year when I see my grandmother in her old flop hat, bronze skin, with her trusty knife in hand performing her magic.