Friday, April 27, 2018

One thing leads to another

    

      Late Thursday afternoon my husband and I sat out on our front porch eating fresh corn on the cob.
     There. I grabbed your attention. 
      No, it really didn’t happen last week. 
     The part about eating corn did; yesterday it drew me back into a pleasant memory from last summer. 
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     There’s no better time to write about warm weather than when you and I are getting restless for an extended seasonal change that will remain more than a 30-minute spotting of sunlight if you are lucky enough to catch it.
     Like all respectable and well-bred Western New Yorkers, you know that a day over 90 degrees is a one-of-a kind gem. You will do anything to hang on to every single second. The more you can spend outside in the summertime, the happier your frame of mind index rises on the celebration scale.



     I don’t recall the rest of the meal, although I would suspect the meat or fish was off the grill and the salad greens came from our porch garden containers. A colorful array of food literally popped off the plate with a distinct wholesomeness. That’s right first-class living. 
     The sun wouldn’t set for 3 more hours and the laziness of the day seeped into our bones gladly interrupted from the energetic two boys down the road and their mother stopping by for a visit. The boys much preferred keeping active and riding their bikes on our asphalt driveway, while their mom geared down for a bit of catching-up with us. 
     Cars and trucks drove by beeping their horns reminded us that rural living is not as isolating as you might believe. Folks like their space, but when push comes to shove, they are there for one another. Our neighborhood is like that.
     Breaking the continuity of routine is healthy for the soul, and it revitalizes the possibilities for tomorrow – hopefully, a repeat of the weather conditions along with fresh salads and corn.



     Let’s get back to yesterday’s meal. 
     My husband rummaged around in the freezer and pulled a quart baggie of corn out of the freezer.  He’s the one in charge of rotating its contents routinely, and suggested that we add it to the beef stew for additional flavor. 
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     Suddenly, my ears perked up. 
     “Do you remember when we had corn on the cob in August and we had one leftover ear that you chopped up?” 
     My husband didn’t.
      Normally, we cook only what we can eat. If we do have leftovers, we’ll take advantage of them for a second meal. 
     I could visualize the whole corn on the cob scene as clear as day.  There is no reason why it came to the top of my brain when it did. Frankly, if you are in my age group, you are grateful you remember anything whatsoever of remote significance let alone what you ate 8 months ago. Ask me where I laid my car keys a couple hours ago…you get my drift. 
     While I cleared off the plates in the kitchen, he cut up the corn. One cold snowy day in winter we would pull this baggie out of the freezer and be thankful that we had spared a couple extra minutes back in the summer. 
     Those of you who do major canning or freezing understand exactly. All the hard work pays off year round, especially on a night when you are desperate for a meal and don’t want to go the route of fast food.
     Now my husband is the corn fanatic of the two of us, and he waits patiently for the signs on the highway to go up near our local vegetable stand. 
     I call it a summer ritual, and those announcements drive our lives with traditions like chicken barbeques and dandelions. 



      Similar to you, we have our preferred farm place – we love Rauber’s farm on Route 63 in Wayland - and we hardly deviate. If we do, we are right back there for the bulk of the season. They produce an excellent corn crop and are Johnny-on-the-spot with service when customers pull up to the stand. Besides, its location is convenient. 
         Local is best. When you take full advantage of what is offered agriculturally, you appreciate where you reside. 
     When we first married my husband would polish off a half dozen ears at a sitting, but now that’s not the case. 
     Like penning a quality piece of writing, less is often better. 
     Growing up on Eastern Long Island, selected farms were experimenting with Cornell’s bread and butter varieties. That was my favorite and I think I was most attracted to the unusual pattern of white and yellows. I could sink my teeth into juicy kernels and fill my belly almost forgetting to save room for clams.
      Something stuck in my noggin – or a tidbit of corn in my teeth - that connected to the little baggie of frozen corn. I joked to my husband that I could write an entire 900-word column on the topic if I so desired; furthermore, it wouldn’t be corny. Folks would relate to my piece and its few kernels of wisdom.
     He laughed, and knew I already was composing in my head while walking from room to room hunting for the car keys. For the record, they turned up in plain sight dangling from the front door lock.
     Like anything else, one thing leads to another and another.