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Well, okay, not just any corn on the cob, but “Boulevard Raspail” corn on the cob.
Yeah, I didn’t know what “Boulevard Raspail” meant either. That’s what the internet is for! Although, Dorie does explain it in the introduction to this recipe, which is very, very short in and of itself. This may be the easiest recipe in the book. The ingredients list is certainly brief: corn, butter, salt & pepper.
It seems that while perusing the market on Boulevard Raspail, Dorie came across some ears of corn, a fairly uncommon sight in France. She bought some, and this is how the vendor told her to cook them.
I’ll be honest: I’ve been cooking my corn this way all summer, a tip I picked up on the internet somewhere. It is now my favorite way to cook corn, as it comes out wonderfully tender and delicious. You can eat it the American way by nomming it straight off the cob (which we have done a few times), or you can eat it the French way by cutting off the kernels (which we have also done, the better to add it to salsas, couscous, and taco salads). Actually, I almost always prefer to cut off the kernels. When I was a child, I once lost a loose tooth while biting into a corn cob, and the sensation still haunts me. It’s the same reason I can’t bite into apples unless they’ve been sliced first.
Here is Dorie’s method:
Now, this is very tasty, but I wonder if that can be attributed to the (locally-grown) corn. Either way, this really is the best way to cook corn, in my opinion. We do not have a grill, and I honestly don’t like messing with boiling corn. Besides which, this tastes better. At least, to me it does. And, honestly, it doesn’t bother me to turn on the oven to 400ºF in the middle of summer – I live in Texas. The AC is on constantly anyway. Plus, you get kinda used to it, especially since summer seems to last from about April to October.
So, is this a keeper? Well, I’ve been doing it this way since April, so yeah. It works for me. Half of this corn went into our tacos, and I’m saving the other half for some enchiladas I’m making this weekend. I’ve also mixed it with couscous and lime-flavored olive oil, which was delicious, and I’m sure I’ll be making some tomato and corn salsa with it eventually. I really don’t see any reason to cook it any other way!
To see how the other Doristas dealt with this interesting way to do corn, check out the French Friday links. Happy cooking!
Easter’s not really my thing. It’s nice and all, but as far as holidays celebrating the return of goodness and light are concerned, I prefer the Vernal Equinox. Easter doesn’t do much for me anymore. The egg-dying thing is great, but that’s about it. And though I do love me some Cadbury Mini-Eggs, they are not a holiday in-and-of themselves. I’m just not big on the Easter celebrating the way I was when I was a kid. Maybe in the future it’ll mean a little more.
For Easter this year, Geordie and I didn’t do much. On Saturday, we finally got around to going to the Sherwood Forest Faire, about a two-hour drive from San Antonio. Yes, it’s a Renaissance Faire type event, though it’s more of a Medieval Faire, really. The focal point is the story of Robin Hood, which I know is a big draw. For me, it’s – well, to be blunt, it’s just okay. I can’t say I’m much interested in Robin Hood tales because I’m more interested in historical accuracy. I recently finished a biography of Queen Eleanor, Duchess of Aquitaine (mother of King Richard the Lion-Hearted and Prince John), and I found that far more fascinating that any of the Robin Hood stories. Maybe because tales of Robin Hood tend to ignore the fact that Queen Eleanor served as Regent of England while Richard was off doing Crusade-y things and that the reason England was so poor during this time was because every spare cent went towards a ransom to release Richard from his captivity in Germany. John may have tried to wrest control away from the men Richard left in control of the country, but he never was much of a threat.
But I digress. The point: Robin Hood doesn’t interest me much. That said, one can ignore his presence at the Sherwood Forest Faire without having to try very hard. Thankfully.
We didn’t go in costume, because frankly, we don’t have anything costume-ish for this kind of thing. Maybe next year. I encouraged Geordie to get a kilt while we were there, but he was put off by the price. Understandable. As with many such events, everything was a little expensive, and the only thing we ended up spending money on was food and entertainment. I’ll have to find some other way to get Geordie into a kilt.
Although we didn’t stay very long (a little over three hours), we had a good time. The day started off a little cloudy, but by afternoon, the sun had come out. One of the reasons we decided to leave was that I could feel myself starting to get a sunburn. It turned out to be not so bad, but only because there was plenty of shade to be had. Again, thankfully.
Geordie just had to get himself a turkey leg. The skin tasted predominately of propane, but once you got down into the meaty bit, it tasted a lot better. I had a few bites; he ate the majority of it. We also got a serving of the most onion-y tasting hummus I have ever eaten. It was pretty gross. The pita served with it was great, very soft and flavorful, but the hummus just ruined everything it touched. Ew. Still hungry, we went in search of other food and eventually found a place that sold crèpes. We had a beef-mushroom combo that was really quite tasty. For dessert, we had thought about getting a sweet crèpe but ended up with some baklava instead. Tasty. Not exactly a good example of food from 1192 A.D., but I suppose you’ve got to do what you can with what you’ve got.
We wandered around quite a bit and observed more than participated. Geordie did try his hand at axe-throwing and failed pretty miserably. Poor guy. He consoled himself with some mead, which was actually quite tasty (don’t worry, I only took a sip, enough to judge that it was more honey than anything else).
We watched the “Third Annual Combat Tournament of Sherwood,” which was had plenty of adult humor to go with its violence. But it was fairly enjoyable, being well-performed and quite amusing.
Finally, we enjoyed that manliest of Faire events, the joust. I’ll be honest, sometimes it’s fun to do things just because I’m with Geordie. I’m a very low-key spectator. Geordie is not. Geordie gets actively involved, which is both awesome and adorable. I love it when he enjoys himself. I did enjoy the joust too – a lot of fun to watch, and one can’t help but be impressed by these guys, because this is their job and none of it looks easy. Especially on a hot and sunny day.
Compared to Saturday, we spent Sunday pretty quietly, which was fine by us. All in all, it was an enjoyable Easter weekend, and we had no complaints.
So, yeah, that’s it. I’m ending this kind of abruptly, but I don’t really have anything else to say. Happy April, folks!
Before moving to Texas, I would have said that freezing temperatures and snow were my least favorite weather.
It turns out I was wrong, because since moving to Texas, I have witnessed the most infuriating winds. I hate these winds. I hate them so passionately that it scares me at times. Sustained winds of 15 mph or more, gusts up to 40 mph or more. On Monday, we had sustained winds of up to 23 mph. There were isolated gusts up to 70 mph.
It’s not that I’m a stranger to wind. I spent much of my life in Florida, where winds meant storms, and storms were commonplace. These winds sometimes made me a little nervous, but I never hated them. They didn’t cause me any stress. I understood them, knew what they were all about.
Then I moved to Japan and experienced an entirely different wind. The karakaze (the “empty wind”) blows through Gunma in the winter, a strong wind so dry and so cold. I rode my bicycle to work, but not on days that the karakaze blew, because it was impossible. It was a struggle even to walk. And almost always, those days would be clear, sunny, bright. In Moriya, the city where I lived longest in Japan, there were also strong winds in the weeks preceding spring, but none quite like the karakaze.
I did not hate the karakaze. I considered it a nuisance, and I did not welcome it. At least it was not like the typhoons, destructive and accompanied by rain – but then, the typhoon winds were familiar to me. They were kin to the storm winds of Florida, brutal but never overly sinister. I never hated them either.
But this Texas wind, this wind that tears through the city – there is nothing familiar about it. It is not a companion of old; it is a tyrant, and I hate it. The Monday wind was the worst it has ever been. It loosened the sections of fence that had not been broken over Christmas. It ripped away patches of roofing paper, leaving more to beat against the roof even when the wind is not howling.
Today, a whisper of it is back. But even a whisper is enough. The unrepaired roof pounds at itself like a drum. The fence bends forward where it has come loose, threatening to break free if pushed too hard. Leaves from the churchyard behind our house swirl down into our yard, then back out again, carried away without thought. No birds take to the sky. If they do, they make little headway. The wind itself is loud, whooshing as it goes, leaving everything groaning and moaning in its wake.
And I hate it.
I know what has happened between now and then, and it’s so hard to explain. How can losing my daughter cause me to hate something as common as the wind?
I know also that it’s no good to worry about something I can’t control, and the weather certainly falls into that category. But even if I can’t control it, I have to deal with it. I have to deal with the damage it causes, with the madness it inspires as it shrieks around me.
And I must deal with the powerlessness it inspires.
I had thought that I was used to feeling powerless. That’s something else that comes with being one of the babylost. Control means nothing. But I have come to hate feeling powerless. I have grown so tired of feeling powerless. And here comes this tyrant wind again to remind me that power is nothing that I can claim. I have not chosen to give up control; it was never mine to begin with.
Must the feeling of being in control always be an illusion?
I can’t even control with the repairs will be made; that too is left in someone else’s hands. What can I do but sit and watch, powerless, as the wind thrashes around me and destroys that which I consider – for a time, anyway – to be in my care? This wind drives all sense of focus from me – all I can think of is what it’s doing and how helpless I am to do anything about it.
And I hate the control it has over me.
I hate that I hate feeling so powerless. I can’t let it go. I hate being at the mercy of this world, because it has no mercy.
That is what the tyrant wind tells me. That I can not stop it – or anything else – from taking that which I love. It reminds me that power is not mine.
And I hate it, because it speaks truth.
Hope is all I have. And even when the tyrant wind blows, hope whispers its message. It’s so hard to hear it. But I know that, when the wind stops, hope will still be there. The wind cannot blow that away.
Hope, too, speaks the truth. Power comes in different forms, varying degrees. To withstand the wind, to wait it out, to endure it – that is power of a kind.
When the wind is passed, hope will still be here. I will still be here. Weathered and worn, perhaps, but still here. Ready to pick up the pieces and put them back together and keep going.
Always, keep going.