CSA: Week eight, summer classics

(Missed week 7 since I got a double box for the lake…)

-4 ears of sweet corn
-1 bunch basil
-1/2 pound assorted cherry tomatoes
-1 pound beets
-1 japanese eggplant
-1 very small round watermelon, lots of seeds

I don’t believe in messing around with freshly picked sweet corn and cherry tomatoes. There’s a reason cooking gets easy in the late summer, and it’s because you’re better off not doing anything to those ingredients beyond a light dressing or quick boil (for the corn).

I haven’t run into too much, um, organic life in all this organic produce this summer, but it turns out the corn has been fairly riddled with caterpillars. I shucked the first couple ears with no problem but when I started on the third a really, really large caterpillar reared up at me, I shrieked and dropped the ear in the bag of husks, and he fell off before I could take a photo.

I have very strong memories of eating fresh “butter and sugar” sweet corn at my grandmother’s house in Western Massachusetts when I was little. The Williams’ Farm was across the street, and once the water was on the stove getting ready to boil we would go across and pick as much as we needed, leave money in a can, then shuck it and get it straight in the water. It’s important to eat corn on the cob as soon as possible after it’s picked, because the sugar in it starts converting to starch as soon as it is off the plant. When the corn is super-fresh you barely need to cook it; I think I boiled ours for about four minutes, tops. Remember: Don’t salt the water you cook corn in, it will toughen the kernels. Lots of butter, salt and pepper are crucial, too.


Not quite as beautiful:

A much smaller Little Friend, found in an ear from the next week:

The fourth ear was similarly afflicted, so I broke off the ends of those two and we each had a little more than an ear and a half to go along with our tomato salad and a little fish fillet leftover from Ben’s Trader Joe’s fish and chips over the weekend.

BTW, here’s the lovely inside of that darling little watermelon:

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