Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ... food recipe for ... ears!

A while back, I ate an ear of corn. Raw. And, assuming it was fresh, I would do so again in a heartbeat.

Why, you may be asking, did I do such an odd thing? Let me tell you.

As a freelance writer, I get to interview all sorts of people, from CEO’s and celebrities to politicians and criminals (often, surprisingly, not the same people). Once, I got a chance to interview farmers for a string of press kits (news releases, recipes, biographies, and so on). At the end of every interview, I asked the farmers how they liked to eat what they grew. And, without fail, they all liked their fruit and veg as simply prepared as possible.

The first farmer I interviewed, who grew tomatoes, liked them with a little mayonnaise and salt and pepper.

The second, who grew sweet cherries, liked them straight off the tree.

And so it went - farmer after farmer, eating their produce either raw, or with the merest hint of an embellishment. Until I got to the last farmer. The one that grew the one item you had to cook to enjoy. Corn.

Or so you would think. But not this farmer. Oh no! He preferred to pick an ear right off the stalk, peel it back, and munch away with nary a pot of boiling water or flaming grill in site. And he suggested I do the same.

So I hopped in my steel and rubber car, drove past ribbons of concrete sidewalks clogged with madly dashing pedestrians, past skyscrapers bulging with humanity and noise, to my nearest produce stand. There, as luck would have it, I was just in time for the newest batch of corn, freshly trucked in from a nearby farm - perhaps the farm of the farmer I had just interviewed. So I bought an ear, brought it home, shucked it, and bit in.

I learned two important things.
1. Quality is everything.
2. Simplicity lets quality shine through.

And the corn delicious. Absolutely delicious. Sweeter, fresher, more flavorful than I ever thought something that was already so delicious could be. So how do I prepare corn, now? Good question ...

Corn on the cob
Buy incredibly fresh corn and prepare to eat it the second you buy it, if not sooner.

Fill up the biggest pot you have with water. Bring to a boil.

Remove the husks (outer layer) and silk (those gossamer threads outside the cob, but inside the husks, which just get everywhere) and gingerly drop the corn into your pot (Pot too small? Just snap those cobs in half.). Do so gingerly because you don't want to splash boiling water on your tender flesh.

Boil for three minutes (yes, only three minutes, max - the goal is more to get them hot, then to cook them). If the ears are not automatically rolling around in the pot, give them a little nudge so all sides get some contact with the water.

Using tongs, remove the ears, letting excess water drip back into the pot.

You can use holders (small objects loosely the size of your thumb with prongs which you insert into either end of the corn) to keep your fingers clean or eat your corn without (Husband: "I don't need no stinkin' holders ... spitting on the floor ... them there holders is for sissies." Me: "Stop talking like that, you are offending people, and if you ever really do spit, you better clean the floor until it shines." Husband: "Yes, dear.").

Slather on a wee bit of butter, if you like (fresh, fresh corn is so good, you can skip the fat), and a sprinkle of the best salt you can get (salt is the flavor enhancer).

Thank your local farmer. Truly. These people work hard. And look forward to corn season which is still a few months away. Alas.