I learned a valuable lesson at the Petrolia Market yesterday. Ensure that everyone in your party knows you plan to buy corn! We ended up with twice as much corn on the cob than we needed so I brought the extra cobs back to Kitchener with me on the train. I’m sure there is a long tradition of train travellers bringing food from the country to the city. Perhaps even in 1906 people originally from the countryside returned to city jobs with a stock of good things from the farm. Today I’m using some of the corn grown on a neighbour’s farm to make Corn Salad using Mrs. August May’s recipe in the 1906 Berlin Cook Book.
I boiled six cobs of corn but couldn’t resist eating one so this recipe is not only half the size of the original but it is short one ear of corn. Once the cobs had cooled a little I cut off the kernels. Next I cut up 1/2 a stalk of celery and 1/2 an onion. I happened to have part of a red onion available so I used it making the salad a little more colourful. Next I made the dressing by beating one medium egg, 1/2 a teaspoon mustard, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 cup of vinegar. I mixed it all in a saucepan and turned up the heat. The dressing began to boil and thicken a bit. At that point I poured in the onion, celery and corn and stirred. I’m not sure if this salad is to be eaten hot or cold.
Mrs. August May contributed many recipes to the cook book. Hannah Hertel and August May had four children. August worked as a mason.
I had a quick sample of the salad while it was hot but I’m convinced now it should be eaten cold. I let it cool and sampled again. This salad is a surprise. I’m not sure why I wasn’t expecting something like corn salad in the Berlin Cook Book, but it has a more 1950s /60s feel to it. This salad has enormous potential for a modern cook. Make it 1906 style or experiment with the type of vinegar, add some herbs, change up the vegetables or use your favourite dressing. I can picture some red pepper with the corn. Best of all it uses up that extra cob or two and might even work with slightly older corn.
12 cobs of corn (boil and cut corn off cobs), 1 stalk celery (cut fine), 1 onion, 2 cups vinegar, beat 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon mustard, 4 tablespoons sugar. Boil and add vegetables.