Among the complex, confusing, and sometimes weird recipes in the 1906 Berlin Cook Book are many useful and tasty recipes. However, there are also a few that are so simple it seems strange to include a recipe. Tonight I am using one of those – one for Sweet Corn – because after a busy day I just don’t feel like untangling two kitchens in order to
find things. There isn’t a contributor attached to this recipe. The term “sweet corn” is used to distinguish it from the corn grown for animal feed.
I probably should have done a side by side comparison between two cobs of corn from the same batch — one boiled with some husk on and one stripped as usual. I didn’t do this but maybe next time. Instead, I took most of the husks off and then popped the semi naked cob of corn in a pot of boiling water. I left it for 8 minutes before removing it.
It was a challenge to take the rest of the husks off a hot cob of corn. It was also a challenge to eat it while wisps of corn silk dangled. Clearly there must a technique to removing the silk while leaving some husks on the cob but I don’t know it! The corn was good but better than usual? Well that’s hard to say as I didn’t do a comparison test. I think it does keep it warm longer.
What is interesting is seeing a recipe for corn on the cob. It was a difficult food at this time since it requires using the hands to eat. Some etiquette manuals recommend diners cut the kernels from the cob while it is likely many hostesses ensure this task was done in the kitchen before serving corn kernels. However, there were a few manuals suggesting guests use their napkin to hold the cob with one hand while eating. Of course all of this is etiquette rather than day-to-day eating in private at home. Clearly in 1912 there were some people in the city of Berlin Ontario enjoying corn on the cob on a hot summer night just like us.
When sweet corn is served on cob leave a few of the inner husks on ear when boiling as it will be much sweeter and keep warm long. Boil sweet corn from 8 to 10 minutes, never longer.