Whatever happened to …

… corn cob holders?

My visit with Elizabeth Lyons this past week has been an inspiration for a couple of posts and here’s one more. I had intended to visit the local brewery and have a nice chat with her but ended up being invited to stay for supper. I couldn’t say no when I heard that Kent County corn on the cob was on the menu.

It was always a big deal for our family reunions. I have so many fond memories of it.

It was boiled in these big pots filled with water and heated by burning wood. You’d get it and put it on a paper plate and let it cool off before digging in.

That wasn’t the case at home. We ate it right from the boiling pots because we had sets of corn cob holders.

Thanks, Lisa McManus – https://lisamcmanuslange.blogspot.com/2013/07/plight-of-corn-cob-holder.html

There was a technique. On a cob, there’s a flat end that was ripped from the stalk and the other pointy end would be chopped off with a knife to make another flat spot. You’d stick one holder into each end and start eating. Your fingers didn’t feel the heat at all and your tongue burned just a bit as you enjoyed the taste.

Just for the purpose of this post, I looked to see if you could buy these things in town and drew a blank. I guess we’re tougher now than back then. They are available for order online.

There isn’t isn’t just one way to eat sweet corn. I’ve seen people eat a circle around the cob, I’ve seen people stand the cob up on an end and use a knife to cut the kernels off, and I’ve seen people use the typewriter approach to go end to end and then roll the cob and work on the next rows.

Corn can be seasoned to your taste. I’ve seen people butter the cob and then have to hold it over their plate because the butter drips off. I’ve seen people put a swipe of butter on their plate and roll the corn through it. At fairs typically, I’ve seen a cob immerse entirely inside a vat of melted butter. In all cases, it can be salted to taste. I learned a new technique this week from Elizabeth’s husband Mike. He puts hot sauce on the cob! Or, you can just eat it plain which is why I did lest I make a mess on their table or my good shirt.

After my visit, we did have corn here and I tried it with hot sauce. He’s on to something.

Cooking corn on the cob can take various forms as well. I think traditionally we just put it in hot boiling water until it’s done. That always seemed strange, particularly on a hot summer day, to making the kitchen even hotter. If we’re BBQing, I’ll BBQ the corn. I’ve read of people BBQing it inside the husk but that never made sense to me because you do eventually have to take the husk and corn hair off it. A popular method around our place is to microwave it. We read an article once that promoted this as the best way to get the flavour from the cob to the kernel before eating.

People that like corn like it a lot. I swear that I could eat it daily. But it’s got to be fresh; as my aunt used to say, don’t boil the water before the corn is picked. (it didn’t make sense to me either …)

For a Sunday, your thoughts about corn.

  • do you use corn cob holders? did you as a child?
  • what’s your favourite way to hold a cob of corn?
  • do you have a preferred technique for eating corn on the cob?
  • can you buy fresh, local corn where you live?
  • there are all kinds of sweet corn – Elizabeth’s mom chose peaches and cream which is a very tender brand; another popular alternative around here is Golden Bantam. What kind do you prefer? How many of these have you heard of?
  • my mom would always freeze the last offerings of corn from summer for consumption over winter. Do you?
  • how do you spice up your corn on the cob? Butter, Salt, Hot Sauce, something else?
  • is there any way at all to get rid of all the corn hair?
  • how are your manners? How do you get rid of that annoying piece that’s stuck between your teeth? Do you point out to someone else when they’re got a piece stuck?

I’m hungry just writing this!

Please share your corn and corn cob holder stories in the comments below.

This is a regular Sunday post around here. You can read them all at this link? If you have an idea for a blog post for this series, just reach out with your idea. Or, invite me for supper.


6 thoughts on “Whatever happened to …

  1. Oh corn on the cob! It’s one of my favourite summer foods! There are probably lots of things I could write in response to this post, but right now you’re making me think I should take a drive up the hill to pick up some fresh corn. 🙂 Thanks for the weekly trip down memory lane!


    Liked by 1 person

  2. We used corn holders growing up and I like them.y wife is not a fan for some reason so we don’t have them now.
    We buy corn from local farm stands as much as possible. Late summer we buy lots and cool and freeze it for later eating. This year I am hoping to get some from our garden.


  3. I recall corn cob holders in my childhood home. I recall some cracked ones too — probably cheaper varieties. We don’t have any in our home currently. I prefer to cut the cob in half for easier holding and eating and for what seems like a good serving size of corn for me. I tend to be a more circular eater and my husband is the typewriter style 🙂 We can get local corn when in season and it is probably the only time we eat it from the cob. Pass the butter and salt! And a napkin!


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