One of Honey’s co-workers is the annual source of Ambrosia sweet corn, the white and yellow brand. It’s the sweetest. Having grown up in west central Illinois, definitive corn country, home of the blackest, thickest and richest top soil, a place where farmers have to be really stupid to fail, it takes a superior ear of corn to impress me. The Tennessee version of corn has consistently disappointed me for nine years. Until yesterday. It was eyeroll wonderful.
“How come I cooked only 3 each? What was I thinking? I could have eaten the whole dozen by myself.”
“Pig, pig, piggy. Oink, oink.”
That coming from a man who puts a tablespoon of token vegatables on his plate, a man who is convinced that God did not intend for a little sweet green pea to be eaten by humans, I can only be briefly insulted before I wave his comment away into insignificance with a swish of my hand.
I have been known to consume several ears of corn and then attack one to three helpings of green beans that had been warming in the sun in our back yard a short hour before they passed through the pressure cooker and onto my plate, swiftly and generously salted and buttered.
Of course, that was back in the day when I was a growing teenager and ate standing up in hopes that my legs would fill out wider than a bird’s.
“Why, you should have seen it when Grampa Smart and Aunt Honey made the trip to Illinois during corn season. Aunt Honey swore she would eat only two ears from the two platters mounded with hot sweetcorn and ended up stowing significantly more cobs than two under her chair before she was caught corn-handed.”
Wanting to get my facts straight concerning their visit, I called my sister, my senior by 6 years in hopes that she remembered more than I did. “You had to be only three!” About all I can recall is being small enough to ride on Daddy’s shoulders from the garden to the house while they all carried armloads of yellow treasure. I thought I remembered sitting in a high chair and crying over Mom cutting the corn off the cob because my front teeth were under a pillow somewhere.
Sister did remember that due to the deadened nerves in Grampa’s chin after having melanoma cancer excised, said chin was covered in butter and traces of corn.
How much of that meal is firsthand memory and how much is from the retelling is anyone’s guess. I tried contacting the sister in California but she wasn’t answering. If I was 3 and a half, she would be 7. The sister who was 9 supplied the part about Grandpa’s chin coverage, but not much else.
I clearly remember the ride on Daddy’s shoulders, green grass, the late afternoon light, laughter and anticipation.
I should have cooked the whole dozen and le the butter drip down my chin.