To my way of thinking there are a couple of foods that make the summer, well, Summer! The first one is fresh strawberries, locally grown and still smelling of the fields they grew in. Sadly, the company that used to provide us with home-grown strawberries closed when their owner passed away! And since Covid, very few companies have all the help they need, forcing management to either chose to cease operation entirely or to scale back substantially.
Home-grown strawberry season is relatively short even in the best of years, often only lasting 2 or 3 weeks depending upon the weather. But the season that I miss the most and that often runs a couple of months or more is home-grown sweet corn! There’s nothing like a piping hot ear of corn dripping with butter and liberally sprinkled with salt or Tony Chachere’s Cajun Seasoning!
Sure, we still have sweet corn. It comes on our produce trucks 3 or 4 times a year, but while it may be grown in New Jersey or even in the temperate climate East of Lake Erie, it’s not as good as McKean County or even Warren County corn. The trouble is, we no longer have a supplier for locally grown corn. And it’s not through lack of trying on our part. One by one, our local suppliers have ceased to operate.
We’ve called no fewer than 8 companies or local farmers to see if they could supply us with enough corn to satisfy the hefty demand of our customers. We’ve even offered to go pick it up if they don’t deliver but there is a limit to how far we can travel before it costs more than it’s worth.
The old timers used to say, for the best sweet corn, you put the pot of water on the stove to boil, AND THEN go out in the field to pick what you need for supper! A little butter, a little salt . . . and it’s pure summertime heaven!