Today we drove a long ways south to Imperial, MO to visit one of Isaac's grandmothers. On the way back home, we stopped at the only Whole Foods Market in town, a place we rarely get to visit since we moved to the suburbs because it's 45 minutes away from our home in traffic.
(Considering that A.) I'm a vegetarian and B.) I own 32 cookbooks, the fact that we live so far from Whole Foods is probably great for our grocery budget).
We were there to pick up some soy milk, some ginger, some veggie hot dogs, and a type of sweet potato chips Isaac likes, but on the way in I noticed that they had fresh corn in the husk on sale at eight ears for a dollar. Big ears, in crisp, bright green husks.
My husband rolled his eyes at me as I ran over to the display and began to stuff an enormous plastic bag full of corn. "I guess we'll be having corn for dinner all week?" he sighed.
My husband doesn't much care for corn.
As a matter of fact, he doesn't much care for vegetables. Period.
Standing in front of the shopping cart, all ready to push it straight to the snack aisle, my son called plaintively, "Chips? Chips?" His expression seemed to say, Get a move on already, old lady.
When we arrived home, after putting away the groceries, I cracked open one of the ears. A crisp, green, summery scent wafted through my kitchen. Beneath the husk and yellow silk, alternating white and gold kernels shone waxy and plump. As I tore away the husk, I saw that the ear was absolutely perfect-- full, smooth and straight; not a single shriveled or missing kernel. I opened a second ear: also perfect. Gorgeous.
I carried one into the living room, where my husband was futzing with his laptop while my son watched a DVD.
"Look at this!" I said to my husband. "Isn't it beautiful? There's not a blemish on it! And it smells delicious."
Glancing distractedly up from his computer, he said, "I see corn."
Sighing, I grabbed an ear that was still in the husk, and approached my son. "Look at this pretty corn, Isaac! Do you want to help mommy open this green envelope it's in? There are pretty little kernels inside!"
He glanced at me, then turned his attention back to his DVD-- a short film he'd already seen three times today.
"You could help me put the husks in the trash?" I wheedled. He loves to open and close the trash can in the kitchen-- it's one of the kinds with a lid that opens when you step on a pedal.
I could have sworn he scoffed.
I went back into the kitchen and resumed cooking dinner. I made barbeque hamburgers for my husband and son, a barbeque veggie burger for myself, an East Indian-style potato salad with red potatoes, peas, and shredded carrots in a cumin-cilantro-yogurt dressing with fresh cilantro picked from my garden (we can't have American or German-style potato salad, because my husband won't eat mayonnaise), and fresh roasted corn-on-the-cob, with organic lemonade to drink.
The burgers (as far as I could tell from looking at the meat ones) were thick and juicy. The exotic potato salad was bright and refreshing. The corn was the sweetest, juicest, most amazing corn I've tasted in ages-- it didn't even need a drop of butter.
My son, as usual, didn't touch a bite of anything, and haughtily demanded crackers, chicken nuggets, and chocolate milk, which we gave him, which he then also didn't eat.
When I asked my husband about dinner, he said, "Well, the hamburgers were pretty good."
"And the corn? Wasn't it great?" I said hopefully.
Let me tell you, coming from him, that's high praise.
Is it any wonder I dream longingly of people inviting themselves over for dinner?