Whether it’s a sweltering 95 or a cool 70 degrees where you are, autumn is here. Though the leaves haven’t started changing, jack o’ lanterns are popping up in store windows and restaurants are serving pumpkin-spiced everything, all sending the not-so-subtle message that it’s time to trade in your flip flops for boots and salads for stews.
As much as I love donning scarves and sipping hot cocoa, I can’t help but savor the last few days of summer: feeling the sun warm my skin as I walk outside, not worrying about layering my clothes before I run out to grab the newspaper, and the lazy thrill of spending a Sunday afternoon at a cookout with friends.
Those relaxed, leave-your-cares-for-Monday gatherings don’t have to end now that Labor Day’s passed, though. Between tailgates and the (gradually) dropping temperatures, fall is the perfect time to meet up at a park — or okay, a campus parking lot — with a grill and a couple good recipes.
Here are two takes on corn that complement either season: Cilantro lime if you’re in the mood for something summery and savory, cinnamon butter for a sweet taste of fall. Utensils required: small bowl, measuring cup, spoonula, large pot/stovetop (or paper towels, if you’re microwaving the corn instead of boiling it) Ingredients:
- 5 ears of corn
- 1/2 stick of butter (or 4 tablespoons)
If you’re making the Cilantro Lime Butter:
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
- light sprinkling of salt and pepper
If you’re making the Cinnamon Butter:
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
Time commitment: 15-20 minutes Steps (makes 10 servings): On the stovetop: 1. Shuck the corn, removing all of the husks and any silk (those yellowish white strands). Then, break each ear of corn in half, so you have 10 pieces. 2. Fill a large pot two-thirds of the way with water, and bring it to a boil. Add all of the corn to the pot carefully, so it doesn’t splash on you. 3. While the corn boils for the next 10 minutes, place the butter in a small bowl, along with the cilantro lime (cilantro, lime juice and salt/pepper) OR cinnamon butter (honey and cinnamon) ingredients. Stir it together until the ingredients are thoroughly combined. 4. Once the 10 minutes are up, turn off the stovetop and remove the corn using tongs. Let it cool for a few minutes, then smear on the butter and serve. In the microwave: Peel open the husks of corn and remove all the silk. Then, mix the butter and cilantro lime OR cinnamon butter ingredients in a small bowl. Smear the flavored butter onto the corn, then pull the husks back over the corn. Place a layer of paper towels on the bottom of the microwave, then place the corn on top so each ear is touching. Microwave for 7-9 minutes. Let it cool, then break the pieces in half to make 10 servings.