It’s always hard to decide which vegetable is most welcome when it ripens. The first asparagus from the garden welcomes spring. It’s followed by the sugar snap peas, so sweet and good it’s hard to get enough of them. Suddenly tomatoes are ripe leading to BLTs and fresh salsa and often, just slices with a bit of basil chopped on top. Now we are enjoying sweet corn, another vegetable that I think is only good fresh from the summer farm. We don’t have room to grow it ourselves but it is delivered fresh daily from the Marini Farm, another Ipswich landmark.

When we planted our first garden in the mid-1960s I read that sweet corn should be picked just before cooking. I faithfully followed that directive. Just before the rest of our dinner was ready, I picked the corn, husked it and put it in a pot of cold water. I brought the water to a boil, boiled for three minutes and it was ready to serve with butter and salt and pepper. For family meals we simply rolled our corn in a stick of butter. Company meals we resorted to spreading the butter with a knife.

Freezing the surplus corn was a messy, laborious task. No matter how sharp the knife or how carefully I cut, the kernels seemed to fly in all directions. I stopped freezing corn for many years but two summers ago I found a gadget that makes stripping the corn from the cob a breeze. We don’t gnaw the corn cob any more to enjoy the sweet crunchy kernels. I remove the corn, put it in a pan with a little butter and cook for three minutes. Voila, it’s done. No muss, no fuss. Now the freezer gets vacuum sealed bags of sweet kernels to enjoy during the winter.

The gadget is the OXO Good Grip Corn Stripper. It is easy to use and holds the kernels from one ear of corn, about 1/2 cup. It’s easy to empty and comes apart for cleaning.

The OXO Good Grip Corn Stripper.

The OXO Good Grip Corn Stripper.

Just be sure fingers are out of the way.

Just be sure fingers are out of the way.

One ear stripped.

One ear stripped.