Shuck

As I write this I’m eating cold corn on the cob, roasted yesterday in its husk, and it’s as good as anything I’ve ever eaten.

It’s been a trying month. I feel myself getting a little weird. My belly is pregnant with apricots and corn and spelt bread. I don’t think I’ve spoken a single word since digging for beets in Cabrini Green yesterday and don’t mind it. I bought goggles for swimming in the lake. At first it terrified me, being way out there in the water, to see the smallness of my belongings on the shore. But then it got all weightless and quiet and profound.

Someone told me Thursday to live life in the moment. An odd moment for me because I really heard what he was saying. I don’t sometimes. You can imagine, perhaps, how much I’ve missed. Sometimes I worry that I’ve forgotten something timeless and huge. Sometimes I think I’m beginning to remember.

There’s been a strange light feeling in my body all day. A static, a tingling in the limbs. My muscles are less tired than dozing, day-dreamy. When I breathe I’m really breathing. For the past three days I’ve eaten only what I can buy from the farmers’ market, an experiment. Bread from Bennison’s, $5-a-dozen eggs, hippie chicken and cheese, obscene quantities of ripe tomatoes, chard, sweet corn and apricots. The exception is coffee. And chocolate. And coffee.

And I feel… good! I’m not any thinner, and my skin is still the skin of a 16-year-old, but I can run without swearing I’ve been shot in the leg. When I sleep I dream. And I feel, when I wake, focused, prayerful. I’m less bothered by the belly fat and the pimples. It’ll be harder tomorrow when I’m back at work. They’re always ordering Potbelly’s, and damn but those new chocolate cookies just about break my heart. (Cookie, meet brownie! Brownie, meet cookie! Both, meet face!)

I’ll make as valiant an effort as I can. But the body wants what it wants.

(And, by the way, it does want this. It so wants this.)

The weirdest thing of all, though: I started writing in my journal again. Not journaling, exactly. But writing in it. And yesterday it was this (do I have to quote myself?): Understand you don’t have to win and you should be grateful. Extraordinary things have happened, will happen. Understand you’re lucky.

If it was within my written power to tell you how out of character this is, I don’t think I would.

The (Best) Simplest Corn Recipe Ever

Buy the sweetest corn at the market from the sweetest farmer. Heat your oven to 400 degrees. Throw the corn in, in its husk. Roast for ten minutes, then cut the heat. Let the corn sit in the oven in its husk for five to ten minutes. Shuck and eat.

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7 responses to “Shuck

  1. Shucks, that’s great! Short and sweet.

  2. The recipe, I mean. The essay was… luxurious.

  3. I hope that means you’re feeling better. I can’t remember now where I stumbled over your blog, but I’ve enjoyed reading your entries these past few weeks — it was the one that mentioned the Red Line that caught my attention, though I live my entire life in the northerly part of town.

    I will definitely try making corn this way at my next opportunity.

  4. Thank you, Rebecca. I am feeling much, much better. I’m not accustomed to thinking of food as medicine, but it really seems to help.

  5. Happy to hear you are feeling better. Beautiful words and photos, again. And the corn looks fantastic – will definitely try it once I get my hands on the good stuff.

  6. yum, I too like this method of preparing corn. My usual way is to roast it for a little longer at a slightly lower temp, so I’m going to try your method since it’ll get the corn on the table faster. I can’t tell you how many barbeques I’ve been too where they grill the corn on low heat for a long time and it’s still not done yet, yuck!

  7. Laura! Hi! I swung by your office with a sample, but you seem to be out today.

    Which, sad, as I have a surplus. Of corn.

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