Every year when Father’s Day approaches, my husband and I pick up a debate that has been with us through 23 years of marriage. Is my dad’s fried corn better than his dad’s? Or vice versa?

It’s really kind of a moot point but a semantic exercise we enjoy annually.

When our two dads were still with us, both of them World War II veterans who knew their way around a kitchen or two, we happily indulged in whichever recipe was prepared for us with their loving hands and well-worn skillets.

My dad – George M. Soper, a fast living New Englander transplanted to Florida where he daily walked the beach and played tennis – liked to flash fry his corn in butter. Bo’s father – Bill Holland, a golf-playing Southern gentleman and quail hunter – turned his corn off the cob into a creamy stew. He cooked and talked at the same speed: s-l-o-w.

In both cases, the main directive is to buy waaaay too much corn – preferably Silver Queen – when you’re having it for dinner. A dozen ears for two? Why not!

 

My dad, George Soper, frying corn My dad’s “recipe,” such as it is, goes like this:

  • Shave the kernels off the cob.
  • Melt butter (must be real butter) in a frying pan or skillet and when it’s just about to sizzle, add the corn and flatten it out so it’s all absorbing butter and heat.
  • Liberally grind pepper and add a little salt.
  • Every few minutes, turn it with a wooden spoon and you’ll see how it starts to get golden brown. The browner it gets, the chewier so when it’s a nice combination of yellow and toasty brown, it’s ready.


This is a great accompaniment to fried eggs and bacon in the morning or with a summer supper of just about anything.

The Holland recipe for fried-creamed corn is a little more complex:

  • First he, too, cut the corn off the cob (about a dozen ears) and then scraped the liquid or “milk” off the cob with either a knife or a corn cutter found at most good kitchen stores.
  • Then add about one-quarter cup of milk with generous “pinches” of salt and pepper and mix with the kernels. 
  • A stick of butter (yes, a stick!) in the skillet, and once it’s melted, add the corn and stir thoroughly but gently.
  • Cook the creamed mixture slowly over low heat until bubbles rise to the surface. The longer you cook it, the thicker it will get.  This creamy style corn is a good supper side dish – with shrimp, pork, chicken – just about anything.


Whichever way you choose to go with the corn and the butter, you won’t be disappointed. If your dad is still around, fix it for him with our compliments. In any case, Bo and I will be enjoying some over the weekend – maybe we’ll even have it both ways! – and will be swapping stories about our dads along with their recipes.

***

Susan Soper is the founder and author of ObitKit™, A Guide to Celebrating Your Life. A lifelong journalist, she was formerly the Features Editor at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, where she launched a series called "Living with Grief" shortly after her father died. Susan lives in Atlanta with her husband.

 

 

 

Top Image: StockXchng/coralsea

Middle Image: Susan's dad, George Soper, frying corn in 1996

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