I hate husking corn.
It’s a stringy, silky mess. but with this trick it makes it so easy!
Whenever I husk the corn, I think back on my youth when I was officially christened a Nebraska Cornhusker the summer of 1978…
I was a “detasseler”! Detasseling back then was one of the best paying summer jobs a teen could have in Nebraska raking in fast cash of about $1.50 an hour. What is a detasseler? It’s the glorious job of trudging through muddy rows of corn fields while removing the pollen-producing top part of the plant—the tassel—so the corn doesn’t end up pollinating itself. If it does, you end up getting weaker corn that isn’t so sweet.
We had to be at least “yea tall” in order to reach the tassels; so I stretched up high to make the cut. My best friend and I would wake up before the crack of dawn to catch a bright yellow school bus that would haul us like cattle to some unknown destination.
In the early morning, water soaked our clothes and through our sneakers (from the wet dewy corn leaves) sending shivers up our spines—sometimes the water would reach up to our lower calves if it had been newly irrigated. And, ugh, how the bugs would sometimes bite. Detasselers have to wear long pants and long sleeves or your legs and arms get shred to pieces by the sharp-edged corn leaves leaving a “rash” that is worse than sunburn.
As the day progressed, I felt like we might roast alive…The heat and humidity hitting me so strong I could hardly breath, like removing a cake from the oven and feeling that heat rise and fill your lungs leaving you gasping for air. By end of day sweat ran down our foreheads, between our breasts, sopping our underwear and underarms.
To take our minds off the dull drums of the job, my friend and I would sing songs—one being our favorite—”Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam.” As we’d belt out “Beam” we’d jump high to grab a tassel while corn whizzed by our heads like sizzling bacon from nearby naysayers; sometimes a corn would thump our forehead with a warning: Shut up! Or Else. But we’d just keep on singing, belting our lungs out just to annoy and amuse. We’d get to laughing like somebody was holding us down tickling our armpits until we had one big laughing seizure!
By the time we’d get home at 4:00 or 5:00 in the afternoon, we were completely filthy and exhausted and would fall fast to sleep. It was one of the hardest jobs I’d ever done—but now I can stand proud as an official member of the Huskers.
Now that you learned about detasseling 101, let’s move on to this corn. You know how much I hated detasseling? Well, husking corn is also no easy chore, but I found this amazing magic corn cooking trick, it intrigued me. I hadn’t heard of this method before, so I was excited to try it out. It was like pulling a rabbit out of a hat…only this time, it was an ear of corn out of a husk.
How do you accomplish such a wonderful trick?
1. First off you’ll want to remove a few of the husks that might be dry or dirty and cut off about an inch from the bottom end; right above where the husk is attached.
2. Next, place the corn, with the husks still on, in the microwave and cook on high using this timeline (cooking time may vary depending on your microwave):
- 1 ear – 2 minutes
- 2 ears – 3-4 minutes
- 3 ears – 5-6 minutes
- 4 ears – 7-8 minutes
- 6 ears – 8-9 minutes
3. When time’s up, let the corn rest for approximately 3 minutes. It continues to cook and will be MUCH easier to handle.
4. Pick the corn up by the top end and gently squeeze and shake the corn. It will just sliiiiiiiide right out! No silky strings to muddle with. No husks to peel. Just pure goodness.
I slathered a little butter and salt on my ear of corn and ate it right up. It was moist, crisp, and delicious! It’s magic!
Thank you sooooo much Holm Family! You rock!