Thursday, July 29, 2010

Microwave Corn on the Cob, and Dollar Store Trip

I constantly delight in adding to my list of things that cook better in the microwave. It's pretty much just fruit & veg, but still. There's another category of things that cook more quickly and easily in the microwave, like eggs or frozen dumplings or puddings, but that's a story for another post.

Tonight, for my 'midnight meal' (I'm a night owl), I made corn-on-the-cob in the microwave. It's in season here in Ontario and selling 5 cobs for $2, which calculates to about 40c/cob. Cheap and delicious!

I have to ask, though, am I that much of a plebe or is there really something wrong with our household's butter? It always tastes and smells sweet in a baking kind of way. My mum's sodium paranoia means that we don't have salted butter, so I'll get that variety in college and test. We take a long time to get around to using butter (Mum is also paranoid of fat or frying) in my house, so it may be that the quality has deteriorated? I may be too used to margarine at this point, although I'm wondering if I should switch back.

Maybe I'm strange, but there's so much variation in recipes for any given dish that I like to survey a lot of them and follow the most common methods, or average thereof. I guess it's ingrained on me from writing research papers for university to use multiple sources, LOL. I find the strangest school habits stay with you over the years.

Microwave Corn-on-the-Cob
1 cob of corn, husked; butter; pepper

  1. Wash the cob - some recipes suggested seasoning/buttering it at this point, will try that some time - and wrap it in wax paper and twist the ends like a candy wrapper. Set it on a dinner plate.
  2. Microwave (times given for 700W power) for 2 minutes. Watch out for steam when you open the microwave door!
  3. Rotate the corn and microwave another 1-2 minutes.
  4. Unwrap corn carefully, preferably with a utensil. Don't count on this paper if you like reusing stuff, it'll be soggy and tear easily.
  5. Cut thin slices of butter onto the plate you used for the corn (it should melt on its own).
  6. Affix pronged utensils on either side of the cob, roll on your buttery plate, and enjoy!
Cooking the corn within its husk is probably better; I just didn't have enough husk to work with, so I removed it and began afresh. Tasted like regular corn-on-the-cob in the end, which is to say scrumptious.

I just figured out this method of corn-buttering today, and I'm definitely a fan. My old, shameful method was rolling the corn directly in the butter. I'd cut the top off and dump it on my last cob... I can never eat just 1! I'd say this is an improvement, if not as satisfactory to that part of me that wants to chomp into massive turkey legs, lick fruit juices off my fingers, smell a barbecue sizzling, or spit out bones & seeds.

C'mon, everyone has that part of them, right? Well, they do in Asia at least, where molluscs and crustaceans are served within the shell. Ostensibly for flavour, but mainly because everyone has a hell of a time with all the cracking and sucking and wrenching. I 'fess up to being a little more fastidious than that, but that's just because I wasn't as skilled and am too lazy to deal with the seafood that way sometimes. Plus, I had a hard time finding things to clean my dirty, fishy-smelling hands with. Came across a pack of paper soap (like the Listerine tongue-papers, but hopefully more foamy) in Dollarama today that promises to be a Godsend.

[PTA: remember, sanitising your hands doesn't remove the dirt on them. You need to scrub that away with soap and warm water for at least 20s. Sing 'Happy Birthday' twice, or play a ringtone in your head.]

There were a lot of great finds in the dollar store. I would recommend going there as a first rather than last resort for a lot of household items. For example, I'd bought a nesting set of microwaveable glass bowls, plus lids, at a Chinese houseware shop for $6. I found it today at the dollar store for $2! Certain clothespins my mum bought at the aforementioned store were also at the dollar store. So much for our 'finds' from that 2h trip to Toronto.

I decided that I'd better wait until I'm in the apartment to see what I needed before going all-out on a dollar store spree, fun as they are. I was sad not to find another $1.25 iPod Touch case, since I wanted to stock up. Cooking-wise, I just got a silicon 6-muffin pan, the perfect size for my toaster oven. I'm considering some of the bakeware, too, but I'm anxious. Of all the things I don't want shattering on me, it's glass. Hot glass with hot food in it. One time at my grandmother's, we made a dish that ended up being known as "Exploding Chicken" because the casserole dish shattered when placed on the stovetop counter. Hence my possibly-abnormal trepidation. I think I'll stick with low-end stuff not meant to stand up to rigorous activity. That, and their grinders.

Also went to Bulk Barn and drooled at all the grains and spices they had. Most of the spices were around $1/100g. It seems like it would be pretty easy to get a nice collection of spices there. Grains were mostly around 45c-60c/100g... I may stick with rice, at half the price.

I'm going to the States this long weekend. I'm excited to see what wacky finds they have there... especially at their dollar stores.

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