September 7, 2011

Midwest is Best

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"To think of the Midwest as a whole as anything other than beautiful is to ignore the extraordinary power of the land. The lushness of the grass and trees in August [...], the rich smell of soil, the evening sunlight over a field of wheat, or the crickets chirping at dusk on a residential street: All of it, it has always made me feel at peace [...] It is the place I am calmest and most myself."  — Curtis Sittenfeld 

The cornfield above is just a stone's throw down my street. One usually is when you're living in central Illinois. It's a kind of comfort you can't find, say, on the streets of Chicago (although, if you're ever in town, get the mayonnaise and Parmesan corn of the cob from the street vendors there. Trust me.). No matter where I am, I can drive five minutes in any direction, and be out in the middle of the country. Even the city-loving girl in me likes a bit of stillness like that.

This corn, however, came from the farmer's market. We roamed the aisles of vendors last Saturday, and came home with seven ears of delicious sweet corn. When I say it's my favorite vegetable, and one of my favorite summer meals, I'm not exaggerating in the least.

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It's one of the first things that come to mind when I think of Illinois. It just feels like home. It is home.

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Last night, in a last-hurrah-of-summer gesture, Sky grilled hot dogs in the backyard while I shucked the ears and let them boil for a few minutes. He wore a jacket while he was outside, but it almost felt like the middle of July in the kitchen. 

Millie had her first ear of corn. It was the best dinner theater just watching her try to eat it.

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And when dinner was done, and everything was cleared from the table, I took a moment to remind myself that the seasons really are shifting into fall.

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13 kind comments from you:

Dolli-Mama said...

Yum.

A Boring Girl said...

Mayo parm corn is the b e s t!

Amanda said...

Your daughter eating corn is too stinkin adorable!! I happen to LOVE the midwest. I lived in MN with family one winter well 8 months during a deployment and now its all i can think about and where i would love to settle one day

Erinn said...

Corn is my favorite summer food for sure! I spent every summer from when I was seven until I was 18 in Ohio and for a few summers we would sell it on the side of the street where my grandparents lived. It was always hard to be in such a flat place for 2 months when usually I was surrounded by mountains but I have so many important memories from the midwest. It will always have a special place in my heart

Mrs.B said...

I'm not a corn fan but, that corn looked pretty yum!

Chantal said...

I looooveeee corn on the cob. My favorite!

tegan said...

beautiful pictures!
i would love to visit the midwest - we studied it in school and it seems an amazing part of the world!

xox

annoyed army wife said...

I miss decent corn. Corn blows pretty much every where that isn't the Midwest. Especially here.

Kaylee said...

I love corn. Oh my. Makes me want some so badly! So fun that Millie got her first bite. L LOVES corn and usually can eat more than me, ha ha!

beka said...

ahhhh same here!
everything in this post.
exactly. the. same.
:)
well, except for the husband and daughter thing......
hehehe:)
i don't have a field a stone's throw away, but 3 miles away...which is hardly more. ;) the quietness is lovely, really. sigh.

The New "Normal" said...

As much as I always say I'd love to live in the South, there is nothing quite like the Midwest...sweet corn in summer right off the grill is my favorite! No one can grill is quite like my husband so I really missed that this summer!

vintch said...

goodness girl, you've got me missing my cornfields! the farmers just went and stripped all the stalks and tilled the land around my house. now all that's left are little nubs until next summer. so sad, but soon new crops will grow and the whole beautiful cycle will begin again:)

p.s. you're over on my blog today in about an hour! so happy to feature your sweet, beautiful microscope heart!

Sarah said...

Love! Sweet corn was/is one of my favorite vegetables, too. It's also good grilled. I especially love that quote at the beginning of your post. It makes me so homesick.

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