Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Corn gadgets

I was talking with a friend the other day who mentioned that his bachelor great-uncle had had a large porn collection. Maybe because the acoustics were weird, or because I'm in the food business, I thought he said corn collection.

After some hilarious confusion (Me: "What did he have in his collection?" Friend: "The usual stuff." Me: "But what is the usual stuff??" Friend: "You're joking, right?" etc.) I decided maybe I should start a corn collection. I remembered that I had an old corn-shaped pitcher at home (see #1 above) and figured that was a good kick-off.

1 This pitcher is quite old but has no identifying marks on it, so no way to research it. It's stoneware and about 5 inches high. My guess is that it was either part of a sugar/creamer set or maybe it was to hold melted butter for corn-on-the-cob. I found an almost identical item in an online antiques store for $115.

2 A metal corn pitcher from Wilton Armetale in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. It's made of a propietary aluminum alloy called Armetale metal and is about the same size as my ceramic pitcher: $65 from LaZinnia Decor, though it appears to be a discontinued item so it may be sold out soon.

3 Barbecue folks corn holders are $12 from Sur La Table. The prongs are stainless steel, but the little corn-holding peeps need to be handwashed.

4 There are approximately 1.2 zillion dishes painted to look like corn cobs, so it was refreshing to find this plain white porcelain rendition from Maxwell & Williams. $10 for the set (dish plus 2 corn holders) from Time Well Spent Gifts.

5 I actually wrote about this for Hallmark magazine, but it deserves a second mention. The OXO corn stripper keeps the corn kernels from flying around when you cut them off the cob. $13 from Williams-Sonoma.

6 Why didn't someone think of this before? These colorful plastic corn holders with a corkscrew-style "prong" are designed to screw into the corn before it's cooked so you don't have to struggle to get a corn holder into a hot cob. And because they are all plastic, they can be used in the microwave—though once you start cooking lots of corn at once (is there any other way?), the microwave ceases to be a time-saving device. The set of 16 corn holders is $15 from QVC.

Addendum. Another unusual take on the corn dish. This four-piece set (only 2 shown, duh) is available from Sierra Trading Post for $30, but it's a close-out.

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