We are waiting.
Something changed in the past week—somehow, the arrival of the baby seems at once much closer, and much farther away. I am slowing down while the baby is speeding up—kicking and rolling and jabbing and fighting a never-ending case of the hiccups.
In the meantime, of course, it's August. Alex is at the shop long days and I'm still at the restaurant—four nights, bustling between the kitchen and dining room from five to ten o'clock. It's a funny kind of waiting you do in the busiest month.
Mostly, we've been eating simple food: boxes of blueberries, hunks of good pastured cheddar, blackberries by the fistful from the briar patch at High Toss. But the other night, we mustered the energy to fire up the grill. Alex filleted flounder while I shucked corn—the first sweet, milky ears from the farmers' market. I quartered an onion and stuck it on skewers, and we layered everything on the hot coals until the skins charred up.
When the corn was done, I pulled out a recipe I'd ripped from Bon Appetit this month: Roasted Corn with Manchego & Lime. It's a riff on Mexican corn—elote—which has long been one of Alex's favorites. You cut the corn from the cob, then stir in butter and lime juice and zest and red pepper flakes and grate Manchego over top. It is zingy and summery and fresh, and simple enough to come together fast.
It's the kind of dish that's good for a wait. It won't make the end of September come any faster, but it's an important reminder to savor: the heat, the sweet corn, the season—the last eight weeks of impatient evenings, with just us two before the little one.
GRILLED CORN WITH MANCHEGO & LIME
The first time I made this, I roasted the corn in the oven like the original Bon Appetit recipe called to. It was good, but I had a feeling grilling it would add a lot more flavor. It did!
6 ears sweet corn, husked
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
zest and juice of 1 lime
1 cup finely grated Manchego cheese (BA recommends using a microplane zester, which we did with excellent results)
1/4 cup thinly sliced chives
salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
Place the corn in a large dish and drizzle it with the olive oil. Transfer the ears to a grill over medium heat and cook until the kernels are cooked through and just slightly charred in spots. Let the corn cool enough to touch it, then cut the kernels from the cobs.
Put the warm kernels in a serving bowl and toss them with the butter until it melts. Add the red pepper flakes, lime juice and zest, Manchego, and chives, and stir well. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and enjoy at once.