Life with Sam: How to make charcoal out of corn on the cob

Our son and daughter were over for dinner on Wednesday. I had made a favorite salad with quinoa, mozzarella, green beans, and olives–a complete meal to please my vegetarian daughter and burgers to please my carnivore son.  Just as we were putting everything on the table I remember that I had meant to make corn-on-the cob.  “We can still do it, my husband Sam insisted. “I’ll just toss it on the grill.”  We ate. I distinctly remember Sam getting up to turn the corn and then, as our bellies filled, we all promptly forgot.

The next day I was teaching a class when a call came from my husband. My associate Cheryl noticed. Thankfully I did not.

Sam had suddenly remembered the corn. It was now 17 hours since he had placed the corn in its little green husk on the grill, closed the lid and stepped away. When he could not reach me he pondered his predicament—he works for the State Department at least an hours drive from our house and called our neighbor and jokingly asked if our house was still standing. Our long-suffering neighbor Laurie agreed to go next door and turn off the grill. Fortunately she has a key to our home so she was able to get into the house and out through the French doors to the deck to the grill. She turned it off and put her hand on the French door to go back into our house, out the front and home. But the door had closed behind her and locked her out on the deck. This would not normally be a problem but our deck is between 7 and 14 feet above the ground, which slopes away from the house. Fortunately Sam was still on the line.  He began calling other neighbors and found one, two doors down, a gentle soul, Rodney who came over, used a key system to gain entrance to the house per Sam’s instructions and rescued Laurie.

The corn is quite beautiful. Each kernel shiny and black. One could make jewelry from it were it not so friable.

I keep threatening to write a book called Life with Sam. Sarah and I wrote the first chapter in an airport when too much international travel had befuddled out brains. It starts: There are not many men who would relish the role of Bubba the Ballerina  . . .  I am working now on a book about my father’s death but it gets a bit intense at times even for me. At those moments I think of my entertaining husband and smile.


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