having patience and a recipe: skillet-fried (creamed) corn

A handful of days at the beach are like cheap therapy for me. Well, not so cheap, really. There are costs to consider: the cost of the beach house rental, the house and pet sitter fees, dinners out, the cost of gas…

But still.  It’s therapy. It’s good for me.

Each day, I awoke, grudgingly, shortly after sunrise, sunlight streaming through the white shades in the lilac-walled master bedroom. The sounds of the kids whispering in the hallway and clopping up the stairs was enough to get my mind moving, anticipating the day ahead. Breakfast was boxed cereal on most days, but on that special first morning, we were treated to gooey slices of Julia’s cream-cheese-stuffed french toast. Hours at the beach, sweaty and sandy with salt-pinched skin, were followed by cool dips in the lap pool and lunch breaks in the crisp, air-conditioned beach house.

I read books even. Books without bunnies or princesses or dinosaurs. I finished Gone Girl (wow) and moved on to Sharp Objects (completely disturbing but addictive). Gillian Flynn’s novels, so evocative and unsettling, have sucked me in like a bad habit. After finishing her first book on that last day full day spent lounging on the beach, I downloaded Dark Places, the second of her three novels, to my Kindle. I just can’t get enough.

I adore reading – and I got to do it for five days in a row. Can you imagine?

And so, we’re home. Back from the beach, and back to our suburban lives without sand and salt water and sunscreen-sticky limbs.

I’m playing at Stay At Home Mom these during these last days – hours – before the weekend. I’m not very good at this game. Just ask my kids – they’ll probably tell you the same. I lack patience. I like a clean home – clutter and toys and Play-Doh drive me crazy. I like time to write or read or clean. Or sit quietly. None of this happens when I play Stay At Home Mom. I try to be better, try to overcome this problem, but it’s a constant struggle.

So, I’m doing my best. Making it work. And trying not to check my work email, that one part of my life where I feel In Control.

I asked the kids yesterday, our first full day home since returning from vacation, what they wanted for dinner. This corn made the top of the list. I’d made it before, and they were immediately enchanted — as was I. The name is a bit of a misnomer. Skillet-fried corn is really a version of creamed corn, but no cream is added. The special ingredient that makes it creamy is time. Lots of stirring and time.

It’s a simple recipe, but patience is essential.

Much like being a parent, really.

Yield: Serves 6.

Skillet-Fried Corn

This recipe comes from Cook's Country (and is reprinted with their permission). I adapt most recipes, but this one is simply perfect as-is. Stirring and cooking slowly are the key components to making this recipe work.


8 ears corn
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3/4 cup water, divided
1 tablespoon unsalted butter


1. Remove the kernels from the corn cobs, collecting them in a large bowl. With the back of a knife, scrape the corn cobs over the bowl to catch any remaining liquid and corn bits from the cobs.

2. In a separate, small bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt, and black pepper. Set aside.

3. In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, heat vegetable oil until shimmering. Add corn kernels and cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low, stir in the flour mixture, and cook for 1 minute. Add 1/2 cup water and cook, stirring continuously until water has evaporated, approximately 8 minutes. Add the last 1/4 cup of water and cook, stirring constantly until water has evaporated, for another 10 minutes or so. Remove from heat, stir in butter, and serve while warm.

August/September 2012 issue of Cook's Country.

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21 Responses to “shaved rutabaga with butter”

  1. Liren — March 26, 2010 @ 10:09 am

    I’m so excited that you posted this. Rutabagas get no love from me; not because I hate them, per se, I just ignore them. I will definitely try this.

    As for me and my hate-turned-loves: cilantro, tomatoes, and okra!!!

    • merrygourmet

      merrygourmet replied: — March 26th, 2010 @ 12:31 pm

      I forgot – I used to hate okra, too. I tend to ignore ugly foods, also, but I’m trying to get over it. 🙂

  2. Kim at Rustic Garden Bistro — March 26, 2010 @ 1:03 pm

    Love rutabagas! Great sweetener in my stocks during winter months.

    I’m almost ashamed to admit that I don’t like bean sprouts. I’m Vietnamese… I should be putting bean sprouts on everything I eat, but I can’t stand the stuff. So that’s my hate-hate.

    My love-love of the week is celery leaves. Love, love, love.

    Hate-love? We’re still workin’ on that one. My mom hopes that will be bean sprouts. 😉

    Happy Friday!


  3. SMITH BITES — March 26, 2010 @ 1:09 pm

    I swallowed peas whole – BUT in my defense, my mother only served the canned peas . . . can we say UHK?!!! I love frozen peas now (which is amazing that I wasn’t scarred for life) and use them to make pesto for crostini as well as pastas and risotto. By the way, have always love rutagagas – even as a kid . . . I know I’m weird!

  4. Acey — March 26, 2010 @ 1:24 pm

    Two words: Brussel Sprouts!

  5. redmenace — March 26, 2010 @ 1:46 pm

    Looks fantastic! I will have to try this. I’ve never tried rutabagas before. It’s on the 2010 list, for sure.

  6. tina — March 26, 2010 @ 9:01 pm

    I’ve never tried rutabaga. I’ve never known what to do with one. I’ll try your recipe though – it looks great!

    I will never eat okra!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • merrygourmet

      merrygourmet replied: — March 26th, 2010 @ 9:30 pm

      Tina – You mean you weren’t forced to eat rutabaga as a kid like I was? Seriously, this is a good recipe – you’ll like it.

      Redmenace – It’s a great veggie to have on your list. Enjoy!

      Smithbites – I can totally relate to the peas story. Your parents must have had great ways of preparing rutabagas to convince you early on that they are a great veggie.

      Acey – I felt the same about Brussels sprouts. It’s only been in the last year that I’ve become a Brussels convert.

      Kim – Good luck with the bean sprouts (and your mom!). 🙂

  7. Mauna — March 26, 2010 @ 11:19 pm

    Believe it or not, I hated onions when I was kid. And being Indian, onions were in everything. Now, I love them. Still can’t stand okra.

  8. Macaroni Mama — March 27, 2010 @ 9:24 am

    I went to your food photos. You make food look tantalizing.

  9. merrygourmet
    merrygourmet — March 27, 2010 @ 2:49 pm

    Mauna – Okra is a tough veggie to love. Slimy insides and all that. 🙂

    Macaroni Mama – Thank you very much! Feel free to comment anytime.

  10. MelodyJ — March 27, 2010 @ 10:37 pm

    I guess I’m the odd one. I love rutabaga as a kid. I just rediscovered them. I didn’t like onions. I grew to like them but I don’t want them to take over a dish. I didn’t like mustard as a kid but love it now . The spicy kind is a favorite. Thanks for the recipe!

  11. merrygourmet
    merrygourmet — March 28, 2010 @ 10:45 am

    Melody – It’s funny how our tastes change as we get older. And I’m certainly glad they do. If they didn’t, my kids would grow up to eat only granola bars and yogurt.

  12. Valen — March 28, 2010 @ 12:41 pm

    I think I will try this! I usually just mash or roast, but both methods take a lot of time and aren’t that delicious.

    • merrygourmet

      merrygourmet replied: — March 28th, 2010 @ 2:52 pm

      Valen – I hope you like it this way. I’ve never had it mashed, but that sounds sort of intriguing.

  13. ghweiss — March 28, 2010 @ 3:48 pm

    I like rutabagas in theory, but sometimes they just remind me in taste and texture of overcooked cabbage. It’s a mental image more than anything at this point.

  14. Trissa — March 29, 2010 @ 6:50 am

    Would you believe I have never had rutabagas? At least, now knowingly! But I am off to the US in three weeks – I’ll make sure to find some and try it.

  15. Jenny — March 29, 2010 @ 6:30 pm

    This looks delicious!

    Cooked carrots are an abomination.

  16. merrygourmet
    merrygourmet — March 29, 2010 @ 7:29 pm

    ghweiss – It’s hard to overcome those mental hang-ups we have about food. I can relate.

    Trissa – You must try some! Have a good trip, by the way.

    Jenny – I am SO with you on the carrots issue.

  17. Mardi@eatlivetravelwrite — April 2, 2010 @ 2:32 pm

    Well you know, you had me at butter! Not a fan of the rutabaga but perhaps with this recipe….

    • merrygourmet

      merrygourmet replied: — April 2nd, 2010 @ 2:54 pm

      Butter can make almost anything better. Just not cooked carrots.

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