Monday, September 17, 2012

Mister Bua's cornbread

It isn't really cornbread.

But you knew that.

It's a crispy baguette that has been soaked in melted sweet butter. The butter was neither poured over nor spread on the bread when it was warm from the oven. It was melted by something much, much better: a just-steamed, super fresh ear of local corn.

We're getting to the end of the growing season. The nights are growing cold here in Maine, leaves are beginning to turn. I'll miss the fresh corn and the bread that I always eat alongside it.

I have Vito Bua to thank for this summer tradition that I hold dear. Mr. Bua was grandfather to several of my cousins. I remember him for only two things: dancing with the ladies (boy, could he dance with the ladies!) and teaching me how to eat fresh summer corn.

Mr. Bua died long ago, and we never were what you would call close. And yet, every summer when the corn comes, there he is teaching me all over again what to do.

"Here," he says in that thick Italian accent of the immigrants of his day. "First you put your butter on your bread. Like this."

"Now, go ahead, rub the corn up and down until it all melts."

"Okay, son, the bread is the best part of all, you know. Don't ever forget that."

And I never did.

Thanks, Mr. B.


Cathy said...

This is exactly -- EXACTLY -- how my grandfather and I used to eat the corn from his garden.

You touched my heart with this one, Mr. M.

Thank you!

Mister Meatball said...

My pleasure.

Anonymous said...

Simple things are the best.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I've never seen that done before - but what a great idea.

Mister Meatball said...

Ain't it?

Thomas Henry Strenk said...

Fresh corn doesn't need any accompaniments much less a slather of butter like that.
But I guess, short growing season and all, you can't get good corn up in Maine.

Mister Meatball said...

Oh, Tom, now you're just being difficult.

Maine corn's damn good, actually. But everything's better with bread and butter.

You oughta know that.