A Good, Old-Fashioned Corn Roast

Word Count: 500 approx

Type: Blog Post (Ghostwriting for a Grocer company blog)


This past weekend we held our annual 3-day Cornfest—offering local cobs of corn for 10 cents each!

This ranks fairly high on my favourite promotions list, since (in my family) it means that our old-fashioned summer corn roast is almost here. (And, I get to eat my body weight in butter alongside some of my favourite people.)

My family has been honouring this summer tradition for as long as I can remember. As a very small child, my immediate cousins and I would all be tucked into a hammock-type swing to gnaw on a buttery cob, down in the “back forty” of my grandparents yard. They had half an acre of mature nature right in the city and the back yard was divided into sections that were separated by trees and arbours. The “back forty” was a dark spot way down at the bottom, surrounded by impossibly huge deciduous conifers. It was just past the rows of vegetable gardens that ended in walls of massive rose blooms. The “back forty” was also the home of the blackened brick firepit/oven thingy that my grandpa had made himself. All of the outdoor eatin’ happened down there—and it was the birthplace of our corn roast tradition.

Today, my grandparents live in our hearts, and the old house with the “back forty” lives in our memories. One thing that hasn’t changed is our love of family and of local corn—although the roast is now more of a boil. (But “corn boil” just isn’t as catchy, and also sounds a little less appetizing.)

Our current corn roasts brings about fifty of my closest relatives—aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.—together on a mid-summer weekend in a suburban backyard. Two giant water-filled corn pots (that could bathe a Buick) are set up in a corner atop the blue glow of propane tank fire—and also heavily guarded by a defence line of men. There are mile-long tables filled with salads and fruits and strategically placed cans filled with melted butter for the corn-dipping enthusiasts. (We’re a family of shameless double, triple, and quadruple dippers.)

The children are all running around under foot, parents are chasing said children, cousins are playfully teasing each other, and the elders are all sitting back taking it in with smiles and laughter. Sounds pretty fantastic, doesn’t it? That’s because it is. In our hearts and minds—we’re still in the back forty. It’s an old-fashioned Ontario summer corn roast after all.

What’s your corn tradition?