August 20, 2014
Last weekend, my family got together for an annual tradition we lovingly call the “Corn-Off.” Uncles, aunts, cousins and Grandma all gather together in August to battle it out in a competition over who can make the best corn on the cob. No kidding, it gets pretty serious.
Here’s how it goes down: Each family must retrieve its own corn from a stand or store of choice. Equipped with dozens of ears of corn and their own cooking supplies, everyone meets at one of our houses to begin competition. No rules on cooking styles, condiments or corn selection — every family for itself. Everyone then takes one big bite (or five) of each competing batch of corn and casts his or her vote for the Corn-Off champion. Winners get the trophy and losers host the next year’s Corn-Off.
Considering our family is a mixture of Edina, Eden Prairie and Minnetonka rivals, it’s not hard for us to get fired up over a good contest. For a few years there was an integral voting system that attempted to prevent voters from knowing which corn was made by which family (self-voting used to be a big problem when we cousins were little). Another year we ranked every single competing corn from best to worst. Looking back, we may have gotten a little hyper-competitive at times, but that was also half the fun of it.
Now in our tenth year of the competition, the Corn-Off has become more of a fun excuse to get everyone together at the end of summer before our schedules get jam-packed in the fall. Win or lose, there are few things sweeter than family memories and a tasty ear of corn.