Island Cooking: Something Corny This Way Comes

I swear after last night’s debacle – me running through the neighborhood chasing my dog Leroy, waving a hotdog in the air and yelling “hotdog” at the top of my voice (because this is his favorite food item in the world and I have them on hand for such incidents as these) – if I ever get another dog again I will train if right from the beginning.


I’m sure the neighbors are quite used to this by now (this is not a rare occurrence) but I do think I’ve seen some of the newer ones grab their children and head for their house during these canine capers.

My older dog Kasey is really good; she was naturally an adult from the time she was adopted at 5 months old. On the other hand, Leroy, my small dog, has absolutely no clue when he has done something wrong.

I have to lock the cabinet door under the sink where I keep the trash, otherwise when I get home it will be all over the floor, everything eaten out of it. Poor Kasey will be trying to get past me to get outside as soon as I open the door with her tail between her legs because she knows she did something wrong (she also has a digestive problem which adds to the whole unpleasantness of the situation.) But Leroy will actually be sitting right in the middle of the disaster with a goofy smile on his face and wagging his tail because he’s so happy to see me not and realizing he has spaghetti hanging from his fur. He also does not know the meaning of the word “no!” When I tell him, “No, you can’t climb up on the table at Christmas time to take the stuffed Rudolph to play with,” or “No, stop herding the cat like a cattle dog,” or “No, stop barking at the same dogs you have been barking at for the past five years that walk by every day,” he goes ahead does it.

And I’m sure the people walking their dogs are tired of his barking at them and my constantly yelling, “This is why you don’t have friends to play with!” I really don’t know why they just haven’t changed their walking route – maybe they’re so entertained by my utter lack of control it just amuses them.

But what absolutely amazes me is that any one else who comes into my home can control Leroy. Even when my mother tells him to use his indoor voice, he listens. Apparently, as my mother says, he knows he can get away with this behavior with me.

But in the long run I really love this dog. My friends say I have to because he has a face only a mother could love. He has quite an underbite, most likely from someone trying to cross a shitzu and Pekingese, I think. I guess you’d have to see him to believe it. And now I have him to thank for this week’s column.

On my recent run through the neighborhood chasing him, I noticed that my neighbors had corn growing (how could I not since I was practically scaling their fence to chase Leroy); and seeing the corn made me want to do some corn recipes. First, a drink.

Merlot Mojo

Pour 4 ounces or so of your favorite merlot over ice; add 1 ounce of club soda and 1 ounce of currant liqueur. Garnish with a lime and enjoy.


Grilled Corn Toppings

I love grilled corn. Most people do it one of three ways. You can remove the husk and brush with seasoned oil and grill until some of the kernels are brown, about 7 or 8 minutes. Or you can pull back the husks and remove the silks, put back the husks and soak in water at least 30 minutes and grill about 10 minutes; or remove husks and silk, then wrap in heavy duty aluminum foil and grill about 10 minutes.

The best part is brushing on the flavored toppings; these are some of my favorites.


Herbed Corn Topping

1/4 cup olive oil or soft margarine or butter, 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese (I like fresh) and a half teaspoon dried oregano.


Chili Butter Topping

1/4 cup softened butter, 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro, a half teaspoon of salt, half teaspoon of chili powder plus a pinch of sugar, and pinch of crushed red pepper.


Pesto Topping

Pesto tastes great brushed on corn.


Fresh Corn Pudding

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 2 tsps. salt
  • 2 Tbsps. sugar
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3/4 cups flour
  • 2 cups fresh corn

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in a small saucepan and set aside. In a bowl whisk eggs, salt, sugar, pepper, flour and melted butter. Whisk together and then add your corn; mix well and pour into a buttered 13×9 baking dish.

Bake for 1 hour or until set and brown on top.


Cheesy Corn Bake

Everything is better with cheese!

  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1 can whole kernel corn, drained
  • 1 can cream-style corn
  • 1 small package corn muffin mix
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375. Whisk softened cream cheese and milk until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients and mix well. Grease a 13×9-inch baking pan and pour the mixture in the pan.

Bake 35 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy!


Send me your favorite fall recipes at [email protected].


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