A hydrogen atom walks into a bar. He turns to the bartender and says, “I think I’ve lost an electron!”. The bartender replies, “Are you positive?” [source: my Biochemistry prof at CSNN]
Ba-DUM-pa! Yes, indeedy, I am a lover of corny jokes. I giggle uncontrollably when I hear a good one, I hoard them for later use at dinner parties, I re-tell them whenever I get a chance. That beauty up above, for instance, I’ve been saving since 2002 when I heard it in a classroom in nutrition school.
I inherited the “corn” gene from both my parents in equal measure. My father is one of those people who has a joke at the ready for any circumstance. Drop him into a group of people discussing the latest in cloning techniques, and he might pipe up with “So, a geneticist and a sheep walk up to a bar. . . ” My mother, on the other hand, was the Queen of Sap, unparalleled in her ability to cry at pretty much anything and everything that touched on sentimental or mawkish. A saccharine birthday card with “I love you” scrawled at the end? Cue the waterworks. A radio report about a German Shepherd saving its owner from drowning? Hand me that box of Kleenex, would you? An über-corny made-for-TV movie that she didn’t even watch? Watch out for those puddles at her feet.
Question: What is green and sings? Answer: Elvis Parsley. [source: seventeen year-old Ricki, as an audience member on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, who was chosen to tell a joke on air. Yes, folks, that is the only one I could think of, and I told it to millions of viewers across the country.]
The aforementioned movie incident occurred many years ago, and it’s a perfect illustration of my mother’s extreme sensitivity. One weekend in high school when my friend Sterlin was sleeping over, we parked ourselves in the basement family room, splayed out on the carpet as we watched a chintzy made-for-TV movie called Message to My Daughter. In a nutshell, here’s the plot: a young woman discovers a series of cassette tapes her (now dead) mother had made for her while she (the mother) was dying of cancer. The movie skips between present-day scenes of the girl listening to the tapes and flashbacks of the mother as she records her pregnancy, her daughter’s toddlerhood, and her eventual decline from the disease.
In the final scene of the film, the young woman visits her mother’s grave. Kneeling down before the tombstone, she whispers something like, “Mom, I never knew you, but you were the best mother a girl could ever have. And I love you.”
Now, as it happened, our TV room was situated midway between the stairs leading to the upstairs and the laundry room, also in the basement. This particular Friday evening my mom was doing laundry, so she had to walk through the TV room two or three times as she went from the kitchen upstairs to the washer, back up to the kitchen, then back down again to the dryer. Coincidentally, it was time to empty the dryer just seconds before that final graveyard scene. My mother walked into the room, heard the words, “. . .but you were the best mother a girl could ever have. And I love you,” and before Sterlin and I could say “Bounce dryer sheets,” my mother was frozen in front of the television, a stifled sob caught in her throat and tears streaming down her cheeks onto the folded towels she clutched to her chest.
Oh, yes, it took a while for her to live that one down, I’ll tell you.
A neutron goes into a bar and asks the bartender, “How much for a beer?” The bartender replies, “For you, no charge.” [Joe Cassaletto]
Well, even though it seems I’ve inherited my mother’s predilection for corny sentiments (Is it soft and furry? Does it involve losing a prized possession, home, food, sentimental item? Does an old person connect with a younger person? Does a young man offer a young woman a token of his affection? Does a teenaged girl go to her mother’s grave and say, “Mom, I never got to know you, but I really love you”?–yep, I’ll cry at it, too), there is also a great love of corn–the edible kind–in the RH household as well.
Although I can’t consume much of it on the ACD , I have always loved fresh corn on the cob, ever since the days when everyone ate locally by default and real corn was a once-a-year treat. My sisters and I all loved the nubbly batons with their succulent, sunny grains lined up perfectly like beads on an abacus. At the same time, our elation was tinged with a touch of sadness, since their appearance also augured our return to school and the end of summer.
When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading. [source: Henny Youngman]
And while I’ve made corn chowder before, I’ve never prepared a corn-based soup with kernels cut fresh from the cob. This recipe is my adaptation of one I came across last weekend, when the HH and I spent a couple of nights up north and whiled away the time in front of a saltwater swimming pool, reading magazines. It’s from Good Housekeeping, a publication I don’t read regularly, yet something about the creamy yellow base with its contrasting garnish and the sheer simplicity of the recipe appealed to me. Something that fresh and oh, so corny–well, how could I resist?
A helium atom walks into a bar. The bartender screams at it, “Hey! You’re stinking drunk!” The helium atom doesn’t react. [source: @Joan Rivers]
You’ll find the flavor here is just the right combination of sweet and smoky, with both the paprika and baked tofu offering a balanced pairing alongside the corn and potato. Creamy, cool, and slightly sweet, this soup is a great way to bid summer adieu as we anticipate the autumn harvest. The HH enjoyed this with some crusty bread, while I had it plain; as corny as it was, the soup was enough for me on its own.
“Okay, I’ve got one, Mum! Elsie walks into a bar and sits down on a bar stool and says to the bartender, ‘Give me my treats, NOW!” And the bartender says, ‘Okay, here!’! Ha ha ha ha ha isn’t that a good one, Elsie?”
“Zip it, Chaser. Honestly, do you think anyone would find that funny, when it could never happen in real life? I mean, everyone knows we’re not allowed up on the furniture.”
Chilled Corn Soup with Smoky Garnish (suitable for ACD stage 2 and beyond)
2 Tbsp (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil, preferably organic
1 medium yellow onion, diced
3 cups (720 ml) fresh or frozen corn kernels, divided
1 large redskinned potato, peeled and grated (for a deeper yellow soup, use Yukon Gold potatoes if you can have them)
1/8 tsp (.5 ml) smoked paprika plus more for garnish
1-1/2 cups (360 ml) vegetable broth or stock
2 cups (480 ml) unsweetened plain soy or almond milk
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh cilantro leaves
4 servings of your favorite tempeh or tofu “bacon” (about 1/2 pound or 250 g), diced small, or you can use smoked tofu
In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat the oil over medium heat and add the onion. Sauté until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add 2-1/2 cups (600 ml) of the corn, reserving 1/2 cup (120 ml) for garnish, the grated potato and the paprika, and cook for 2 more minutes. Add the broth and cook until the potato is soft and the liquid is almost evaporated, about 10 minutes.
Remove the pot from the heat, stir in the soy milk, and season with salt and pepper. Pour the soup (in batches if necessary) into a blender and blend until smooth. Cover and chill until cold, at least 3 hours and up to overnight.
To serve, divide the soup into bowls and sprinkle each with a tiny bit more smoked paprika, a handful of the smoked tofu, a bit of the reserved corn kernels, and a few leaves of cilantro. Serve immediately. Makes 4-6 servings. This is best eaten fresh, and not really suitable for freezing.
adapted from Good Housekeeping, August 2010
Suitable for: ACD Stage 2 and beyond; refined sugar-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg free, yeast-free, vegan.
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