He’s As Corny As Kansas In August

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He’s as corny as Kansas in August; I’m as normal as blueberry pie.

I’m pretty sure that’s true of Andy and me…though I’m not a big blueberry pie enthusiast and would never consider it “normal.”

I had to look up which musical my riff on Oscar Hammerstein’s lyrics came from – and it’s South Pacificwhich premiered on Broadway in 1949.  I haven’t seen the stage play, but I know that as a 14-year-old I saw the 1958 movie, starring Mitzi Gaynor as Nurse Nellie Forbush.  I had totally forgotten about all the racism dealt with in that film – and never knew that some asked that the song “You’ve Got To Be Carefully Taught” be taken out…not because it comes from a “white” perspective but because tolerating something like interracial romance was unacceptable.

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John Kerr and France Nuyen in the 1958 South Pacific film

You’ve got to be taught to hate and fear,
You’ve got to be taught from year to year
It’s got to be drummed in your dear little ear
You’ve got to be carefully taught

You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made
And people whose skin is a different shade
You’ve got to be carefully taught

You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late
Before you are six or seven or eight
To hate all the people your relatives hate
You’ve got to be carefully taught

Apparently, Oscar Hammerstein considered himself a bit of a preacher – preaching the importance of “reaching across differences,” as a Broadway historian described him in an essay for NPR.

Now as for “corny.” It too may be laced with some lack of respect for differences. Some etymology research suggests it came about as a reference to farmers – who some might have considered unsophisticated…”hicks”… even dull!”

I take it all back. Andy is certainly NOT corny – as in dull and unsophisticated. BUT his jokes! Corn PLUS! (see today’s Andy’s Corner.)

When Andy and I arrived in Colorado for his first visit with my parents, his most telling remark to them – while we were driving up the interstate from Denver to Fort Collins – was when he pointed to a man in a field (maybe it was a cornfield?) and asked my unsuspecting mom and dad, “You know what a farmer is, don’t you?”  Pregnant pause. “A farmer is someone outstanding in his field!” OMG.

And Andy thinks this is super funny:

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So – I’ll bet you’ve already guessed what recipes I’m going to share, have’t you? It’s going to be all about blueberries.

WRONG

It’s about corn. Please forgive me, Michael Pollan, for loving corn no matter what you’ve researched and written about it.

Did you grow up hearing that corn crops should be “knee high by the Fourth of July?”  Maybe that was a Colorado thing.  Now highly-hybridized (and often GM) corn matures so early (as do chickens, cattle, and hogs) that the more appropriate expression is “as high as a elephant’s eye.”  And – yes, we’re back to Hammerstein lyrics – this time from Oklahoma!

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Gordon MacRae in Oklahoma, the film

(True confession: I think I was secretly in love with Gordon MacRae after seeing him sing “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” in the film.  Or maybe I was in love with his horse!)

We’ve already posted some d-lish recipes using fresh corn (and, might I add, frozen corn kernels work really well if fresh corn is out of season).

But today (yes, appropriately enough, it’s August) I’m going back to our Louisiana past and giving you a recipe for Maque Choux (pronounced like “mock shoe” – and the name supposedly being an odd combination of Creole and Native American words).  This is definitely a recipe geared for David in Albuquerque – who loves to improvise. 

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Maque Choux

Maque Choux

Make this recipe your own by frying and adding diced bacon, sliced okra, chopped celery, some minced jalapeno, ham, shrimp, or andouille sausage, and/or at the end of sauteing – a little cream.  Scraping the cobs of corn to get some of the milky, juicy part to add is also traditional.

Heat oil in a large skillet, then sauté onion and bell pepper over medium heat 3-4 minutes or until tender. Add corn and tomato and seasonings and cook, stirring often, about 10 minutes.

Recipe brought to you by BigLittleMeals.com and Andy and Ann.

2 Comments

  1. Larry Squarepants says:

    Hi Andy

    I’m guessing you are a fan of spoonerisms and mondegreens. i am prone to mondegreens, but that’s mostly due to hearing and cognitive issues rather than attempts at humor.

    Like

    • theRaggedys says:

      I think we are all prone to mondegreens (now that I have looked up what it means). As a kid I always thought the lyrics to Gob Bless America went: “From the mountains to the fairies; to the oceans white with foam.” And, I thought that Mary’s little lamb had fleas white as snow. Thanks for sharing the terminology and your wisdom.

      Like

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