There’s a phenomenon that happens every summer along the Lakefront in Chicago …
… and I’m not talking about the hordes of people who flock to the beaches in their swimsuits and flip flops and matching towels.
I’m talking about the hordes of people who flock to the green spaces surrounding the beaches. Along the Lakefront. And it’s not just random groups of people flocking there. It’s full-on families. Extended families. Moms and dads and toddlers and teens and grandmas and grandpas and aunts and uncles …
… arriving at dawn and staying till dusk …
… arriving with hibachis and grills and coolers and tarps and tents and blankets and chairs and boom boxes.
Moving in for the long haul …
And as I walk past them on my way to the sandy shoreline, I can’t help but to be fascinated about what their stories may be …
Like how far did they travel? How early did they need to arrive to get that prime shady spot and that prime parking spot? Do they come every day? Is there some kind of hierarchy among the various families? Fights about who gets what tree? Feuding among these Lakefront neighbors … complete with star-crossed teen lovers?
And I imagine they live in apartment buildings with no or limited air conditioning …
And as I sat on the beach lastweekend chatting with a friend while watching a woman swaying gently on a giant hammock tied between two trees, I first learned about cooler corn.
And I don’t mean “my corn is cooler than your corn” cooler corn.
You see, when some of these families first arrive at the Lakefront – and before the sun has fully risen in the sky — they put a giant pot of water on the grill. And while it works up to a rolling boil they husk a bunch of ears of corn. And they place those shucked ears of corn in a clean cooler. And when that water boils, they fill the cooler with it …
… right on top of that shucked corn.
And then they firmly shut the lid.
I mean, how cool is that?
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Kirby Dunton Carespodi says
I have never seen this…what a great idea! (Of course, my husband and I have only recently discovered microwaving corn-on-the-cob, so we are a little behind the times.
Patricia Purcell says
Wow, I never heard of cooking corn in the cooler! Sounds like a good way to make it for a crowd.
We have parks like this down the shore from us a bit, too. I love to see all the families enjoying themselves, swimming, playing guitar, some even fishing….but I have NEVER heard of cooler corn. Wait till I tell my son about this- He is going to be on that bandwagon- xo Diana
Pretty dang cool. A must try! The cook in me has questions though…how long do they leave it before they first eat it? Does it taste any different at the end of the day than when it is first put in?
Daniela @Frugal Aint Cheap says
that is SO cool! or HOT!
Artsy VaVa says
Very cool! I’ve never heard of doing corn that way!
I used to have those same thoughts as I walked along the lakefront. (And now I’m feeling a little nostalgic for Chicago.) Pinning your cooler corn now 🙂
That is cool! Never heard of it, and I do have cool corn, so I’m gonna pin this to remind me how I can have even cooler corn.
Brilliant! Must pin and remember!!
Cassie @ Primitive & Proper says
that cooler corn IS in fact cooler than my corn.
I’ve seen this all over Pinterest, but haven’t tried it yet. It seems too good to be true!
Shirley@Housepitality Designs says
OK…I have lived near the beach and had many a beach picnic all my life and have never heard of Cooler Corn…so much classier than wrapping it in foil and leaving it on the dashboard of the car!!!…Now just throw a couple of sticks of butter in the water and perfection!!
Love it! Yes indeed, my grandmother would tell me that in the good old days in Chicago- they had no air conditioning- and on the REALLY hot days they would go down to SLEEP at the beach…but they didn’t bring any cooler corn. Gotta try that one!
No way! I can’t believe it! Who would have ever thought! I have pinned this for future camping trips. Amazing.
By the way – I love your porch makeover. That painted rug is extraordinary!
PS I am your newest follower.
Bronwyn @ Queen B Creative Me
Lauren @ My Wonderfully Made says
Never, ever heard of this! I think this is just the greatest idea — you could boil the water at home and head out and enjoy your piping hot corn whenever you’re ready to picnic that day! Fantastic – thanks for sharing!
Jessica @ HomewithBaxter says
This post speaks of SUMMER! Love it! And no, I’ve never heard of cooler corn, but that’s genius.
Corn in my Coffee-Pot says
ha ha ha! What a fantastic way to cook corn!
Now…if you have no pot with a fire to cook your corn…
There is always the coffee pot method!
Merri Jo says
That is SO cool! We’ve wondered if there’s a lottery for those spots…one year on the 3rd for the fireworks, a family told us they had “staked their claim” two DAYS earlier!!
Eclectically Vintage says
While I don’t like being body to body at the beach, I do love me some good corn (as long as I’ve got my trusty dental floss at the ready)!
Never heard of this – but what a great idea! Now I’ll be sporting bits of corn in my teeth as I catch some rays!
Kelly @ View Along the Way says
NO NO NO! Don’t do it.
Coolers have plastic made of BPA, which leeches into your food when it gets hot. This is SUCH a bad idea. BPA is nasty, nasty junk. Resist!!
Whew. Sorry. I get a little bit crazy when it comes to BPA.
Sheila @sZinteriors says
I’ve never heard of this, and until I read Kelly’s comment, was ready to share this all over FB and Twitter. I mean, this is just way too cool to resist… I love the idea of it. It’s so easy and perfect for the beach. But what Kelly said makes sense. Such a bummer to have to let this one go 🙁