The Gallivanting Gourmand
Greg Duncan
Greg Duncan
is a freelance writer based in the Montreal region. He is particularly keen about good food. In his day job, Greg is the executive director of the Quebec Community Newspapers Association.

His previous columns are archived HERE.

Posted 08.31.04


Sweet Corn: Readers Respond

A recent column about innovative things to do with fresh corn revealed that readers are willing to take up a challenge when prompted. The corn column suggested a short boil method that a number of readers have said worked out perfectly.

One reader suggested the following cooking method:

    "You might try microwaving your fresh sweet corn. On the cob. Leave the husks on, remove the silks. Wrap the husks up around the corn.

    Pop into the microwave. Here in Colorada, at high altitude, we do them for two minutes per ear. You may have to experiment to find the right time for lower elevations.

    It's so fast, and clean that we have "on demand" servings! Unless somehow you are enamoured of the pot o'boiling water ritual, it's well worth a try. -- Mary Ferree

Another reader said that they enjoy their fresh corn on the cob with a slather of Dijon mustard.

Yet another told me that he sprinkles curry powder on his.

Of the most interesting was the reader who claims that his kids spread peanut butter on the ears.

A truly Canadian innovation perhaps is the notion of pouring maple syrup over and adding a grind of black pepper.

A co-worker engaged me on the topic of corn and offered a little advice on how to ensure that all the kernels pop in a bag of microwave popcorn. She says that one must massage the bag to evenly distribute the oils to coat each kernel prior to popping. She claims less dead heads and a superior result. I'll be trying this at home and will get back to you.

One reader needed clarification on the peach crumble recipe I provided a couple of weeks ago. She asked what a half stick of butter was and if one could use canned peaches.


Essentially a stick of butter equals a quarter pound or 112.5 grams. This also equals roughly eight tablespoons. The recipe called for half-stick of softened butter.

For the crumble recipe you can add a little more or less if you like. I prefer at least four.

Here is what the book provides as reference:

Butter and margarine

When a recipe calls for "half a stick of butter," it is referring to the fact that butter and other fats are often sold in "sticks." You can buy butter in packs of a pound, consisting of four sticks, and they're usually marked in quarters (sometimes also in eighths), making it easy to measure off, say, two ounces of butter, or "half a stick."

As for using canned peaches it is definitely fine to do so. Just do not add all the syrup to the recipe. Drain the peaches and save for another use if you can. The liquid could be used for a smoothie with a little yogurt in a blender as an idea. One large tin should be good for this recipe.

Another reader asked how many fresh peaches we needed for the recipe.


The recipe should have called for six to eight medium sliced peaches.

I appreciate all queries and responses and extend an invitation to send any recipes and kitchen hints or tips for sharing with fellow readers.

Send your culinary comments to

A word of warning though: If you spam me I'll be forced to write a column about Spam, Kam or Spork and that could be unfortunate for all.