Will we be remembered? + a grilled corn recipe perfect for fall

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The splash page from JimmyBuffet.com following his death on Sept. 1. He – and his signature song Margaritaville will live on, at least for a while. The rest of us and our life’s work, not so much.

mise en place


Friends:

I, like most of you, woke to the news of Jimmy Buffet’s passing. Say what you will about his music, I am sure many of you, like me, have hummed the tune or sung the lines of Margaritaville. For years to come legions of mall walkers, and countless patrons of grocery stores, clothing shops and dentist’s offices will hear that song. His immortality it seems, is secure. 

As I enter into my seventh decade I wonder if my life will have any lasting impact. Will I leave behind any legacy that would make me memorable to later generations? The answer I came up with is probably not. 

This does not depress me but it is annoying. Immortality it appears, is not the myth of eternal life but an inheritance of deeds or creative expression bequeathed to others that continues long past their life expectancy.

The accomplishments of great women and men are chronicled in history books and biographies. Museums are filled with the creative outpouring of artists long past. These amazing people however make up a such small segment of the human population. Picasso, Ghandi, and Hemingway, to name a few, are names that generations yet to come will know and study. 

So I ask: what about us?

Occasionally I try my hand at poetry. An activity in which I do not possess a great quantity of skill, but I was inspired, so here goes:

How do I leave a marker?

What do I have to accomplish with my life to make it so?

How do I make my life remembered?

Some pigeon-stained resemblance of who, you ask?

Couples sipping coffee under its granite shade is not what I define as immortal.

Statues so lauded with ceremony when dedicated, now just a trivia question.

Great men of war are depicted everywhere and it depresses me to see.

Authors we were forced to read now go unquoted.

What do I have to do to be rewarded with granite or a slot on a library shelf?

Only two generations of past grandparents remembered is the math of a family I am told.

Photos of past loved ones not on glued pages but sim cards, gone with the phone.

Even a loving family only guarantees a limited memory.

How unfair.

Not Robert Frost for sure, but I hope you get the point. So what to do? I say just do our best.

Life generates life and excellence promotes excellence. If every life is lived to its fullest, and every task is met with our best efforts it will inspire others to do the same. A life fulfilled and witnessed by others will be passed on through a life that used yours as a model. One good life can initiate a continuum. 

Physicists say that energy cannot be destroyed. It is transformed and transmuted, therefore it is immortal. The same can be said of a good life witnessed. Our names may not be recalled but the energy of a good and fulfilled life is an inspiration and it possesses the power to transform and be passed along.  


FOOD 

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I only served this at REPUBLIC in August and September. Local corn, picked that day is a singular pleasure and I refrain from making it at any other time of the year. Frozen starchy corn depresses me. I suggest you make a huge batch and have it a couple of times a week until the season for fresh corn is over. That may be the signal to tune up the snowblower. So grab a cold one and fire up the grill. 

*The key to this recipe is corn stock which can be frozen and used later when you make polenta.

  • 4 ears of corn, shucked and grilled 
  • 2 poblano peppers grilled (after grilling place in a covered bowl to steam) 
  • 1 red pepper grilled ( I use a hot one but that’s me) 
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 medium potato (I use a creamy white and leave the skin)
  • 2 large stalks of celery
  • 1 tablespoon chopped tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons white flour
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 4 cups corn stock *
  • 1/2 cup cream or half and half
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper 

Scrape the kernels off the grilled corn remembering to turn your knife and run it along the cob to collect the corn cream. Set aside 

Break the cobs in half and place in a pot with cold water.

Chop the parsley and tarragon set aside. Place the stems in the pot with the cobs.

Dice the onion and celery and set aside. Place the celery tops and onion ends in the pot with the cobs.

Dice the potato and hold in cold water 

Peel the charred skin off the peppers and dice. Place the tops of the peppers in the pot with the cobs and place the pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and then turn down the heat. Simmer for 40 minutes then drain the stock.

In a  pre-heated pot melt the butter. When the butter is melted add the vegetables, salt and pepper and potato. Sweat for 4 minutes. 

Add the wine and cook until the alcohol evaporates. 

Add the flour and incorporated into the vegetables. 

Add the stock and bring to a boil. Lower the heat then add the corn, the cream and the chopped herbs. 

Simmer on low for 30 minutes. 

Serve with crusty bread and some of your ripe tomatoes over dressed greens.


 

About this Author

Edward Aloise

Edward Aloise Previous Co-Owner/ Chef of Republic Cafe and Campo Enoteca and currently the principal in Republic Restaurant Consulting.