My partner and I are planning an elegant reception for my son's return to Canada after six years overseas. He has left the menu entirely to us, with one exception: He has insisted that there be corn on the cob, which seems a bit inelegant to us. Is there any way to make corn on the cob more formal?
You can always braid the corn silk and crochet it into individual corn doilies. With a few weeks' labour, a box of tapioca starch and a few hundred dollars' worth of platinum foil, you could make some mighty impressive cob tuxedos, too.
If it were me, though, I'd try to find some old-fashioned corn holders: the pronged handles that go into either end of the cob. I'm partial to the vintage Bakelite ones; there are plenty of antique silver-plate corn skewers in antique shops and on sites like Etsy and eBay, too. Nothing, though, is going to make cob corn elegant.
Fresh corn is finger food – a signal to your guests that it's okay to relax and enjoy themselves a little. I'd bet a set of coltan-and-yellow diamond cob holders that that's the real reason behind your son's request.
Chris Nuttall-Smith is The Globe and Mail's food critic. Have an entertaining question? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.