Meals to Die by, no. 14

Today’s death will be sponsored by the plants. Yes, plants are out there everywhere and they are out to get you. The unsuspecting, the foolish, even the wise can fall victim to picturesque (or ugly) foliage.

But which plant to choose? One mistakenly eaten because it dastardly masquerades as a safe plant? One that tempts with its edible parts only to reveal a cruel inner poison? One readily eaten daily that slowly causes distress?

For assistance I turned to Wicked Plants: The Weed that Killed Lincoln’s Mother & Other Botanical Atrocities by Amy Stewart. Besides causing me to wonder a little bit more about the plants I look at everyday it led me to look up the poison gardens online and start planning my next imaginary vacation.

Yes, even the foods we eat everyday can lead to death or at the very least extreme discomfort.

Limes and citrus – Perhaps if you were not a child that snuck lemon halves or fished out lime halves from your Cherry Limeade during the hot summers in order to suck their juices you are not familiar with the phototoxic chemicals found in the oil glands of a citrus fruits’ rind. I was. When I sat outside in the summer sun drinking my Cherry Limeade, my face started to burn and itch. Sadly, it took a few times to rid me of this habit. I still look longingly at that half a lime.

Habanero Chili – The numbness, watering eyes, burning throat, the simple yet excruciating sting that goes with cutting up a chile measuring in at  100,000 to 1,000,000 SHU is hardly news to anyone who has ever dared attack one of these beautifully pale orange chilies. Playing it safe with a food processor can even become a danger if you stand too close when unhooking the lid. And of course, there are unspoken words here about some parts being worse than others.

Corn – An ever-expanding staple that suffers from loneliness. In order to consume niacin you could eat all the corn available and still never get enough. Pellagra – a severe niacin deficiency – causes (in part) your mind to suffer from dementia while your skin takes on a pale deathly appearance before death.3

But don’t worry. This here is safe to consume. Really – the lime helps you absorb the niacin. The butter cuts the sting of the habanero — at least I think so. Basic logic reasons that if milk helps than creamed curdled butter would do the same. And the lime is going inside you not on you so you’re safe there, too.

Corn on the Cob with Lime Habanero Butter

zest of about half a lime
half a habanero chili
pinch of salt
3 tablespoons butter
Corn, on the cobs

Chop up the lime peel and habanero in a food processor. Add in the butter and salt and whir around until combined. Return butter to the fridge to chill until you’re ready for it.

Cook the corn in a pot of boiling water. How long – well that depends. Are you a common cook or not? If yes, then until it is tender, the kernels feel like they are about to pop with juice and they have turned to a deeper yellow. Or grill. If not, then you should find a different site to help you out because plenty of instructions on proper cooking length of corn on the cob exist. Out there.

2 thoughts on “Meals to Die by, no. 14

  1. Now you’re talking real summer and our corn is in !! Thanks for the tip !
    Hope all is well in Austin town. Italy is almost bankrupt like Greece but has been for 3000 years and ever remains beautiful !! garner


  2. Pingback: Plants « by: The Common Cook

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