Illustration by Libby VanderPloeg

There’s nothing much cuter than a fuzzy raccoon, even when it’s peeking out of a greasy dumpster in the summer heat.  Case in point here. But if you have the pleasure of seeing one of these masked mammals lumbering around during daylight hours (as I have this summer at Prospect Park), it might make you wonder what’s up? Does this furry friend, noctural-by-nature, have rabies, and is it about to sink it’s sharp little canines into my shin, only to infect me with it’s life-threatening disease?

According to the humane society, seeing a raccoon during daylight hours does not necessarily mean the that it has rabies or is sick. It could just be a hungry mother scoping out the strawberry pie cooling on your windowsill (or the discarded aluminum buffet tray of rice and beans strewn across the sidewalk if you live in on my block). So don’t panic. And don’t touch the rice and beans (that will probably infect you with something worse than rabies). If the raccoon seems disoriented or has other signs of sickness then call for backup.  Otherwise you can go about your business.

And what should be your business this week? It’s CORN SEASON! Shout it from the rooftop. Get out the corn hole games. And who needs a trendy e-cigarette when you can whittle yourself a corn-cob pipe.

Hungry? Fire up the grill and roast some ears. Roasted corn is great on it’s own, but if you’ve got leftover ears or you just want to dress it up, try cutting the roasted kernels off the cob, and making it into a crunchy salad with the bold and bright flavors of lime and cilantro. And..oh hey…what a coincidence!  I am giving you a recipe for such a salad below. Enjoy.

At a glance: Corn is a fantastic way to get heart-healthy folic acid in you.  And it’s a superb source of fiber, the insoluble kind–great for healthy digestion. Pair it with cilantro, and look out! In addition to adding fresh, green flavor to a dish, cilantro has both detoxifying and anti-bacterial properties to give your recipes superpower.


Roasted Corn Salad


6 ears of roasted corn (directions below)

1 cup black beans, cooked and drained

1/2 lb cherry tomatoes, diced

2 scallions, chopped

4 tbsp. Cilantro Pesto (recipe follows)

To Roast the corn: On a grill (or in a 400 degree oven), roast the ears of corn (everybody has their own preference, but I like to do it with the husks loosened and the silk removed) until kernels have started to nicely brown, 35-45 minutes. With a sharp knife, cut the corn kernels from the cob, running the knife down along the cob while holding it vertically.

To Make the Salad: In a medium sized bowl, combine corn, tomato, black beans, and scallion. Drizzle Cilantro Pesto over vegetables and toss lightly to combine. Garnish with more fresh cilantro and serve cold.

Cilantro Pesto


3 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup fresh cilantro

Juice of 1 lime

1/4 tsp sea salt

1/4 tsp cumin

Directions: With an immersion blender, combine cilantro, olive oil, and spices until a smooth consistency is achieved. Makes 6-8 oz. Keeps for about a week in the fridge.

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