Corn Salad and Credit

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It’s full summer, and the July 4th / Independence Day holiday weekend approacheth. It seems like the right time to add a modest but mighty recipe for corn salad to the site. If you see those leftover ears of corn from a dinner and think you should throw them out because you’ll never do anything with them, here’s something simple to do with them that will keep in your fridge for a few days to eat as a side dish or brighten a green salad. I like eating corn in the form of this salad better than straight off the cob, personally.

This recipe is my attempt to match the side salad that I used to get from a unique little roast-chicken-and-sides restaurant in Venice Beach, CA. It was called California Roasters and I’m sorry that it’s not still there because they were awesome. When I can take a little more time, I have a long, involved story that I want to share about an important day back in the summer of 2000 where a takeout dinner from California Roasters played a part. My summer project – if I declare it, I have to do it, right?

Why drag credit into this? Because in the midst of all our regular summer activities, I’ve been getting a steady stream of cell phone notifications about compromised passwords and pieces of physical mail about another damn data breach that is likely affecting me and my data right now. I’m guessing that I’m not alone. These data breaches are so pervasive and our delicate private information is poorly protected it’s easy to feel like there’s nothing that can be done about keeping identity thieves out of our drawers. There is one tactic you can put into practice quickly that is a solid tool that I strongly recommend: set up a permanent credit freeze.

You actually have to set up three credit freezes, via the websites of each of the big three credit bureaus, Experian, Equifax and Transunion. You know, the people who will gladly protect you from themselves for a fee, or for free for a year because they failed to protect you last time? Their addresses are handy in all these data breach letters that have been arriving in my mailbox but keeping your credit in a perpetually frozen state means that no one can open up a Macy’s card or apply for an apartment or line of credit in your name.

Yes, it’s a little bit of a pain to have to go onto these three sites and unfreeze them every time you want to do something like apply for an apartment or a job, or get a Macy’s card, but it is so much better than the alternative. I’ve had to unfreeze my credit lately, and you can set the “unfreeze” for a timed period so that you don’t have to go back onto the sites to reset the freeze. This is different than a credit lock, and there is no charge to do the freeze/unfreeze. Each of these credit bureaus has a different way of verifying you and validating you, and there is one where I can never pass my own identity test. It’s a little disconcerting because I feel like there is someone out there who can pass my identity test because they are pros at that sort of thing.

So that’s the end of my brief lecture on credit freezes. It’s my hope that most of you already got that memo and are doing this too, as a matter of course. But if I can convince one person who has their credit exposed at room temperature to handle that housekeeping task pronto, then I will be satisfied. With all the time you’ll save making this simple yet classic little side salad, you can find 20-30 minutes to go onto the Equifax, Transunion and Experian websites and set up the freezes. You will have the right to feel very virtuous when you are done.

Happy Independence Day weekend!

CORN SALAD

Ingredients

2 leftover ears of corn, kernels cut off the cobb

1 red, orange or yellow pepper, diced

1 green onion sliced thin, or 2 tbsp red onion, diced

1/3 cucumber, diced (approx. 1/2 – 2/3 cup)

1/4 cup green beans, if available, cooked or uncooked, sliced into thin rounds – 10 beans or so

2 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp. Virgin Olive Oil

1 Tbsp. of your favorite bottled Italian or vinaigrette dressing

1/3 tsp. celery seed

Dash white pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

Marinate the diced cucumber in the vinaigrette dressing in a separate bowl.

Combine all the other ingredients in medium sized bowl and let marinate for an hour or more. Add cucumbers to the corn salad mixture before serving. Salt and pepper to taste.