Child of the Corn

Corn mazes are big business for small farms these days. With the advent of computer-aided design programs (and tractors guided by GPS), the tall green labyrinths have gotten exponentially more complex over the past few years. However, most farms still stick with the usual Halloween themes of ghosts, pumpkins, and broomstick-riding witches.

However, a recent NPR Weekend Edition found a Massachusetts corn maze with something a little more au courant. Mike’s Maze in Sunderland, Mass. has found a way to attract both candy-apple-clutching kids and and their organic-cider-swigging foodie parents alike, by making a maze in the shape of a toothy, mallet-wielding Julia Child, backed by a fully loaded knife rack. And that’s not all; according to the website, additional entertainments will include “a potato putting course, tomato trebuchet, potato cannons and anything else we can throw in, maybe even the kitchen sink.”

After all, Julia is hot these days: two years after her death at age 91, she’s got a memoir on The New York Times nonfiction bestseller list, (requires registration) while Nora Ephron is working on a screenplay based on Julie and Julia, Julie Powell’s blog-born tell-all about her year-long, gimlet-fueled (and butter-drenched) attempt to cook every recipe in Child’s classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking. But will the ghost of Julia be lurking, chef’s knife in hand, behind those rustling stalks, ready to fend off any attempts to make her over into a cuddly, oversized date-movie mascot?

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