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Bring water to a boil in a stockpot (don't add any salt; it toughens kernels), and drop in six to eight ears. Return to a boil, then cook two to four minutes for crisp-tender corn. When ears are just about done, slice eight tablespoons of unsalted butter, and drop them into the cooking water; stir to melt. The butter will float, and each ear will get an even coating as you remove it from the pot with tongs.