Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Sweet Pop

Life has a wicked sense of humor.

When we try to make plans, life makes others. Just as we think we've figured out the new plan, life throws another curveball our way. This is both the brightly beautiful and the deeply troubling thing about life.

I don't want to spend another post apologizing for my lack of posts, but I do think you deserve an explanation. You see, its been over a month since my last post, just after I promised more regular posting AND that the blog makeover would be complete soon. I think the "soon" came and went.

So here is the loop that life has thrown my  our way, after seeming to suggest that I should be focusing on my writing, the blog, and work:

Yup - I'm baking a little baby biscuit!

We were surprised. We are excited. We are, um, well a little nervous. I'm nearly in my sixth month now and just barely starting to have my old energy level back and, of course, now I have this belly bump to battle as well.

So the blog makeover will still sort of be in transition and posts may be sporadic for a while - this baby business is a much BIGGER project that life has thrown our way and it is all consuming.

Kettle Corn

My first and second trimester had me quite sick. Not just in the morning, but in the noon and night too. It was hard to eat, much less cook anything. I ate a lot of toast, plain oatmeal, and pasta. I learned to love popcorn all over again. Plain, with sea salt and pepper, and the favorite: kettle style.

 I assume that most people have had this slightly sweet and salty combo at their local festival or state fair. Though temperatures have just barely dropped around Atlanta, it has rained enough to break out boots and pretend that fall is already here. I cannot think of a more prefect autumn snack.

serves 3 or 1 pregnant lady

1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil

1/2 cup corn kernels

1/4 cup granulated sugar

sea or other fine salt to taste

Pour the oil into a tall, heavy bottomed pot, set over medium high heat, and add a few kernels of corn. Have the rest of the kernels, the sugar, a lid that barely fits the pot, oven mitts or pot holders and a large serving bowl standing by.

When the first kernels pop, add the remaining kernels and sugar. Shake the pot once or twice so the kernels create an even layer and cover with the lid. Reduce the heat slightly. As soon as you hear the kernels begin to pop start shaking the pot.

Shake the pot continuously. Front to back, side to side, round and round, until the popping slows, 3-4 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside for 1 minute while the popping dies down.

Dump the popcorn into the serving bowl and sprinkle with sea salt. Let the popcorn cool for at least another minute before devouring (seriously, the sugar is ripping hot and will burn you).

Please note - I tried several recipes without success before I found a technique that worked for my pot and stove. Don't stress too much if you burn the first batch, adjust the heat and try again, its worth it, I promise.

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