I haven’t been attempting much on the wild and crazy wannabe-gourmet side of things lately, though I’ve definitely been wanting to try this braided sweetbread with lemon-cream-cheese filling. What I have been doing: writing time-consuming stuff about gendered religious communications for medieval female ascetes (somehow I remember my writing in college involving so many fewer leaps of logic…)
Anyway, that leaves little time for out-of-the-box cooking stuff, so my most novel achievement recently is …homemade popcorn. No, really.
I’ve avoided the in-a-bag microwaved stuff for years, ever since one of my college roommates introduced me to the wonders of the for-real popcorn she used to make in one of the contraptions pictured at right.
I don’t have one of those and I don’t like burning stuff, or setting stuff on fire, or burning me, or creating difficult-to-remove residues on the bottoms of other people’s cookware. So I’ve been avoiding attempting it.
Newsflash: homemade popcorn is obscenely easy (and generally a lot better for you than the microwaved junk).
What you need:
- 1 wide, medium or large, lidded stock pot
- 2-3 Tbsp vegetable oil (olive oil is more healthful, but the flavor is different)
- 1/2 c popping corn
- 2 small potholders
- 1/4 c – 1/2 c butter (1/2 to 1 stick) or vegan butter chopped up, sitting on its paper (I use 1/4 cup because I like real butter but don’t like things greasy. You can use vegetable oil if you want, but it doesn’t soak up quite as well)
- Seasoning: I usually use 1/2 c Parmesan cheese, a pinch of Cayenne (red) pepper, & 1-2 tsp Italian seasoning (see below for other flavorings). I don’t add salt since the cheese has some saltiness to it.