On Tuesday evening this week, I pushed back my chair and closed my laptop with a sigh after putting the first two thousand words of the cookbook down on virtual paper.
I was ravenous; there is something about transferring a small part of yourself into writing that leaves one feeling mentally drained. Satisfied, but peculiarly empty.
I thought of the quickest snack possible and tipped a quarter cup of popcorn kernels into a paper sandwich bag. I slid it into the microwave and exactly two minutes later was wolfing down popcorn. A sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of melted butter was all I needed to transform it into a gourmet treat.
With a glass of apple cider and my popcorn, I tiptoed upstairs, past the rooms housing three sleeping children, and to our loft, where Danny was still awake.
“Two thousand words”, I said, as I sank onto the bed with a groan. “Do you know what this means? I’ve started.”
Through mouthfuls of popcorn, I offered every cliche I could think of related to beginning. I’m out of the gate. I’m off and away. I’ve set sail.
Danny didn’t seem quite as struck as I was with the magnitude of my commencement, but he hadn’t witnessed my internal sluggishness leading up to this point. I have been busy, ohmyyes, but busy with everything except writing a cookbook.
The pantry has had a rigorous clean out and restocking. My kitchen stove has been deemed slightly above useless and a replacement has been researched. I’ve taken a roll call of the pots, pans and casseroles in my kitchen and made a list of missing members. A kitchen timer has been procured, as well as two thermometers – meat and candy. One must be precise when recipe testing for a cookbook.
I’ve even ordered a quilted table runner from New Zealand, for goodness sake, although that -maybe, just maybe- was a random Etsy impulse buy. It’s as though I’ve been nesting – only this baby is words, photos and recipes.
In retrospect, I see now that it all had to be done (except for the table runner, perhaps) before I could start the book in earnest. Like decluttering an old work desk before sitting down to compose a new piece of writing, I’ve been organizing both my thoughts and my kitchen.
Here’s hoping the gears are sufficiently oiled and all the moving parts will function as a whole as I embark on this project.
For now, I offer a bowl of popcorn, easily made, free of preservatives, and popped in your microwave.
Sufficient to say, we never buy boxed microwave popcorn, with its ‘butter’ and ‘extra butter’ artificial flavor. Once in a while, if I’m making a big batch, I’ll pop it kettle corn style with a heavy pot and a lid. But for smaller batches of popcorn with about a five-cup yield, a paper bag and two minutes in the microwave works just fine.
Every major grocery store carries brown paper lunch bags (usually in the aisle with the household cleaning products). These, along with popcorn kernels (I buy organic, from a health food store) are all you need to pop your own evening snack.
|Homemade Microwave Popcorn||
- 1/4 cup popping corn
- 1 brown paper lunch bag
- 2-3 drops of cooking oil
- Pour corn kernels in the paper bag and add a few drops of oil. Fold the top over three times and place the bag in the microwave.
- Microwave on High for two minutes. Remove bag and open it carefully. Enjoy.
How do you decompress at the end of a day?