There is something exhilarating about a 5:45 run/walk when birds are chirping. In the depths of fall and winter, when you know you won’t see the sun until eight, there is nothing magical about 5:45 am. But when the daffodils are out, and when you don’t have to wear a hat and mittens, that is when 5:45 is an okay time to be awake.
Guilt gets the best of me when it comes to my dog. True, I have to be at work at 8, which means if I was a normal person I would be getting up around 6:45, or 7 if I was feeling lazy. Nope, not this girl. I know that my pup would be fine if he didn’t get a walk in the morning. I know that he would just sleep on my bed all day and wander around the house looking for trouble. I also know that I would have a deep, racking guilt at work, feeling like I could have done better for my dog.
Needless to say, I have found a sort of peace with 5:45 AM. I see it as a kind of refuge, a sacred time where Zeppelin, NPR and I can spend quality time together. Some days I run, other days I stroll… whatever my heart, knees and feet tell me to do. It is simply lovely.
Yesterday during my post work walk I was a part of what epitomizes spring in Seattle. Sunshine, bird calls and cherry blossoms at the beginning, torrential downpours, squealing children and happy ducks mid walk, ending with a rainbow and golden rimmed clouds. All of this happened in a 40 minute period. It was magical.
This led me to a sauna session, The New Girl and a giant bowl of popcorn. Speaking of popcorn, I can’t believe I haven’t touched on it before. For those of you that know me well, popcorn is a staple in my diet. It is me go-to for lazy dinners, and close friends make fun of me for the amount of popcorn that I eat—my whirley pop is my best friend. It would be the food that I would choose to eat the rest of my life. That is how serious popcorn is for me.
My popcorn is a family recipe that I relate to great grandpa’s hands and the big tins above their stove filled to the brim with golden deliciousness. My great grandpa—a strong and quiet man—would make huge batches of popcorn on the stove, toss it generously with brewer’s yeast and salt and then put it in old tins, the color of antique fire trucks. They lived in the cottages, squat brown buildings perched above Lake Washington. Historic homes, with big front porches, claw foot bathtubs and deeply worn out floors have been the place my family has called home. My great-grandparents lived there, my grandma, my mom and dad when they were first married, my great “aunt” and in the last few months my brother, sister-in-law, sister and brother-in-law have all put their names down on the waiting list. Those cottages are everything I imagine perfection to be.
Now, back to popcorn.
To me, buttered popcorn is sacrilegious, as it takes away from the perfect crunch and squeak of the corn, and adds too much oily nastiness. Popcorn can dress itself in a plethora of ways—truffle oil (delish), garlic salt (also great), lime and chili (weird, squishy and delightful), parmesan cheese (oh cheese…). No matter what combination of recipes I try, I always go back to my tried and true recipe… you just shouldn’t mess with perfection.
Great Grandpa’s Popcorn
1 tbsp canola/olive oil
¼ cup + 1 tbsp or so of organic popcorn (the bulk section is my best friend for popcorn/nutritional yeast)
2 heaping spoonful of brewers yeast (aka small flake nutritional yeast)
½ tsp salt
-First, make sure you have a whirleypop, or some way to make the popcorn over the stove. Don’t even try to make this popcorn with microwaved popcorn. I would probably have to slap you, I’m completely serious.
-Add oil to whirleypop or a big pot, and heat on medium-high heat. After a few minutes, when oil is hot, add popcorn. If using the whirleypop, turn the handle until the popcorn starts and finishes popping… when you hear the last few pops, remove from heat to keep the kernels from burning. If you use a pot… you just have to try and shake it around while keeping it over the heat—it can be challenging, but it can be a good arm workout.
– Transfer all of that goodness to a giant bowl, and toss with the yeast and salt.
-Enjoy, and try to save some to store in a container (anything but plastic), there is just something so delicious about aged popcorn… however, this may just be a weird family thing, and it will just taste old and stale to you… I say give it a whirl.