Monday, May 27, 2013

3-2-1 pomegranate!

the pet gods have not been smiling upon us here at chez livingawesomely these past few months. first maeby decided to eat something she shouldn't have and ended up in a cone of shame, then the dogs en masse decided to attack their cat housemate, which resulted in a cone for her PLUS a feeding tube and wired jaw (Not Fun + Very Expensive). finally darwin, above, has developed his first hot spot of the year and requires his own much larger cone.

so i guess basically if you need to borrow an elizabethan collar in any of several sizes, we've got you covered. also, we will be paying off vet bills for the foreseeable future. but i guess it'll still be cheaper than college, etc., for a kid, so i shouldn't complain.

to help me refrain from boring complaints about the pets and the weather (which, OH MY GOD it's so hot and humid already), i have taken the liberty this Memorial Day to fix a drink before the socially-accepted hour of 5 pm. but what's the point of having a monday off if you're not going to have a drink during the day? (aside, of course, from thinking about the sacrifices people have made for our freedom and other solemn and important things)

pomegranate molasses is what happens when you boil pomegranate juice down with some sugar until it's quite thick. it's not really molasses - it's more like cooked-down grenadine (real grenadine, not that fakey pink stuff). it isn't that sweet and definitely has a molasses-y rich flavor that i find very appealing. you can use it in any number of things - last night we had some in a dressing for grilled eggplant and zucchini and it was quite good.

i've never really seen it in drinks, but i try not to let that stop me. this is a very simple cocktail that i like to serve in a tall glass with lots of sparkling water - this makes it refreshing and not-too-strong, which is perfect for when it's hot.

which it is. TEXASSSSSSSS

i used tangelo juice, as this tangelo has been lumping and bumping around in the fridge for a while now. oranges or grapefruit would also be good. or maybe meyer lemon, although i don't think it's currently the season for those. something fairly sweet and citrus-y is what you want.

then it's really a 3-2-1 kind of deal - mix 3 tablespoons (aka 1 shot) gin, 2 tablespoons juice, and 1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses, then fill the rest of the glass with sparkling water. get out a straw, if you have one, and sip up while trying not to think of going back to work tomorrow.

at least it's a short week! (if, of course, you're in america. if not, you're probably going about your monday as per usual. sorry.)

you can also do a little folderol of citrus zest if you feel fancy.


1 tablespoon pomegranate molasses
2 tablespoons citrus juice (if you want to use lemon or lime, they'd prolly be fine, but you might want to add a little sugar or honey or simple syrup to taste)
3 tablespoons gin (1 shot/1.5 ounces)
sparkling water to fill

listening to: oh god, i love aesop rock so much and was moderately excited about his new album with kimya dawson (of moldy peaches fame-ish), but i tried to listen to it and it was not my thing. for instance, there's a song that just lists a bunch of sandwiches - Turkey! / Montecristo! /  Grilled Cheese! / Meatball! / Liverwurst! / Shrimp Po'boy! / Fluffernutter! / Shawarma! / Reuben! / Cuban! / BLT! / Eggplant parm! / Chicken! and etc. ad infinitum.

Friday, May 3, 2013

coconut-curry and other popcorns i have known

i don't know if people with kids can get away with this, but sometimes we just have popcorn for dinner. i'm no nutritionist, but i figure that when combined with bourbon, popcorn would pass muster with even the most strident of food pyramid (or i guess now it's a plate?) hustlers. 

what if i eat a salad for lunch? that evens out, right?
yes it does.

when i was growing up my dad had a gross pan that he only used for popcorn. it would build up layers of grease seasoning, never introduced to soap and water, and then sometimes when it all got to be too much he'd sandblast it (he worked in a bronze foundry) and start all over.

my parents weren't overly prescriptive with meals and i'm sure we sometimes had popcorn for dinner, but the main thing i associate with childhood popcorn experiences is my deep and abiding embarrassment when they would sneak homemade popcorn (doused in nutritional yeast, no less) into the movie theater.
it was mortifying.
they still do it.
and fair enough, to a certain extent. that movie stuff is the pits.

but! i have no nasty old grease-pan, which is good because i don't work in a bronze foundry and have no access to or knowledge of sandblasting materials and principles. instead i have the somewhat-gadgety Whirley-Pop, which you use on the stove and which has interior things that turn as you turn the handle and keep the popcorn moving around. it's pretty fun and it works well with not much oil. it is kind of big, though, so if space is an issue you might want to try the paper-bag-in-the-microwave trick instead (though i haven't tried that, so can't vouch for it! also i learned from this that brown bags might not be microwaveable and national popcorn popping month isn't until october, so luckily you have time to plan your celebrations).

so i think at this point we can all agree that 1) kids are easy to embarrass, 2) popcorn is a good dinner, and 3) it can be made using any of several methods, some of which might kill you. 

but then what to put on it? some people go with regular old boring old delicious old salt and butter. that's totally fine! it's a time-honored combination!

sometimes i like to mix it up a little, though, and that's where japanese curry powder comes in. japanese curry powder is the best. i use it in everything - eggs, curry (duh, though i didn't always), and popcorn. everything.

it's hard to describe the flavor of a spice mix, but japanese curry is kind of sweeter and milder than some indian curries. it has a distinctive flavor and comes in a cute tin, though, so it's worth seeking out (you can buy it on amazon or at some grocery stores). you could also use whatever other curry you wanted. 

for this batch of curry-corn, i used coconut oil to pop the kernels (about a teaspoon or a little more) and 2 small handfuls of popcorn (maybe 1/3 cup?). once it was done popping, i sprinkled it with maybe a teaspoon of salt and the same of curry. this is totally to taste, though, so i can't be too prescriptive. start small and see what happens. finally there's the slightly weird but delicious addition of a handful or two of sweetened shredded coconut. you can use unsweetened, of course, but the sweet, salty, spicy combination really hit the spot for me. try it! you'll like it*!

other popcorn flavors that are good: 
  • smoked paprika
  • butter, sriracha, parmesan 
  • garlic, butter, thyme
  • chili powder, butter, lime zest
  • various seasoning mixes - experiment with your favorites

anyway, long story short, we might be having popcorn for dinner tonight.
because we are grown-ups.

songs about popcorn:
Popcorn Song (from Gershon Kinglsey's 1969 album, Music to Moog By**)
that may be all the songs about popcorn.

*maybe you won't like it
**good album title, or best album title?!