Friday, April 13, 2012

Easy Microwave Popcorn Without the Bag

Although I love popcorn drenched in butter with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese, I'm a devotee of plain old popcorn. There's something about its crunch that satisfies the part of my brain which thinks all snacks have to make a loud noise when consumed in order to be a proper snack.

Now, microwave popcorn has a bad reputation because of the chemicals in the bag and in the popcorn itself. However, do not despair! You can still eat microwaved popcorn, and it can be healthier and cheaper than the pre-bagged stuff.

All you need is a microwave safe glass container with a glass lid and some popcorn kernels. I buy the organic stuff out of a bulk bin for $1.29 a pound.

Sprinkle the bottom of your container with 1 layer of kernels.

Put the lid onto your container.

Put the container into the microwave and nuke it on high for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. The first time you do this, I urge you to stay by the microwave so you can stop the cooking if the popping between kernels slows to about 1 pop per 3 seconds, you smell burnt popcorn, or you put so many kernels in that the lid is falling off.

Your glass container will be really hot, so don't reach out for the container without some oven mitts or a towel. Be quick about taking off the lid so you don't steam your popcorn.

I love this method because it's effortless and oil-free. Air poppers take up too much precious space and the stovetop method is fussy.

Another crop of babies are in the oven, just when I thought I was done knitting for the last crop! So far, there are 3 itty bitty ones coming to town this year. I visited one baby last week, and I made him a stripy bear hat. It's a little big on him due to the kid being smaller than I thought for his age. (His parents told me that his head is in the 20th percentile, so how was I to know he had an unusually small head?)

Aren't these eggs beautiful? I found another person with chickens, and she gave me four eggs for the spent beer grains I sent her way. Thankfully, chickens don't lay purple or red eggs, or else I'd end up with a chicken or two just for the pretty colored eggs.  (If any chickens do lay purple or red eggs, please don't tell me.)

The boy has 2, yes 2, 5-gallon carboys full of beer-to-be. Although I like the home-brewed beer, I cannot possibly drink any more crappy, store bought flip top beer just so he can use the bottles. Why would I waste my beer calories on that swill when he's making good stuff? So, despite his protests, I went out today and bought 3 cases of new, empty flip top bottles. Problem solved.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Tangerine Dreams and Red Roses

Flaming June is off the needles and on me! Already, I know that I am going to wear this over, and over, and over again. The only problem is that it's so distinctive that people are going to notice when I wear the same cardigan 5 days in a row. Maybe I should knit another one in black and green?

Excruciating details can be found on my Ravelry project page. This fingering weight sweater, as well as a 700+ page library book (Inheritance by Christopher Paolini), was keeping me in my own little world.

The boy's beer hobby has been upsized from 1-gallon batches to 5-gallon batches. Before he could take up space in the house for a 5-gallon set up, he had to prove that this wasn't just a passing whim. I should know better than to challenge him, because since January, he's made 14 1-gallon batches of beer. My waistline can only take 1 beer every other day, so this has been a challenge! Surprisingly, or maybe not so surprisingly, the time it takes to brew 5 gallons is not significantly more time than it takes to brew 1 gallon. Besides the dog-sized pot, we didn't need to buy anything more thanks to his brother who used to brew beer back in the day. Score! I sent out some feelers and got connected with some chicken wranglers, so I won't have to feed our bloated compost bin and red wrigglers any more spent grain (and hopefully I'll get some eggs in the process).

Orange and red have been my theme colors for the past few months. More proof is this little ditty I knit up for a friend's baby.  I've also been making red and gold beet salads, and eating blood oranges with tangerines. Next, I'll be making superhero capes for the cats.


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