Thursday, February 23, 2012

So they popped white corn...

A random chain of thoughts...

I can't remember a winter where a mid-late February snowfall led to shouts of "YES!!!! Snow!!!!"  As if it's November or something.  But this morning, that's what I heard.  I headed to a dentist appointment in ballet flats and no coat yesterday, and today it's time to wear boots for taking out the recycling.

And I am thankful we are getting some snow.

It is a particularly cozy feeling to enjoy a day at home while snow falls outside.  Snowy days always make me think of this book, and the words, "so they popped white corn and they brewed black tea..." run through my mind over and over and it reminds me of when the girls were still small.

Jim gave me a dutch oven for Valentine's Day and I absolutely love it.  I have wanted one for a very long time and knew I would use it several times a week.  It wasn't a necessity, though, because I had other pans etc. that could do it's jobs well enough.  But now that I have it, I wish I'd gotten one a long time ago.  It's true. 

It's awesome for stovetop/direct stovetop-to-oven cooking, and for baking bread, and tonight it will be filled with barbecued chicken.  But- this morning Bridget Lancaster reminded me of one more use I hadn't tried yet in a recent ATK radio podcast. 

Popcorn!  I had completely forgotten about this!  Of course!  One more reason a dutch oven is useful.

Following this guy's instructions, I tried it out and it was very simple.  And so we popped white corn...and that was lunch.

Dutch Oven Popped Corn

1.  Heat your dutch oven over medium heat.

2.  Add 1/8" oil (I used 2 T of coconut oil).

3.  Add 2 test kernels.  When they pop, you're in business.

4.  Add 2/3 C popping corn and turn to coat the kernels.  Place the lid on the oven, slightly adjar.

5.  Stay close by, picking up the dutch oven by the handles to swirl and shake the kernels around to avoid burning.  Remember to pick it up when you do this, because you need to be sweet to your beloved dutch oven- don't scrape the bottom on the stove top! 

6.  It's pretty simple-  listen for the popping to slow, keep tossing the popcorn around, and eventually nearly 
all kernels will pop.   They don't pop like crazy, so don't be afraid to remove the lid to check on them...using caution of course.  If the oven is a bit small, you might have to remove popcorn as it pops.  I have a 6 qt oven and it was perfect for this recipe.

7.  Season to taste.

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