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being a person sucks sometimes but popcorn is delicious
things you’ll need: a big heavy-bottomed pot with good heat distribution, a lid, popping corn, an oil with a high smoke point (coconut, canola, corn, avocado, or grapeseed), salt or other seasonings (Lawry’s, everything bagel mix, truffle salt, nutritional yeast, etc), and probably a lot of butter.
My mother used to have a designated popcorn pot. It was deeply unattractive and scarred from all the popcorn disasters it had survived, but it made the best popcorn.
incidentally gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan (without the butter)
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You try to be your best self, whatever that means. You practice all that mindfulness stuff like self-reflection and buying journals with every intention of developing good habits and practices. Maybe you are in therapy and subscribe to podcasts and all the various many ways of trying. You make mistakes. You embarrass yourself. You get stuck in uncomfortable and unhelpful patterns. You are inconsistent and occasionally unfair. Still.
Sometimes it is entirely in your head. Sometimes you make your problems about other people even though you know it’s about you. You also beat yourself up about other people’s choices and behaviors, thinking they’d be different if only you were different. Sometimes you hurt other people’s feelings. Sometimes you have to apologize and then also forgive yourself.
You aren’t always your best self and have a lot of unused journals and unrealized intentions. It’s ok. Being a person is hard. Trying to grow as a person is even harder. Sometimes it’s easier to have compassion for other people than it is to hold a little back for yourself.
You might not be doing great. Sometimes you underachieve. After a hard day of being yourself, it’s ok if you have nothing left for knife work or figuring out which two things you should put on a plate and call a meal. It’s ok to have popcorn for dinner sometimes.
No, it’s not the best choice. It’s just a choice.
Pick a heavy-bottomed pot to ensure even heat distribution and turn the heat on high. Add a neutral oil with a high smoke point. Drop 2 or 3 kernels in the oil and put a lid on the pot. Once you hear the test corn pop, add ¼ – ¾ cup of kernels to the hot oil, put the lid back on, and shake/shimmy the pot to coat and evenly distribute the kernels.
Pro-tip: ¼ cup yields 6-7 cups of popped corn, so make sure that your pot is big enough.
Once you hear the corn popping again, gently crack the lid to let some of the steam out (which ensures crunchy corn), turn the heat down from high, and gently shake/shimmy the pot to ensure that unpopped kernels make it to the bottom for even popping.
Keep occasionally shimmying the pot as the popping slows to one pop every couple of seconds. Then remove from heat, with the lid still cracked a little, and melt as much butter as you want (even if that is a lot of butter) as the last few kernels continue to pop.
Transfer half the popped corn to a bowl. Sprinkle with salt/seasonings, drizzle with a little butter and toss to coat. Add the rest of the popped corn, season, drizzle more butter, and toss.
Today wasn’t your best day. None of us are as perfect as a hot buttered bowl of freshly popped popcorn, but we try. We just keep trying.
I keep going because you keep reading. Thank you for your support!
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