The Big Quarantine – Tuesday, May 12, 2020
The Day in Joy (As in Joie de Vivre): On my walk today, I looked way up ahead of me and saw a tall person headed my way and walking with a loping gait that really caught my attention even from a distance. As the walker came into focus, I saw that she was walking on short stilts, like the height of drywall stilts, not circus clown stilts. She had a sparkly pink backpack over her chest and a big damn smile on her face. Suddenly, I was smiling, too. Even though she had earbuds in, I had to get her attention (and I did…I haven’t lost my get-in-your-face-gregarious-skills). I said, “Thank you for being so joyous. It’s awesome.” She laughed and said “Thanks. That’s why I do it.” Aww!
The Day in Popcorn: Yesterday’s mention of popcorn for dinner resonated with readers who will not be getting Nutritionist of the Year awards, but will definitely be in contention for the Dinner Can Kiss My Ass Award. (Honestly, some nights dinner can kiss my ass).
I come from a popcorn family. Caramel corn, cheese corn, movie popcorn…all the popcorn!! My Dad loved to make popcorn and we went through several poppers trying to find the best one. My favorites were the clear-domed poppers that allowed me to see the magic. If Mom and Dad were dieting back in the day, we all had to suffer through air-popped popcorn which is terrible. Pre-microwave era, we would occasionally get treated to Jiffy Pop. They still make it and you can find it on the bottom shelf under all the sexier, modern popcorn. It’s probably the most entertaining way to make popcorn.
The showoff way to make popcorn is in a Dutch oven. Those pots are heavy and there is a lot of pot shaking involved. If I had to guess this is how my Grandma made popcorn, but I’m also guessing she was strong the way old-timey people were strong.
I make popcorn on the stove top in my old-fashioned, hand-cranked Whirly-pop. I can’t tell you how satisfying popping corn is for me. I use this contraption a lot. Of course my simplest popcorn “recipe” is buttered popcorn, but every now and then I get wild and make Buffalo popcorn. For that, I use the same butter/Red Hot/Worcestershire combo I would use on chicken wings, but I put it on popcorn. Crazy good.
And as for the modern, sexier popcorn…I really don’t mind microwave popcorn. It’s fine and easy. It is not fun. Sometimes I want fun with my Popcorn Dinner!
And one more thing from the file of existential thoughts we have in the Pandemic Era…I’ve heard of single people who won’t eat popcorn at home alone because they are afraid if they choke on it, no one will find them in time. This makes me sad, but I get it. For some single folks this may not be the most soothing Pandemic food. With Covid in the air, I’ll take my chances on the corn.
The Day in Gloopy (But Not Gloppy) Soup: I made a big, beautiful batch of turkey soup last night, and near the end of the cooking time I threw in a bit of rice and a bit of orzo (carbs, baby!). This morning, the cooled soup had a gloopy texture, meaning thick or sticky. The similar word gloppy means nearly the same thing but implies an unappetizing context. This soup was not unappetizing. In fact, if I was a better marketer, I wouldn’t have brought up the word gloppy at all. I would have focused on its gloopy splendiferousness!
Really though, seeing the texture of the soup (gloopy, I tell ya!), made me think of the 1960’s hippie song Good Morning Starshine from the musical Hair! As far as I know, it is the only pop music appearance of the word gloopy:
Gliddy glub gloopy, nibby nabby noopy la, la, la, lo, lo
Sabba sibby sabba, nooby abba nabba, le, le, lo, lo
Tooby ooby walla, nooby abba naba
Early morning singing song
The Day in (And I’m Really Sorry About This) … Masks: I’ve been slowly adding to my mask collection. I don’t want to be the person who goes into the store and buys up all the masks (à la toilet paper) when people are still gearing up for extended mask usage. I wanted a particular mask I could use while I’m out on my walks where I’m not near people for 95% of the time. I found an Infinity Bandanna that I can wear around my neck and pull up to cover my nose when I’m near people.
There are lots of cool ways to wear an infinity bandanna and I intend to try them when I’m confident I won’t strangle myself (see the note on eating popcorn alone). I’d like to wear it on my head like a gypsy. I’m starting to age into the truly eccentric part of life and a head wrap should be part of the costume.
As I goof around with this piece of cloth hanging around my neck, I’m reminded of the prayer of thanks I offer to the universe every spring as I’m packing away my winter clothes and I’m so grateful to have lived through the winter without strangling myself on a scarf. Some cold nights, it’s touch and go.