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Tuesday 13 September 2011

Sweet and Salty Popcorn!!

As with most things in my life, this blog has finally arrived back at food.  It`s not that I am obsessed or anything, it`s just that food makes me happy.  More importantly, it makes the people I love happy too.  Family BBQ`s, Sunday Football Snacks (GO SKINS!), a spoonful of peanut butter for my toddler, a handful of fresh picked tomatoes from the neighbours garden.  All of these shared food experiences make my people happy, and that makes me happy!  Go to the `My Recipes` page for Sweet and Salty Popcorn at Home.

Perhaps this is simplistic, but I think my husband loves me more because I feed him well.  I know he could love me if I never cooked again, but that would be cruel given the sheer joy on his face when his belly is full of fresh and flavourful food!  Even Tricia gets these looks on her face when she eats something delicious, realizing she is happy with what is in her mouth.  I kid you not, some days she barely eats.  The next day she makes up for it with twice the food.  It`s a sight to see.  AND she know what she likes!  Giver her a carrot stick but not a pepper.  Giver her broccoli but not a cucumber.  Giver her grated cheese, not a slice of cheese.  Wow, we are all unique.  When she gets a guava Popsicle I can tell she is disappointed (but we have to eat them up) since she knows what she likes and it is not guava, its LYCHEE!

The point is, my background is food and I feel like my future is food too.  It`s in me to make good food and I believe part of the reason for this is that I was taught to eat, to taste and to feed people.  My mother is an amazing cook, my sister too.  My grandmother was a pastry genius and the years she spent cooking at hunting camps gave her an incredible knack for taking simple things and turning them into feasts (hello moose meat pie!).  Growing up I also learned to preserve through canning and not waste anything.  I remember gagging when my mom would tell to cut around the bad spots in an apple or tomato since the rest was still ``perfectly fine``, ughh.  Remarkable to find myself years later telling my kitchen staff the exact same thing about a bushel of pears or a case of peppers.  Much to their chagrin, I`d happily grab some slimy carrot, hold it up and declare it good to go (in certain applications only of course and it wasn`t just one, it was 50 lbs worth, hah!).  The truth is, all the best food experiences have humble beginnings.  Even a slimy carrot, once peeled, blanched, refreshed and sauteed with a little salt yields a more than palatable end.

Making food experiences matter for Tricia will take some effort, but a worthwhile effort it will be.  No one with fabulous food memories can disagree.  I want her to love to eat, share, taste, create and get up to her elbows in the creation of food.  So while we will focus on healthy eating in our home, I will also have to confess that I found my passion for food in candy making.  My mom wasn`t going to buy it, so I made it instead!  So much fun was had, just not by my mother`s kitchen!  She was a good sport though, always asking if I had in fact read the recipe the whole way through before I launched into one of my creations.  Ultimately she got her reward; a certified chef, the manager of a neighbourhood cafe, a happy home cook with a good set of taste buds, a good eater with many favourite things and great kitchen in which to play!

Today`s recipe is intended to save us all some money!  I`m sure you all know that oh-so-good sweet and salty popcorn you can buy for $4-$5 a bag.  It`s all the rage.  Well, it`s also rediculously easy to make.  Here`s my recipe after some careful trial and error, I hope you enjoy!  Note:  there is one special piece of equipment needed so check out `Stuff I Like` for the details on where to get your own Whirley Pop Stovetop Popcorn Popper!!


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