Friday, October 28, 2005

Pop popity pop-pop corn

I'm not sure if there is any smell worse in the kitchen then burnt popcorn. Not only does it smell so bad that skunks would run away, it's really hard to breath when the smoke is billowing forth as if the whole kitchen is afire.

So here's the story.

Here in Korea it's been a real trick finding popcorn. Growing up the stuff was a staple food in our house. It's still one of my most favorite snacks, what am I saying, meals. :-) Ok, not really, but close! Anywho, I have gone several months now without this little treasure from heaven and I finally found some again.

Now, the microwave stuff is everywhere but since I don't have a microwave here (I know, how can I live) it does me no good. I don't even have a popcorn popper. I've discovered that one does not need such a modern appliance to enjoy this most wonderful snack. All you need is a cooking pot and a well fitting lid. This I have and viola, say no more.

So, with one of my batches, I got a little carried away and put to many kernels in the pot. Thus, I ended up having several unpopped kernels. What to do you might say? No worries, I'll reuse them. After all, they're almost worth their weight in gold.

Many many years ago, back when I was a kid in 3rd grade, ok, not so many years ago :-P, makes my mom sound old and she wouldn't like that you know, our teacher made this stuff in class called parched popcorn. Wow! We all loved it. Many many many times I've tried to recall exactly how she did it but I cannot remember. So, what better popcorn to use for this experiment than my unpopped volunteers? :-) How nice of them really.

A few nights have gone by, and I'm ready to try this experiment. Into the frying pan go the little troopers (she had used a frying pan), add a little oil, a medium to low flame and I'm in business. Or so I thought. Guess what! Those overly anxious guys started popping and jumping, and well, going every where. Quickly I turned off the heat and scooped what was left into my popping machine.

With the lid securely in place, I went back to what I was doing, cleaning the bedroom/living room. Silly Ken. I often multi task and I do it quite well actually, but before I knew it, there was this terrible smell coming from my kitchen. I ran in there and turned of the heat but to to late. The silly little things had finished popping and then burned to a mushy black almost tar like ball that was just pumping out this horrific dark brown smoke that just sucked the air from my lungs. Then I took the lid off.

Oh, how nasty. My eyes water just thinking about it. I had to run from the kitchen, open all of my one window :-P and run back into the kitchen and open my door and kitchen window. This at least started to air things out. I quickly bagged this tar creature up and set it outside. Cleaning the lid and its accomplice was just about as smelly. What's in that stuff?! I'm beginning to think that popcorn is not such a healthy snack. (ya ya, i know that with the oil and salt used that it's not anyway, but i'm happy in my delusion so we'll leave it there)

Thus ends experiment number one. I shall not give up the quest though. I just need to do a little research that's all. Anyone out there know how to make parched popcorn? You would make the little kid in me very happy if you did. :-)

Speaking of which, my aunt Sharon has a great saying. "Inside of me is a thin person screaming to get out. I can usually shut her up with a few cookies though". :-P

much happy popping,


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

"Falling" in love

Did I get your attention?! I thought I would hee hee hee.

I tell ya, fall here in Korea is absolutely incredible. It's about half way through October and the trees are still a good three weeks away from turning colours. (Oh Canada ....:-) What's been so amazingly wonderful about fall is the temperatures. For about a month now the temps have been in the low 20's during the day and mid teens at night. (That would be low to mid 70's daytime and high 50's to low 60's at night for me American friends.) How nice is that :-D We've had a few rainy days, but the other days are so glorious it's hard to even remember them. Every day is bright and sunny, and nice and cool. Ahhh, it screams get on your motorcycle and ride ride ride. Not on the sidewalk you freak, get back on the street! That's better. Now relax and enjoy the ride.

Daniel, the senior foreign teacher, told us that fall was a very lovely time of year here, the best time of year. As a lover of fall, I have to say that he is completely correct. You know what this reminds me of, the summer we had last year. :-) Remember how mild it was and how wonderfully exhilarating the cool temps were. Yes, it was the best summer I can remember. Oh shut up and puts some sweaters on you whiners! lol With these temps, when you first walk outside, it makes you take in a deep deep breath, hold it slightly and exhale with a smile on your face. Of course then you gag and sputter because of the smog, but hey, it was nice for a second. :-P Yes, it's very invigorating.

The only problem is that the stupid mosquitoes are still very alive and active. It hasn't gotten cold enough to smite the little blood sucking villainous bastards yet. I'm sure if the scholars looked at the Dead Sea Scrolls again they would find that mosquitoes were part of the curse that man and all that is in the earth have to endure. Thanks Adam! I'm sure it's just been lost over the centuries and should be added into our modern translations. Ok, now that I'm close to being smitten myself, I think I'll move on.

Yes, fall here is just amazing. I'm falling in love. :-) Man I love this weather.