Popcorn for Breakfast and Other Minor Revelations

Leftover popcorn, I’ve discovered, makes a good breakfast. My wife often makes popcorn for the kids in the evening, and there it is in the morning, half a pot — the butter soaked in and coagulated. Like many things, it is better the next day.

I especially like the crunchy, half-popped ones that congregate at the bottom of the pan. My wife worries: “You’re going to break a tooth on one of those one day.” But I like to live dangerously, I guess.

I made another delightful breakfast discovery this morning. It’s soft-shell crab season — one of my most favorite of all foods. Last night, I made seven soft-shell crab sandwiches for our dinner party. I had miscounted, and there were only six of us. So my second course of breakfast was a reheated soft-shell crab sandwich. What a start to the day!

I haven’t been blogging so much lately. I’m not completely sure why — some combination of busy-ness and apathy. Sometimes I think I’ve run out of things to say about food. And then I consider: “How is that possible?” I’ve also noticed some of my other blogger friends suffering from a similar inertia (I’m looking at you, Gourmandistan!). Maybe it’s a seasonal thing.

I do periodically just tire of my own writing. “Oh my god, not that metaphor again!!” And need a break from myself.

I used to publish a post every Tuesday and Thursday. I was very consistent for several years. I don’t know how I did it. Now, I’m like, “Whatever!”

I was saddened by the suicide of Anthony Bourdain, although as a parent of young children, I also thought it was a selfish and cowardly act given that he has an 11-year-old daughter. That’s a hole in her life that can never be filled.

Leftover soft-shell crab sandwich

Like many people, my first introduction to Bourdain was through his book, “Kitchen Confidential,” which lifted the veil on the many horrors of restaurant kitchens. I worked in several restaurant kitchens and never experienced — nor perpetrated — anything too terrible.

The worst crime I ever committed against a customer was when I was a teenager working in an Italian deli. Every Saturday, around 5 p.m., the old Italian owner, Ron, would say, “Okay, let’s clean up and get out of here.” The deli closed at 5:30. And I inevitably had someplace fun to get to and was eager to split. So I would wrap up all the remaining cold cuts and cheese, put away the lettuce and tomatoes, cover the condiment tins, wipe down the counters and wash all the knives and utensils. And every Saturday, just as I finished, a skinny little plumber dude with greasy black hair would come in and order a pastrami sandwich with extra mayonnaise. Old Italian owner Ron was not one to turn down $5. So I would grudgingly get everything out again and make the skinny plumber dude his sandwich, cursing under my breath and casting daggers with my eyes.

One particular Saturday when I had something REALLY fun to get to and already practically had one foot out the door, skinny plumber dude came in and asked for his pastrami with extra mayo. “I’ll give him extra mayo,” I mumbled to myself. I was sure to hand the wrapped sandwich to the customer myself, as had it passed through Ron’s hands, he would’ve surely noticed that it weighed a good pound more than it should’ve. I must’ve used half a jar’s worth of mayonnaise.

The next Saturday when skinny plumber dude came in, he ordered a pastrami sandwich with regular mayo. Once again, I loaded his sandwich with a cup of mayonnaise, and again made sure to hand it to him myself. The following Saturday, he came in and ordered a pastrami sandwich with light mayo. This time, I barely brushed the bread with the faintest trace of mayo.

He never came in again.

Those are my thoughts and stories for a Sunday morning.

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Porkcorn Goes Public

My friend and fellow elementary school dad, Thad, approached one morning asking a favor. Some Topanga folk had started a monthly antique fair at a nearby mall recently, and the school had a fundraising bake sale table at the event. Would I consider baking something for the table? Of course, I said.

Porkcorn, ready for sale

A short time later, I received an email from the woman in charge of the fundraising table, thanking me for being a part of their “healthy bake sale.” More

Movie Night

I’m currently addicted to Trader Joe’s “Herbs & Spices” popcorn — the perfect snack when I get a potato chip craving and don’t want the fat. But a rather surprising development given my historical indifference to popcorn.

A bowl of wickedly addictive chipotle Mexikettle corn

I’ve never considered myself much of a popcorn guy. It’s fine at the movies, but otherwise something I just never thought about. But every Christmas, my brother Mark, a man of fine taste, gets our family a large tub of three flavors — cheese, kettle and zebra chocolate — from Popcornopolis. And who winds up eating most of it?? More

Porkcorn, Pig Candy & Other Confections

I was sitting at one of the many new gastropubs that seem to pop up in Los Angeles every week, having lunch with my friend and sometime Skinny Girls sidekick, Greg. We browsed the brews and burgers, trying to narrow our choices, when we noticed “Pig Candy” on the menu.

Skinny Girls porkcorn & a pale ale

“What do you suppose that is?” I pondered.

“Something sweet and salty and fatty and crunchy,” Greg replied.

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