Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Buffalo Popcorn

This is not, in any way, an advertisement or affiliated post. The views expressed herein are my own and I have not been paid or remunerated in any fashion for what is to follow.

I am a huge fan of flavoured popcorn.


If, like me, you have ever tried to make flavoured popcorn then it's likely that you've learned the pitfalls of adding a water-based flavour to popcorn and the resulting disaster.

This was something I learned when I tried to follow a simple recipe I'd found online for popcorn made with Frank's Hot Sauce

I'm a huge fan of Frank's and thought it would be an amazing addition to popcorn. I followed the recipe to the letter and, as my soggy, deflated kernels baked in the oven, I knew something wasn't right. 

The recipe I had found instructed that the popcorn be made, tossed in Frank's sauce and then baked to sort of set the flavouring on the kernels. 

What I had created, however, was spicy, wet popcorn. It was disappointingly soggy and gross. 

Further research indicated that adding water-based liquid to popcorn will cause it to deflate (duh!) but that oil-based liquids add flavour without causing the sogginess. It's because of this that butter-flavoured popcorn is so popular: kernels are flavoured but remain light and fluffy.

Still wanting Frank's popcorn, I was left with a dilemma: how to get the flavour of the sauce without the accompanying wetness/water.

I've had a popcorn epiphany!

I warmed my oven to "barely warm" (125C/250F), spread some Frank's onto some baking paper and placed it into the oven. Once the Frank's had completely dried out, I removed it and placed it into a resealable plastic food bag. I repeated this step once more to ensure I had enough flavour.

Using a pestle and mortar, I ground up the "sauce" to pulverise it a bit as the pieces were too large for adding to my popcorn.

I then added some garlic granules and a dash of table salt.

And ground that all together.

Popped my popcorn as usual...

Then tossed the popcorn in some of the flavour mix to coat... (the rest of the mix is waiting for my next batch of popcorn! If you'd like some more detailed measurements of ingredients, please shout. I certainly will be making this again so wouldn't mind writing things down this time.)

 I have to say, it was delicious!

Now, I wonder what other flavours I could be adding to my popcorn!

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Good enough...

Feeling "good enough" is something with which I have struggled my entire life.

I wasn't good enough for my parents to treat me well.

I wasn't good enough for the boys I liked to like me back.

I wasn't good enough to be "rescued" from various difficult stages in my life.

Several years ago, I even went through some CBT in relation to my self-worth issues. I "graduated".

So, I wonder... how is it that a chance encounter with a complete stranger can send me instantly down that spiral of self-loathing and create within me a feeling I have fought so long and hard to be rid of...

"I'm not good enough."

According to Random Stranger, I wasn't thin enough. They called me an elephant and said that I bumped into their cohort simply because I was so fat that I required the entire pavement to myself. I should have been smaller. I should lose weight. I should know my place, take up less space and not be so damned self-righteous in my assertion that I am a deserving human.

According to my lame-ass retorts, I wasn't clever enough to throw anything more back at them than trying to yell my excuse that it was *they* who bumped into *me*. I should have called Random Stranger a "clever little boy" and asked him, if it took me X amount of time to lose weight, how long would it take him to not be such an utter prig.

According to my rampant self-loathing immediately following the exchange, I wasn't feminist enough. I didn't stick up for myself against this person of the opposite gender who decided to be offended and rude on the behalf of the person with whom he walked. A woman. I should have asked *her* if she was offended or hurt. I should have ignored the man completely and, instead, asked the woman with whom he had been walking if *she* realised that *she* had walked into *me* - Or, better still, asked her if it was a requirement that he fight all of her battles for her, if he ever let her stand up for herself.

According to how this is still affecting me, more than 24 hours later, I wasn't strong enough to let this go. I haven't allowed it to wash over me. I am still damaged, hurt, seething, embarrassed. I could have realised that there is nothing wrong with my size. Yes, I am large, but I am not "obese" and, even if I were, I have nothing to prove to Random Stranger. I could insist that the problem is with him. The problem was with him presuming that he and his friend may walk two-wide down the pavement and spare no thought for anyone who might be passing in the opposite direction; They Will Wait. We Are More Important.

But I didn't do any of those things.

Because I'm not good enough.

And so here I am. Feeling like I'm back to Square One.

I will pull back up out of this. I always do. And I have been trough far worse.

My personal theme song isn't ACDC's Back in Black for nothing.

I do still wonder, though, if I have been through all that I have and come out on the other side cheery, smiling, bright-eyed and full of promise - why has this affected me so deeply?