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Stuff hippies like


I confess: in the States, I shopped at Whole Foods sometimes. The organic thing is a total crock of shit, but they sell beautifully chosen food — and a lot of exotic things I couldn’t get in my regular Stop ‘n’ Shop run. Sometimes I’m willing to pay through the nose for that.

Here, I scratch that same itch at painfully quaint specialty stores. Where I bought this stuff today — fancy, multicolored, fru-fru, popping corn. Zaramama was the Incan goddess of maize (for reals — I just looked it up).

Whenever a food or cosmetic is associated with an Incan deity, slap a hand over your pocket quick — a hippie is surely trying to steal your wallet.

I’m recently reconnecting with popcorn. My dad — who is super health conscious — popped the stuff in shopping bag quantities. With no salt or added fat. It was appallingly healthy and there was lots and lots of it. When I left home, I swore I’d never touch the stuff again.

So I missed out on movie popcorn and the whole “movie popcorn” manufactured scandal. The one where those pinch-faced lefty scolds at the Center for Science in the Public Interest claimed a medium popcorn contains “more fat than a breakfast of bacon and eggs, a Big Mac and fries, and a steak dinner combined.”

Uh huh. That seems pretty implausible, but…whatever. At least you can safely ignore the part where they warn you off cooking it in coconut oil — turns out the stuff is probably pretty good for you. And good for popping corn, because it’s stable at high temperatures.

I have a simpleton’s sullen distrust of the microwave oven, so I pop my corn on the stovetop in a deep iron skillet with a lid. In coconut oil. Then a light spritz of oil to make the salt stick.

Corn pops because of the hard outer shell — the starch inside can super-heat before the shell goes bang. This happens at around 360°F in a delightful crunchy starch esplosion. If you end up with small, chewy popcorn, you cooked it too hot. If you have many unpopped kernels, you didn’t cook it hot enough.

This stuff? I made some a little while ago. Very nice. No unpopped kernels, fluffy and crispy and exceptionally tasty. I looked online, though, and nobody is selling it any cheaper than my shopkeeper. Special occasion popcorn, then.

Good weekend, everyone!


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 4, 2009, 8:18 pm

Charles Cretors invented the commercial popcorn machine in 1893. He bought a steam-powered one for his shop, didn’t like it, sold up everything and designed his own. Built all the dies by hand and everything.

His original machine had a little novelty clown on it called the Tosty Rosty man. It danced, or jittered or palsied or something. You can buy one on eBay for a mere $475. Nightmares? You’re welcome!

Comment from Gromulin
Time: December 4, 2009, 8:41 pm

I recently ran across Jiffy-Pop in the supermarket, and picked up a couple to amuse the kids. They had never seen popcorn that did’nt come out of the microwave (or handed to them by a pimply teenager at the movies) and they thought it was the Best Thing Ever.

My daughter had the same glee the first time she hand-cranked the window down in my old truck…all of the other cars she’d been in had electric windows. We take a lot for granted…

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 4, 2009, 8:53 pm

You know, I wondered if they still sold Jiffy-Pop. We used to take it camping.

Comment from EZnSF
Time: December 4, 2009, 9:34 pm

Bought a bag of Jolly Time a few weeks ago. First time in years. Scratches that late night food itch.

Never liked the microwaved corn much. The bags always burn, only half gets popped, and you just KNOW those fumes aren’t for human consumption.

Comment from Mrs. Peel
Time: December 4, 2009, 9:35 pm

My dad still makes popcorn on the stove. I’m too lazy, and besides, I found these little snack-sized microwave bags, “buttery garlic” flavor. My initial reaction was, “EWWWW!” my second reaction was, “Okay, I have to try that,” and now I like it so much I don’t like any other kind.

Gromulin, when you have to roll your window down every morning to show your badge, you don’t take pushing the button for granted. I didn’t have a car with power windows until 2005. It was such luxury to simply push a button rather than crank. (It was also pretty luxurious to have a 2005 model car instead of 1995, but I do still miss good ol’ Red Leader.)

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 4, 2009, 10:18 pm

I didn’t have a car with electric windows (or AC) until the original Weaselmobile died. When was that…two years ago?

Comment from Grizzly
Time: December 4, 2009, 10:27 pm

Mmmm… Jiffy-Pop. That also brings back memories of family camping trips as a kid. Also memories of the movie “Real Genius”. 🙂

Comment from Mrs. Peel
Time: December 4, 2009, 10:34 pm

Yeah, I’ll be driving my current car until it dies*. I expect I’ll get at least another 5 years out of it. It’s at about 72k miles, I think, and my mileage should start going down next summer after I finish my master’s.

*actually, I have a system to determine when to replace my car. Now that it’s paid off, I put aside a car payment per month, much as I put aside money for my property taxes, homeowner’s/flood/windstorm insurance, etc. Repairs and maintenance come out of that fund. Once I get to the point where more is coming out than going in, I buy a new car and use the rest of the car fund for the down payment. Yes, it’s excessively complicated. You should see the custom spreadsheet I devised for my budget.

(annoyingly, Mint can totally do the stuff my spreadsheet does, BUT it won’t talk to either of my banks)

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: December 4, 2009, 11:14 pm

CSPI is phony as a $3 bill. It is actually a front for militant vegetarians. See Fried Food Is Tasteless: Let’s Thank The Guy From CSPI for the gory details.

Comment from Enas Yorl
Time: December 4, 2009, 11:22 pm

Popcorn! It’s actually a pretty ok snack for diabetics, surprisingly. I like Pop Secret out of all the microwave stuff the best. In fact, I plan on popping a bag tonight for the “Monk” finale.

Comment from dfbaskwill
Time: December 5, 2009, 10:50 am

Paradise was always the popcorn cooked in coconut oil and topped with O’Dells Butter served in Martha’s Vineyard movie theatres when on vacation in the 90’s. Watching the adds for the O’Dells Butter while eating the popcorn before the movie was delightful.(The Clinton’s started coming then and ruined our yearly fun so we switched to The Jersey Shore instead.) The CSPI guys also once called my favorite food, Kung Pao Chicken, the worst possible food to eat. I eat it weekly since discovering it in 1983. Those bastards can continue to eat cardboard all they want.

Comment from Gromulin
Time: December 5, 2009, 11:58 am

Electric windows are new to me too. The previously mentioned “old truck” is a ’94 toyota that I drove until 2005, when I bought a used Subaru. That was the first car that *I* drove everyday that had electric windows.

I won’t even start on how easy kids have it on long car rides compared to the olden days.

Comment from BigBlueBug
Time: December 5, 2009, 12:22 pm

I used to enjoy shopping at the Whole Foods on
Butler Ave (when it was called Bread and Circus).

Not only did they have amazing veal chops and
a lethal whole cream chocolate milk….

You could torture the hippie employee’s by wearing a
USA flag pin. Or pointing a hemp handled organic razor
at a hairy checkout girl and wink.

Yes I am a mean person with anger issues.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 5, 2009, 12:50 pm

I shopped at the one at University Heights, BBB. It was my Sunday treat. I’d drop by Petco and play with the Big Box o’ Weasels (they cleaned the ferret cage around 10) and then to Whole Foods for some sushi and expensive hippie shit.

Funny. You’d expect a store full of liberals — I mean, per their self-description — to be the happiest place on earth. In my experience, the clientele was about half unusually nice people and half screaming assholes.

What on earth do they have against Kung Pao, df? There’s nothing especially wicked in it. Uncle B makes and intensely mean Kung Pao — he made an exceptionally fine one a couple of days ago. I shall enjoy them all the more knowing it makes a hippie doctor cry.

Comment from Mrs. Peel
Time: December 5, 2009, 12:51 pm

Gromulin, if I had kids, I would specifically get a car WITHOUT those friggin’ screens, because they don’t need to be watching DVDs and playing games! They can entertain themselves, QUIETLY, just like I did!!! ARGH!!!!!

(p.s. I’m 27, not 57)

Comment from Jakeman
Time: December 5, 2009, 1:36 pm

Dads and popcorn are inextricably linked, aren’t they?

My dad was legendarily cheap, and would fill a Hefty bag of home-popped corn if we went to Fenway or the Boston Garden (in addition to sneaking in airplane bottles of rum and sodas). I was horrified as a kid, but today I wouldn’t trade those memories for the world.

And of course nowadays they’ll arrest you if you try to bring in a bottled water if the seal has been broken.

Comment from dfbaskwill
Time: December 5, 2009, 2:33 pm

Kung Pao has a high fat content according to the food nazis. I call it brain food! I honestly haven’t missed a week since a 1983 snow storm shut Philadelphia down and the only Restaurant I could get to that was open was a Szechuan joint in Chinatown. I probably paid 1/4 of my school loans toward that restaurant. A high point in my life was having Kung Pao in Yunnan Province when adopting my daughter. Go to the Nazis web site and look up Kung Pao. You know it’s good when its at the top of their avoid lists! It’s snowing here where I live, and I’m heading out tonight for another round. Many call me crazy, but I don’t care. If you haven’t tried it, you are missing a piece of heaven.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 5, 2009, 2:47 pm

There’s no more fat in it than any other stir-fry, unless we make it totally wrong. Idiots.

On a happier note, if you were waiting to see an old dude pick the living SHIT out of an acoustic guitar, here’s Tommy Emmanuel doing just that thing:

Comment from BigBlueBug
Time: December 5, 2009, 5:40 pm

University heights had the Benefit street bobos. The waterman ave place was a few Lincoln School moms but
mostly the folks looking for just the right seaweed
or a copy of The Ladies Revolutionary Placenta
Journal. I think Mother Jones was a bit too right
wing for them.

I am leaving RI to move to California. I am allergic
to hippies, progressivism and social justice. Please
shoot me when my back is turned.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 5, 2009, 8:25 pm

I used to live off Benefit street. Lower Bowen. Our house was owned by the guy who owned the ProJo (or was it his wife who owned it?). They lived in a ginormous yellow house across the street and were itching to tear down our whole row. But — even though they were just Depression-era row houses — there was a protection order on them.

The whole street was, like, four identical houses, each with three identical one-floor apartments. Which meant if you went to a party at a friend’s house and got rat-assed, you’d wake up with no fucking idea where you were.

They must have gotten permission to tear them down eventually. Last time I drove by, it was just waste ground.

Turn the lights out when you leave RI, hm?

Comment from scubafreak
Time: December 5, 2009, 9:43 pm

Bug, have you ever heard the term “Out of the frying and into the fire”? The Peoples Republic of Kalifornia isn’t going to be ANY improvement on your current situation….

Comment from harbqll
Time: December 6, 2009, 6:22 pm



Comment from David Gillies
Time: December 6, 2009, 6:24 pm

Any time you see some abbreviated group like CSPI or NRDC you can be sure that behind them is a web of eco-fascists, militant vegans and neo-commies.

I bought a piece of sirloin tip for dinner. It’s 800g, 25cm x 20cm x 2cm thick. Damn the vegans.

Comment from dfbaskwill
Time: December 6, 2009, 8:02 pm

If any of those groups send or give me literature, I usually send them a Slim Jim in the mail.

Comment from Deborah
Time: December 6, 2009, 8:18 pm

Popcorn is a major food group in my house. Husband pops it, then drizzles melted butter (yes, real butter) over it with a sterling silver dessert spoon made two centuries ago. While he’s making the popcorn, I slice apples and sharp! cheddar cheese—we find the combination of flavors irresistible. We call it a meal, and want it at least once a week——and we never think about the calories or the salt, which we dilute with Coors.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: December 6, 2009, 8:56 pm

Don’t suppose I could come for dinner could I please, Deborah? 🙂

Comment from BigBlueBug
Time: December 6, 2009, 9:12 pm

“Out of the frying pan and into the fire” is very
quaint. I prefer “I am so far passed fucked, it would take
take the light from fucked 10 years to reach me” or
“This isn’t a mistake like putting a gerbil in your
undies; it’s a mistake like grabbing a wolverine by the

It’s gonna be Cali-ohpleasejesuskillmenow-fornia or
Florida. When I lived in Florida, rednecks shot me dead
and fire ants stripped the flesh off my carcass.

Tuscany would be much more fun but I am a poor bug.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: December 6, 2009, 9:22 pm

Rho d’Island is the most reliably blue state in the country. Not many know that. So while California is Moonbattistan, at least the weather is nicer.

I am totally stealing “I am so far passed fucked, it would take take the light from fucked 10 years to reach me.”

Comment from David Gillies
Time: December 6, 2009, 10:21 pm

Bug: Italy is more expensive than California? That I find hard to believe. I mean, I’ve lived in San Diego (Pacific Beach, and I love the place beyond all reason – it is not true you can’t get decent coffee in America) but I can’t imagine it’s any cheaper than Northern Italy. And if you speak Spanish you can at least read an Italian newspaper.

The “so far past fucked” line reminds me of (paraphrasing) a quote from Terry Pratchett (Witches Abroad?): “several miles over the madness horizon, and accelerating hard,” q.v. Johnson, Charles; Sullivan, Andrew; and may God have mercy on their souls.

Enas: thanks for pointing out the diabetes-friendliness of popcorn.

Pingback from A Work in Progress… « Lemur King's Folly
Time: December 7, 2009, 12:18 am

[…] stopped over at Weasel’s place (Weasel Times – sweasel.com) and I realize Weas is stealing it from elsewhere but it’s just the way […]

Comment from scubafreak
Time: December 7, 2009, 12:57 am

Speaking of ‘so far past fucked’, I went into the restroom last night, flipped on the lights and found that an attrocity had occured. Feathers EVERYWHERE….. Schroedinger USUALLY makes enough noise with his food to wake me up, so I at least expect what I am going to find, but apparently I was dead out last night…..

20 minutes with the Vacuum, and I’m STILL finding feathers to pick up…….

Comment from Deborah
Time: December 7, 2009, 2:07 am

Darling Badger—anytime, anytime at all.

Comment from Deborah
Time: December 7, 2009, 4:57 pm

In the event you haven’t seen this: the fire alarm from
From “There, I fixed it.”


Comment from Allen
Time: December 7, 2009, 5:46 pm

Moving to California? That’s not “I am so far passed by fucked,” that’s “I am crossing the event horizon of fucked.”

There is no return once you do that. I swear California cares more about it’s illegals than it does it’s actual taxpayers. UC budget in a meltdown? No problem, we need to make sure illegals get their in-state tuition. Ackkk, spit, ackkk.

Comment from BigBlueBug
Time: December 7, 2009, 6:09 pm

“I am crossing the event horizon of fucked.”

Hmmm. Angst, despair, hopelessness.

I’m am so going goth.

Comment from Jessica
Time: December 12, 2009, 12:37 am

Hi Wease! I miss you!

I now have the best visual of you playing with the Big Box ‘O Weasels at Petco, and it cracks me up that you would time your visits to coincide with cage cleaning time. Now that I have a dog that’s bred to hunt and flush small game (he nearly hung himself trying to chase after a bunny the other night), a ferret is not an option. But I stop by Potter League now and then and play with the ferrets there – there are always ferrets there.

HAPPILY, Foxy decided Simon is OK, and now they both sleep all over me in the bed. If he’s feeling particularly generous, he lets Simon lick his head (I will get a pic – it’s so ridiculously cute). Pablo is civil, but completely uninterested.

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