Monday, February 28, 2011


Two of my most used, most valuable kitchen gadgets have broken in the past week.  As mom always said, things happen in three.  I have been waiting for the third gizmo to call it quits, but so far, so good.

The first causality was my Whirly Pop popcorn popper.  Luckily, it broke just as it was done popping.  The only bad thing was the little gear thingy that broke off ended up in my popcorn.  I found it without breaking any teeth, though.  My in-house Whirly Pop popcorn popper repair person (say that three times fast) thought he would be able to fix it, but no, I have to get a new one.

I can go crazy diving into a bowl of popcorn.  A big bowl.  A big bowl of popcorn is the real reason God gave us two hands.  I don't like to share it either.  I am always gracious in asking Randy if he wants some, but I make sure my tone of voice tells him to say "no, thank you".

Buttery, salty, parmesan cheesy popcorn.  Hmmmm.

I also discovered, being spunky and adventurous one evening, that the herb rub that I make for grilled pork chops is delicious on buttered popcorn.

Here is the recipe from Randy's well used copy of Weber's Real Grilling:

West Indies Pork Chops
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
4 bone-in pork rib shops, about 8 ounces each and 3/4 inch thick

Mix the rub ingredients together.  Allow pork chops to stand at room temperature for 20 - 30 minutes before grilling.  Lightly brush or spray both sides of chops with olive oil and season with the rub.  Grill over Direct High heat until barely pink in the center of the meat, 6 to 8 minutes, turning once or twice.  Remove from grill and let rest for 3 to 5 minutes.

The Whirly Pop also turns out a delicious bowl Kettle Korn.  I no longer have to jump with glee and excitement when I come across the Kettle Korn booth at the Yelleville Turkey Trot or the Pinto Bean Festival and Outhouse Races in Mountain View.  It got a little embarrassing for Randy when I shoved the little kids out of the way just to buy a bag of popcorn.  Not to mention the embarrassment of having to be seen with someone who jumps with glee and excitement in public.

The other beloved kitchen appliance that died was my bread maker.  Randy, defying the Cardinal Rule of Marital Gift Giving, gave me my first bread maker for Christmas in 1991.

If you do not know The Cardinal Rule of Marital Gift Giving, it is this:

Never Buy Your Wife Anything With A Plug

Anyway ~

This is (was) my second bread maker, and it was probably close to fourteen years old.  I have no complaints as I get good use from my bread maker.  Of course I use it for bread, but I also make pizza dough, dinner rolls and monkey bread dough with it.  The only dust it gathers is flour dust from sifting flour.  I will mass produce bread, making three or four loaves to stock the freezer.

The bread maker may have died, but it lived a good, productive life.

 There seem to be three groups of people when it comes to bread makers.

~ Those who use their bread makers regularly.  Dad is the only other bread maker owner that I know who joins me in this category.

~ Those who own bread makers, but they are gathering dust in the their pantry.  On the rare occasion that they dust them off, they use a pre-made bread mix.  Blasphemy!  It's no wonder that this group of people don't like to use their bread makers.  They get nothing but a store bought loaf of bread that they made themselves.  It is the number one rule of bread making:

Always use fresh ingredients!

~ Those who turn their nose up at using a device to aid them in bread making.  These are the people who love to get elbow deep into a mound of bread dough and kneed out all their frustrations.  I do not fault them.  I have made my share of bread by hand, and I don't mind doing it.  But in my advancing years, I need to save my aching hands for more important things like playing video games, taking pictures and petting Roxy.

My replacement bread maker was delivered a couple of days ago.  This morning I will test the tastiness of the bread by making my breakfast of a grilled PB & J.  I can't wait to get the new Whirly Pop popcorn maker 'cause you know I will have to try it out, too.

I may share a little with Randy.

Or, I may not.

Have the BEST day ever!
~ Dorothy

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