Friday, January 27, 2012

Eating Omily: Popcorn Meditation (where you keep popping up to see how much time has gone by?)

Still feeling stuffy and sluggish...but hanging in there with warm baths, gentle yoga, and LOTS of hot tea and tissues! I dressed extra warm today, and ran out to the Farmer's Market, where I was seduced by some lovely leeks, fresh spinach, and locally grown super-fresh popcorn. Wow. I'm way into popcorn. And here's the thing: I don't own a microwave. It's not that I think they're going to nuke my thyroid or anything; there just isn't room for one. It's not useful enough to take up my precious counter space.

So, how do I make popcorn? Everyone should know how to do this, because it tastes so much better, and microwave popcorn has creepy things in it.

Buy popcorn. You've seen it, and 'wondered what the hell'. It's in a bag, or a plastic bottle, or a tube that pops open sort of like a tube of tennis balls? If you live near a Farmer's Market, feck all that, and try to get your hands on some locally grown, recently-harvested popcorn. But trust me, you'll be mesmerized by the difference even if you buy the mass-produced variety.

So, get out a sauce-pan, two quarts or so, a medium one. Put oil in it, enough to coat the bottom. Use an oil that has a high smoke point: canola, corn, 'vegetable', grapeseed, or coconut oil all work. Olive oil will work if that's all you have, but it'll smoke and burn a bit, which is less than ideal. Turn the heat up to medium, and put two kernels in the oil. Put the lid on the pan, and wait.

When those two kernels pop, pour in enough popcorn to cover the bottom of the pan, and put the lid on. Wait until the popping slows down, keeping a close eye for burning, take the pan off the heat, salt, and eat euphorically.

To up the euphoria experience: add a teaspoon of sugar or so to the oil back at the very beginning. It will caramelize and coat each popped kernel. No kidding! Sweet, salty, whole-grain, high-fiber...the Ultimate Snack.

Try this. You'll thank me. You'll likely have to refine your technique, after making a few batches with a layer of burnt popcorn at the bottom. No worries, it's worth it.

And that's not all!

Starting in five days, I'll be embarking on a 28-day Meditation challenge. Those of you who are regular readers will recognize that this is something I've considered before but not actually done. I struggle with meditating daily, even though every time I meditate I recognize how awesome I feel, and attempt to do it every day... Well, Sharon Salzberg sensed that many people were in a similar boat: interested in meditation, knowing it would be a good thing, but not sure how to get started, or keep going, as the case may be. So, she wrote this:
(This is my copy of the book, and that's the awesome mug I found on the Free Shelf the other day. My favourite part is the grammatical ambiguity!)

Yes, a 4-week plan for getting on track to meditate daily! It even comes with a cd of guided meditations! This isn't just a big book of "why you shoulds", either. It's divided up into the four weeks of the program, offering concrete advice, and a plan to follow to get you onto your seat every day for 28-days, long enough to create a habit! Every February (since February is usually 28 days long, of course this year February is 29 days long, but that's alright) There's a meditation challenge based on the book, and a number of people blog about their experiences over the course of the challenge. So, yes, of course, I'll be blogging! How awesome is that? My meditation challenge posts have to go on the communal Meditation Challenge Blog, but I promise to link to them, maybe even copy/paste them if they're short, so you can follow along in addition to my regular blogging schedule. And, of course, this might be the perfect opportunity to learn to meditate with me! You can sign up for the challenge and follow along with all of the bloggers here. I'm on the list under my given name: Emily Hursh.

What are you waiting for? Find a copy of the book, make yourself some popcorn, and get ready to meditate Omily!

Live Omily,
~em

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