All Warm Things
Listened to the show Saturday and it was not bad. I don’t know about you, but I have gained a new appreciation for underwear. The long ones. I’ve been wearing the purple thermal knits Mr. S gave me for my birthday, and I’m thinkin’ I’m gonna need a new set soon. Not because these are wearing out, but a person can wear long underwear only so many days in a row before a refresher is needed, and I’ll be darned if I’m going to go without long underwear in what we refer to as this “ass burn cold” weather. Really. It’s an important thing, underwear is, and if you’ve got a pair of the good stuff, it’s a real comfort, too.
And so are appetizers. Went to a party the other night where appetizers were the event, and there was a contest. I made buffalo ranch dip (see forthcoming recipe book) and I think it was a hit. I didn’t win, though. Someone made some delicious stuffed jalapenos which did, and rightfully so. They were wonderfully rich and satisfying, filled with what appeared to be a bit of sausage and cheese and maybe some stuffing. Mmm. My son has been on me to make some deep fried bacon wrapped cheese stuffed jalapenos, and I’m thinkin’ I may give it a shot.
But not today. I’ve got five pounds of butter, seven pounds of cream cheese, bacon thawing in the fridge and fifteen pounds of flour in the pantry. And real hankering for what will hit the spot today. Deep fried cheese curds are wonderful, but that’s not it. Neither are Nut Goodie bars (too rich) or a mug of hot chocolate (warm, but not filling like bacon). I’m thinking that the answer to what hits the spot is different for everyone on a given day, and today I’m thinkin’ it’s soup. Soup is hot, there are a mazillion different kinds, and it fills you up without giving you that feeling of having been beached. I like that about soup. Think I’ll make some for lunch. Tomato, with a side of grilled cheese. And eat it while my long underwear dries in the dryer and, after, make a batch of wild rice soup, with bacon. For dinner. All warm things, on an ass-burn cold day in December.
Here’s a recipe not for soup, but for something to follow. A snack. Caramel corn, and enough to wrap half up in plastic and tie on a bow and take it to the next party you attend. As a nod to decadence, and to the spirit of sharing whatcha got.
Grandma’s Caramel Corn
2 cups brown sugar
2 sticks butter
½ cup white corn syrup
6 quarts popped corn
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp butter flavoring
Place brown sugar, butter, syrup and salt in 2½ qt pot and bring to a boil. Boil for 5 minutes to 234 degrees. Remove from stove. Add soda and butter flavor. Make popcorn and pour into a large bowl. Pour caramel over and stir well. Add nuts if desired. Spread over a foil-covered cookie sheet. Bake at 200 degrees for 1 hour, stirring gently every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool; break into chunks. Store covered.