Hello, Precious Readers!
It’s January, which means it’s the beginning of a new year. New Year’s Eve was fairly quiet in our home, not counting the fireworks that were set off throughout the neighborhood. To me, January not only signifies a new start, but also a time of reflection over the last year. In harmony with the season, I completed my third book, Missing You and it’s with my editor.
Sending off my book is a bittersweet sentiment. It is the last book of my current contract with Trifecta Publishing House and wraps up my character, Roxy Summers’ storyline… for now. I promise that I have several more ideas brewing, but I need to recuperate from this one.
After completing any project, as an introvert I always need recovery time. To close friends and family, I’ve already received the question, “Okay, you’ve finished Book 3. So what’s happening in Book 4?” Perhaps other authors go through this (at least I hope so!): My brain goes through a “creativity divot.” Imagine having worked for 24 hours straight, and then asked to drive a car across the country without sleep. That’s where my brain is. The larger the project, the longer the recovery time. I have a cup of creativity in my mind, and after it’s been used it needs time to refill.
Writers, we’re a strange bunch. We’re never fully satisfied with our writing. Ever. Maybe we weren’t has happy with a character or scene we’ve written, or maybe our project had typos for which we smack our heads against the surface of our desks afterward, or maybe we had to remove a character from the story, no matter how much we loved them. After a book has been submitted and/or released to the public, we’re constantly wringing our hands to know if it’s good enough, was the cover a good choice, were we able to convey the story in a way that not only matches what we envisioned, but communicated it in a way that is easily understood by the masses? This is no small feat. No matter which of these, or all of the above (and most often, more), have occurred, it’s important for a writer to take breaks to celebrate the little victories.
Otherwise, we’d go crazy.
This brings me to the topic of the day. Today is January 19th, which means it’s National Popcorn Day! Popcorn is my absolute favorite snack. I’m not talking about the chemical filled-quick fix-microwave stuff.
No, no way.
I’m talking about: fresh, fluffy, crunchy, tender air-popped clouds of savory deliciousness. There are many varieties of corn that affect the final shape of each popcorn kernel, and I like my popcorn puffy and round, known as “mushroom” popcorn. Most people use “snowflake” popcorn, which looks like a firework in the sky.
Image from Popcorn.org
This might seem blasphemous to other popcorn purists, but I don’t like butter on my popcorn. I don’t like soggy bits, and no matter how carefully one can drizzle, there’s always a soggy kernel. I prefer to air pop my crunchy bits, half of the time I eat it plain. No butter. No salt.
If I’m feeling frisky or needing a bit of kick-you-in-the-face flavor, I’ll add a light-to-no-flavored cooking oil (avocado oil and grape seed oil are fantastic on it!), and add seasoning flavors to it.
I’d like to share some of my special popcorn flavor go-to’s with you. That’s how much I love you.
(The following is in no particular order of preference.)
- Brewer’s/Nutritional Yeast. Loved by vegans everywhere, it provides a cheese-like flavor, without the fat, calories, or dairy products. We get ours at our local grocery store in the bulk food items area. I also use Nutritional Yeast in several other recipes. Using Nutritional Yeast helps me with my cheese-loving addiction without the guilt.
- My own personal blend. I don’t have an exact recipe for this one. As mentioned in previous blog posts, Mom and Dad grew up on good ol’ American farms. My mom learned comfort food cooking from her mother, and so on. We rarely used recipes, and recipes were typically for baking not cooking. For cooking, we measured with our hands and our eyeballs. If you want my personal recipe, grab your favorite storage container and shake together the following:
- 1 part Nutritional Yeast: The amount used is what you’ll compare all other seasonings to.
- 1/4 part Cumin
- Large dash of Smoked Paprika (splurge on good stuff, if you can. It’s one of my few splurges. I love a good smoked paprika!)
- Optional: A dash of Cayenne Pepper to taste
- A dash of pepper
- Optional: A light dash of Salt
- Sometimes I’ll flavor the oil itself.
- Make fresh
- Wash and pat dry fresh rosemary stalks
- Simmer gently in your favorite cooking oil to infuse the rosemary flavor for ~10 mins
- Drizzle flavored oil over your popcorn
- Sprinkle parmesan to your personal taste
- Furikake. No, this isn’t a bad word. Furikake is a general term for Japanese “rice seasoning.” There are several varieties of flavors, but I stick with ones that focus on seaweed being broken up into tiny flakes. Sometimes this is referred to as “Hurricane Popcorn” stemming from the State of Hawaii. I prefer to use a light touch of oil instead of butter. Multiple varieties of furikake can be found at most local Asian food markets. If you haven’t tried it on plain rice, you’re sooo missing out!
- Ranch Popcorn. I haven’t tried this recipe yet. I hope to soon. I have no comments if this will be good or not. If you try it, let me know what you think!
Although Missing You is not yet 100% done, the story is complete and it’s with my editor. There will be a few more rounds of editing before it’s sent off to the printer, but for now, I’m going to kick back with some of my favorite go-to snack, letting both my stomach and mind be refilled.
Love, and love of popcorn, to you all!
Haven’t read the Roxy Summers Mystery Series? You have time to catch up!
Start with Capture Me and meet Roxy in a case of cat-and-mouse for a grand Seattle adventure! Then, travel with Roxy to sunny Los Angeles for a food competition to die for in her sequel novel, Crush On You! Roxy’s third book, Missing You releases in June 2018. Keep an eye out on my bookshelf page for pre-order links closer to the release date!