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August 31, 2002 - 10:25 a.m.

last night i had another crying session from too much stress. i just crumbled, and i didn't even see it coming. simon and i talked it out, though, and things are going to get better. thank goodness simon is such a good sounding board.

tears dried, simon made basmati rice and split-pea dhal. YUM. we just bought a stock pot, so we keep making stuff that is stock-pot friendly, well, because we can. new toys are like that.

while simon was monitoring the progress of the dhal on the stove, i walked down the street to the supermarket and bought some popcorn. no, not microwave popcorn. that would be silly, considering we don't have a microwave. i bought the old-fashioned, 100% corn kernel kind. i hadn't seen it since the heyday of my parents' popcorn popping machine, so i was surprised it was still around.

we'd never made popcorn without a microwave or proper popper, so we were a bit unsure as to what would happen. the directions said to put 1/2 a cup of kernels into a 2-litre saucepan. first of all, we had no idea how much 2 litres would be. we had to measure, using 2 litres of water as a gauge. second, we've been wondering lately what a "saucepan" really is. is it like a saute pan or large frying pan? or is it what i consider to be a "pot"? simon thinks the latter and i disagree, but we went for the pot anyway because it held exactly 2 litres and had a nice, tight lid, which is important when your food has projectile tendencies.

the directions said to add a little bit of oil and slowly heat. when a test kernel starts to spin, then the oil is ready. simon threw a few kernels in, but nothing happened. the oil started to gurgle, and i got scared because i didn't want some oil drop or sharp kernel to shoot directly into my eye. we watched with anticipation, but we were ready to run away at any minute. we waited and waited, and then - pop. a piece of popcorn leisurely floated over the edge and onto the floor. it was like one of those old cartoons where someone pulls the trigger of a gun, and instead of a bullet, a flower or a flag that says "bang bang" pops out of the barrel. we got the giggles so bad that we couldn't stand it.

then we threw all of the kernels in, covered the pot and waited. it was absolutely fantastic. when it was all over, we have a very full pot of perfectly popped popcorn, with no kernels undone and nothing burned. no nasty chemicals like in microwave popcorn, and it tasted so good. we were so excited that we could make popcorn on the stove that we did a popcorn dance around the kitchen and kept giggling all night. we watched malcolm on dvd and parts of willy wonka and the chocolate factory before heading to bed, very happy and very sleepy.

<<<��� - ���>>>

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