Grease glorious grease!
On most Thursday evenings you can find me somewhere in Dumbo, Brooklyn covering myself in grease.
I spend the first part of the evening ‘volunteering’ at Recycle a Bicycle. (That’s volunteering in quotation marks because I’ve got so much to learn about bicycle maintenance that I am able to make only minor useful contributions, while spending most of my time learning from the very generous crowd of more experienced folk who come to share their time and knowledge). Still, after about 5 months of more or less regular wrenching, I do find myself assimilating some knowledge and last week was able to fix and adjust the breaks on my lovely Dahon Mu all by my big-girl self! Its a great organization and a fun night out: you can see more about it in this video made by fellow volunteer Roy Blumenfeld (watch carefully for a chance to see me with my hands positively coated in glorious grease!)
Having done our best to scrub most of the grime off our hands we generally head out to Rebar for beers. And there I find myself dipping my hands into buckets of greasy goodness once again. Rebar offers a mix and match popcorn menu where you choose a ‘fat’ (olive oil, butter, smoked bacon, and duckfat) and a ‘powder’ (garlic, paprika and cheese) to create the most addictive version of this humble snack imaginable. I’m totally besotted with the duckfat and garlic version and so, of course, I found myself unable to resist experimenting with uber popcorn at home
Making popcorn is super easy. So easy that I simply cannot comprehend the need for the ‘microwave popcorn’ shortcut (which serves a side of carcinogen from the coating of the bag with your snack). First: purchase some good kernels: I really like the Rancho Gordo Crimson Popping corn whose beautiful jewel like kernels burst into the brightest white puffs, and taste more essentially popcorn-y (Noerah says they are the flavor of popcorn she grew up with). Next, I use the steps from this recipe to get the kernels popping. But beyond the basics, the key to creating Rebar worthy popcorn is playing with various flavor combinations — I highly recommend trying any of the following:
- really good olive oil (I bought some L’Estornell Organic Arbequina olive oil to make Olive Oil Ice Cream and it is magnificent – a powerful aphrodisiac even, and something I’ve been known to drink, albeit just little sips at a time!)
- animal fat (goose/duck/bacon!)
- assorted salts (Atlantic Mesquite smoked finishing salt, anyone?)
- spices (chili powder if you want to kick it up a notch)
- parmesan or other cheese
And there it is: you are ready to host your own greasy Thursday evening volunteer night – though I won’t hold it against you if you chose to watch bad TV and gorge yourself instead (that my Friday night favorite activity, lets be honest!)