Moo Happy Christmas

I’m hoping you’re all enjoying a delightful as well as memorable Christmas to where there’s much merriment, heartfelt stories to be told, broken fences mended, and above all, having comfortable and stress-free feelings regarding this year’s Holiday experiences.

Over the decades I’ve heard enough unfortunate stories from clients and customers regarding how family ties were broken over some of the silliest of remarks and oversights that were held as long-lasting grudges which later turned into even greater familial divides.

There’ve been lines I’ve heard coming from the mouths of a few exclaiming, “I just want our family to be a real family again!”  The unfortunate paradox of such a statement is that far too many within families want only relationships on their terms and conditions.

Whenever someone says, “You can’t pick your family.”, I so badly want to add, “It isn’t so much about picking families, but rather avoiding the picking of family members apart.”  I mention this because just as in today’s society, there are members of all the many more families who’ve turned tribal to where you’re either in or you’re out–without exception.

The first order of my morning was to get that popcorn popped for my dear client.  Since I hadn’t popped kettle corn for longer than I want to recall, I inadvertently had the burner set too high to where it burned some of the popped kernels.  My next batch turned out near perfect.

I then melted just enough butter and stirred it in and then lightly salted it with sea salt.  I tasted it, and as far as I was concerned, it was better than the movie theatre stuff because they put too much butter on it. Another big difference with the movie popcorn is that I use the white corn instead of the yellow.

After bagging it up in two large ziplocks, I placed them in a gift bag with my Christmas card to her, and then gave her a call and asked if I could stop by for a quick visit.  She agreed, so off I went.

When I arrived there, I said, “You likely thought I forgot about the popcorn I promised.”  She smiled and said, “I hadn’t forgotten about it, because I knew you’d keep your word.”   She hurriedly opened one of the bags and began munching.  You should’ve seen the look on her face.  It was priceless!  Evidently I impressed her with it to the point where she mentioned more than once, “This is going to be my supper.”  I did say, “There’s enough here if you want to share with the other residents.”  She shook her head and said, “No.  They can have their normal microwave popcorn and I’ll have this.”  I was quick to mention how often I’v heard that microwave popcorn really isn’t good for you.

I was brimming with joy knowing I made her happy this morning, along with having time for a good visit without either of us being pressed.  As I drove away, I kept thinking, “If only I could live to be 97 and have such a great outlook, good health, and above all, a very clear mind.”  I’m sure I was one of the subjects of conversation at the dinner table of her relatives this afternoon, and that’s just fine by me.  She did mention something that stuck with me before I left which was, “I sent a letter to my friend saying my New Year’s resolution was going to be that I’d no longer speak ill of anyone.”   Now if only there’d be all the many others who’d make her very same resolution.


If you’re curious about my recipe for kettle popped corn, here it is:

First off, you need a kettle or better yet, a round dutch oven with a heavy lid. I personally have an ancient Griswold which I purchased at auction years ago.

Cover the bottom of the kettle with a mixture of 2/3 olive oil and 1/3 melted Irish butter.

Spread the un-popped kernels evenly enough to fully cover the bottom of the kettle, but no more.

Place the kettle on your stovetop and set the heat at medium and wait.

As the kernels start popping, wait a few moments to where they’re rapidly popping and then vigorously shake the kettle a few times while the kernels are still popping so to keep the un-popped seeds at the bottom and close to the heat just so you’ll have fewer “old maids” in your bowl.

When the popping has almost completely stopped, turn the burner off, take the lid off, and quickly empty it into a waiting bowl.

If you’re making a large batch, repeat the process until you have enough.

You then melt whatever amount of Irish butter you think is enough, drizzle it all over the top of the popped corn and fully stir in.

Sea salt to your liking, and then give it another good stir.

As a footnote, if your kernels look a little burned, you had your heat set too high and/or the popcorn was left in the kettle too long.


While out and about in the countryside this afternoon, I couldn’t help but stop and take the above photo.  As chance would have it, I just happened to be thinking this morning of my dearly departed sister who always loved cattle. I was getting a look from it that was likely saying, “I’m getting pretty darned tired of waiting for my Christmas present, so hand it over!”  Here’s wishing you a “moo” Happy Christmas!

Tonight’s one-liner is: Nothing is as peevish and pedantic as one person’s judgement of another.

Joe Chodur

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