Saturday, November 12, 2011


I don't often write about the ins and outs of daily life, but sometimes, ideas just have to come out through my fingers.  I just finished making popcorn; V is on the couch next to me, reading her homework.

We don't have a microwave.  This isn't because we believe the scary radiation will kill us all, but mostly because the one we had was crap, and it was taking up valuable counter space.  Between our stove and toaster oven, we figured we were set.

It hasn't been too much trouble.  Frozen chicken nuggets take longer to cook.  The two biggest inconveniences have been popcorn and warm cider or juice.  My mom taught me how to make popcorn, from kernels, when I was little, so I know how to do it: it's just a lot more involved than popping an envelope in the microwave and listening.

While I was making this batch just now, I was actually thinking how soothing it is.  Our kitchen light is burnt out, so we have just a little lamp; the low light was relaxing.  I had a pot holder in each hand, periodically shaking the big ceramic pot that came from my mother years after the popcorn-making lesson did.

There's a lot lately about slow food, about slowing down life, about being involved with the little things that go into eating and living.  It's one of the things that's nice about not having a microwave.  Some days, I don't end up drinking warm apple cider that sounds so enjoyable, because I don't feel like making it.  But more often than not, the longer this continues, I find myself calming down: standing at the stove, idly stirring a spoon around the dark amber liquid, waiting for it to be the perfect temperature.

It forces me to pause.  It forces me to think, just for a few minutes, of the way things come to be.  The way corn kernels turn into white pieces of fluff in my mouth.  The way soup slowly starts to bubble in a pot.  The way I come to be standing there, taking a breath, while I wait.

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