Southern Snacks Cookbook

The Southern Sympathy Cookbook

I'm P.C., and I have studied food and cooking around the world, mostly by eating, but also through serious study. Coursework at Le Cordon Bleu London and intensive courses in Morocco, Thailand and France have broadened my culinary skill and palate. But my kitchen of choice is at home, cooking like most people, experimenting with unique but practical ideas.

I live, mostly in my kitchen, in my hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

Thanksgiving Popcorn

Thanksgiving Popcorn

When I was a kid, my favorite holiday TV special was always A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.  Back in those days, there was no DVR, DVD or even tapes.  When the special was on, you watched it and that was it.  No second chances.

Maybe my love of Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, even more than the Great Pumpkin, was a precursor to my future in the kitchen.  Maybe it foreshadowed my desire to cook my very own Thanksgiving feast.  You see, every time I got my homework finished on time and behaved real good so I could watch the special, it was always for my favorite part – when Charlie, Snoopy and the gang whip up their own Turkey Day banquet.  I think at that age, my idea of a perfect event was no grown-ups, and a meal of popcorn, toast and jelly beans.

So in tribute to that fantasy Thanksgiving, I whipped up a little popcorn treat, though the Peanuts bunch might be horrified with this fancied-up version.  It makes a great nibble with drinks before sitting down for the main event, or the perfect pass around for watching the game or parades.  And of course, it would go perfectly while watching the special itself.

Thanksgiving Popcorn

I use a microwave air popper, which is an amazing invention, but the regular stove-top method works as well.  The paper bag method of seasoning works great for any popcorn preparation.

16 cups popped popcorn

½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Dash of hot sauce

1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning

1 teaspoon dried dill weed

½ teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon table salt

Dash of cayenne pepper (optional)

Place the popped popcorn in a large, clean brown paper grocery sack and set aside.

In a small microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter with the Worcestershire and hot sauce at medium power for one minute.  I like to cover the bowl loosely with the paper wrapper from the stick of butter to prevent spatter.  Stir the butter, then zap on half-power in 15 second intervals until completely melted.  Remove from the microwave and stir in the remaining ingredients, mixing completely.

Pour half the butter mixture over the popcorn in the bag, hold closed and shake vigorously.  Add the remaining butter and repeat.

Serve immediately, or cool completely and store in an airtight container for a few hours before serving.

P.S.  I also have a thing for Hermie the Elf…


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