Last week, a 26 year old Venezuelan who I’ve never met had me weepy eyed, staring at the TV as I jumped up and down with cheers and fist pumps in the middle of my living room.
Have I ever told you that I love baseball? I grew up with grandparents watching one game on TV while another blared away on the radio. Back then, I was all about the Los Angeles Dodgers. But in 1995, Keith and I got married and moved to Seattle. That year the Mariners made it to the post season – in dramatic fashion – for the first time in franchise history.
We were hooked.
On Wednesday, I returned home from an appointment to a wide-eyed Keith who met me at the front door and said, “You’re just in time. Felix is 3 outs away from a perfect game.” So on a hot day in the middle of August, we witnessed history as Félix Hernández dismissed the last three batters to become the 1st Mariner ever to pitch a perfect game and only the 23rd pitcher to do it since the start of major league baseball!
Adding to the fun, my dad texted me with just 2 outs left (he’s a SF Giants guy) – here’s how it went:
Am watching 24 up and 24 down for Felix!
Maybe you’ve heard about the historic game, but have you heard about ‘Felixing’ – here’s ‘King Felix’ in the moment of the win.
By Otto Greule Jr, Getty Images
Here’s Eddie Vedder getting into the act!
Seeing a live baseball game is so fun – I can’t even imagine what it felt like to be at Safeco last Wednesday! In our fifteen years in Seattle, we were lucky to see the Mariner’s play often, first at the Kingdome and then Safeco field. In fact, we spent our first anniversary in a Kingdome suite with a bunch of friends from work.
One stadium treat that always tempted me but I never bought was kettle corn. I couldn’t make myself buy a Hefty-size bag of it. But at home, every so often, we make a batch.
Plain oil-popped corn drizzled with butter and sprinkled with salt is a staple in our house – we have it at least once a week. But sometimes it’s fun to have the salty-sweet kind. I had some toasted coconut and coconut oil in the pantry and when a kettle corn craving hit, I thought, why not? And you know what? It is so. good. Magnificent even.
Okay, maybe not as magnificent as Felix, but few things are. Long reign the king!
Toasted Coconut Kettle Corn
If you don’t like coconut and want traditional kettle corn, just replace the coconut oil with your favorite popping oil and omit the toasted coconut.
To toast coconut shreds or flakes, you can bake them on a cookie sheet in a 300 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes – stirring a couple of times to toast evenly – or toast until brown, stirring contantly, in a dry skillet over medium heat. Coarsely grind your toasted coconut in a food processor before adding to this recipe.
2 tablespoons coconut oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup yellow popcorn kernels
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons coarsely ground toasted coconut (see headnote)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (or more to taste)
If you have a stove-top popcorn popper (like this one), use it. Otherwise you’ll need a large pan with a tight fitting lid – that’s light enough to lift and shake – and a couple of pot holders.
Heat the coconut oil over medium heat until melted, then add the butter to melt. Add popcorn kernels and sprinkle sugar and ground, toasted coconut evenly over the top. Cover pan with lid and increase heat to medium high. Shake a couple of times to coat kernels with oil/butter, sugar, and coconut.
As soon as you hear the first kernel pop, place a potholder over the lid on each side of the pan to secure it when you lift. Now lift and shake the lidded pan just above the heat for a few seconds, then place back on the heat for a few seconds, and repeat until the popping slows almost to a stop. You’ll need to keep the pan moving to keep the coconut and sugar from scorching. (If you’re using a popper, turn the handle the entire time, varying the direction often.)
Remove pan from heat and tilt the lid to let the steam escape, being careful not to have your hand in the path of the steam. Remove the lid and transfer to serving bowl. Sprinkle with 1/2 of the kosher salt, then stir carefully with a wooden spoon and sprinkle with remaining salt.
Makes about 6 cups