Monday, April 14, 2008

Ode to Dr. Seuss and Powdered Buttermilk

I don't mean to brag and I don't mean to boast, said Peter T. Hooper, but speaking of toast. . .

Okay, so maybe you don't know this book by heart? Oh, you should. It's a good one. Take my word for it. But what I was boasting about was this recipe, on wondertime, that was an appendage to a feature I wrote for the magazine on healthy snacking. Really, I can't sing my own praises enough here, because this popcorn represents the culmination of my lifelong quest to create a made-at-home snack that has that kind of tangy, addictive thing that turns your face and fingers a joyful, powdery orange if you know what I'm saying, even though this particular snack is actually white. But I mean, I practically had to buy myself an extruder so that I could make Cheetohs at home--and now I fantasize about that only very occasionally. Plus, and I'm not kidding, it's healthy. It really is super-dee-dooper-dee-booper. And it takes nothing like the air in the holes of Swiss cheese.

Do I sound a little tired? I feel a little tired.

There are new wondertime columns here, here, and here.

Happy spring, dear ones.

Edited to add: Uh oh! Not everyone shares my eggy joy, apparently. S. Spaihts-Mohns, for example, feels that "This book is mostly an excuse for Dr. Seuss to list off a variety of wild and fanciful sorts of birds." Which really does force one to consider that Seuss was maybe some kind of deranged pervert. And coolmom titles her review, "scrambled eggs definitely NOT super!" (!) Luckily "A Customer," while not quite approaching my own enthusiasm, offers some nice, tepid redemption: "This is a good book if you like made up birds and their egg [sic]."


  1. Anonymous10:23 PM

    Wow, am I really first? Oh, the pressure!
    I just wanted to comment about the Wondertime column that I am too tired (and sore throat-y) to deal with TRYING to log in.
    I absolutely loved it, and MUST keep in mind to use the patience injections for nights like we had tonight. Oh, if only we could create loving, caring replicas of the best parts of ourselves to take care of our children when we feel like we just. can't. do. it. any. MORE! :-)
    By the way - I heart Dr. Seuss, and though I don't THINK we've read that book, you can bet we'd like it. Just because the kids appreciate his brand of humor and alliteration.
    Off to check out your recipe! Yea!

  2. Oh thank you, thank you for a nice simple recipe that sounds delish. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. My boys will love it.

    As far as your Wondertime column, I must remember that injection. It sounds a much better way to deal with my frustrations than to pantomime The Scream into the air. ;)

  3. Anonymous7:14 AM

    Coolmom seems implicitly to endorse factory farming. I find this very disturbing.


  4. Anonymous9:16 AM

    Oh how I love book recommendations. Keep 'em coming, you guys, whenever you feel like sharing. We're addicted to Little House right now, but I'm thinking there's going to be burn-out sometime in the next year. We're on the one where Mary goes blind due to scarlet fever. My 5 year old daughter is so excited about this it's a little creepy. They also cut off Mary's golden curls (I can't figure out why really) so her hairs is very short and stubby and my daughter's first comment was "Good thing she couldn't see THAT." Oh, dear. --Cathy K

  5. Anonymous10:15 AM

    You must have the second sweetest children in the world I think. Next to my Onion of course...although I could use a hit off that injection once in while!

    Off to check out your recipe.


  6. That recipe does look good and it is good to hear from you! I am hopelessly behind over at has been the LONGEST winter ever.

    I am looking forward to spring and I bet you are too!

  7. I DO like made up birds and their egg, as it happens. How very lucky for me.
    I am SO allergic to popcorn. Isn't that the stupidest allergy ever? Yes.

  8. I don't know that Dr. Seuss book. That's strange.

    Catherine, that patience syringe story will stick with me (I hope). I really hope I remember to ask my 2nd grader for help with my impatience next time! You're terrific!

  9. I will definitely be trying the popcorn. It sounds like my kind of snack. My favorite way to pop popcorn doesn't ctualy involve any oil, but we'll figure something out.

  10. Can you tell my keyboard needs cleaning? ctualy=actually

  11. Wow, I loved the recipe! If I were you I'd be proud of myself too. Thanks for sharing it--I'm always looking for healthy (i.e. sugarless) snack recipes.

  12. Anonymous2:58 PM

    We have read that Dr. Seuss book many a fine time. But what always makes me a little weirded out is the fact that Peter T. Hooper is stealing eggs from all these birds that maybe wanted them to, you know, hatch and become offspring! That said, it is a real pleasure to rattle off those rhymes!

  13. hi Catherine,

    I'm the woman who accosted you today in the Whole Foods parking lot to tell you that I love your book and that you can't have my baby (oh, I say the most awkward things when I'm nervous!) Had I not been so mortified (or maybe I was just dazzled by your cute outfit?) what I would've said was -- thank you for your wonderful writing. I really did love the book -- it was witty and warm and hilariously honest. And, of course, your writing here and over at Wondertime is equally great. So, thank you!


  14. Thank you for *all* your recipes, both online and in the magazine. We really enjoy them.

  15. Anonymous9:05 PM

    I love that Dr Seuss book. It is probably my favorite and I remember having my mom read it night after night. When I started reading it to my kids (I have a copy that I think belonged to my dad when he was little or his younger sister)I found I still had a lot of it memorized. It made me so happy you referenced it!

    I have to agree with Reyna about the egg-stealing, though.

  16. Ok, this is fun...I clicked 'next blog' from my site, as I do sometimes sociological reasearch for work...yes... thats it.. and it randomly took me here. Not that I've been a huge CN fan for..well.. forever. How did it know????

  17. Regarding negative Seuss reviews: Hasn't anyone read Wocket in My Pocket? Oh the Places You'll Go? ANY Seuss book?! He's all about wacky made-up creatures, that's his thing. It's more about the manipulation of language than perversion, don't you think? We might have to try the Scrambled Egg book, I've never read it!

  18. The popcorn sounds fabulous, though I am having a really hard time finding the powdered buttermilk....

    Popcorn is my most favoritist food of all. I would eat it for every meal if I could!

  19. Seriously. You want us all to buy the book, don't you.
    Wel, it is right up (my) Ben's alley, so we'll give it a test drive courtesy of our local library. And I will be making that popcorn, oh yes.

  20. Anonymous2:20 PM

    Okay, I know that tons of your readers leave comments that say, 'Hey wow, that's exactly like my life,' but really -- given all the million ways that life in your house sounds exactly like life in my house, I'm guessing from what you said about doing the dishes while Michael was away that maybe you guys found the same key to domestic peace that we discovered here a few years ago: he does all the dishes, I do all the laundry. The logic is that he'll do the housework that is super-obviously in desperate need of attention (like a sink that has become convex with dirty plates), but is always about two weeks behind me on the tasks that are a little less in-your-face, like overflowing laundry baskets and empty underwear drawers. (did you note the bit of sarcasm there?)

    Also, I loved your recipes! A friend just introduced me to popcorn with nutritional yeast, which I'm still kind of scared of but it tastes totally delicious. Powdered buttermilk is on my grocery list....

  21. I wanted to say what a chord your Wondertime post struck. I can't leave a comment over there as I don't have a North American zip code, so here it is.
    I don't want to shameless plug my own blog here but I feel like I just wrote the 'you when Ben and Birdy were small' post.. its called 'Open Letter' and is about half way down the blog.
    many thanks once again for the solidarity!

  22. You know, Catherine... it really bugs me that you can say what I am thinking and that we are living these parallel lives and you put my experiences down so much more eloquently than I can. My own husband is leaving us this weekend for his first ever Half Marathon and I can only imagine the buzz he will have when he gets back to run a Full Marathon and how much I will both hate and admire him for doing it. And the lonlieness you feel when they leave, but we unfortunately never have the peace of the big bed that you do, as my 8& 5 year old will not just relax with me ever, though I try. *sigh* Oh, that I wish that he'd gotten that job at Wondertime so we could hang out while the hubby's run... we could eat Cheetos and chat and the kids could play........

  23. Anonymous3:30 PM

    When my first was born, one hour was the total amount of time (sixty minutes, no more) that I could be alone. "You can go grocery shopping, but you HAVE to be back in an hour!" I figured I could nurse for an hour straight till he got back. And, it's true, it's still no fun being left alone. Especially now we have three. I can't help feeling that anything my husband does without the kids is a bit self-indulgent. Working in the yard--What are you REALLY doing? Taking out the trash--How long can it possible take! I say this through clenched teeth, sometimes banging on the window, and with the full knowledge that I'm being crazy. Trash taker outer jerk.

    --Cathy K

  24. Anonymous11:20 AM

    Oh, and thanks for the article on artichokes. I'm always intrigued by them but have never given them a try. How to eat them is not obvious. Must have been someone really hungry who first figured it out. The step by step directions might actually give me what I need for me and the kids to give it a go. --Cathy K

  25. The popcorn is so delicious! My 5 year old daughter says it's "the best popcorn in the whole entire world!"
    Thanks for the recipe and thanks for making me feel better about my own irrational anger regarding my husband trying to better himself. Running? Education? Please! He's just trying to make me miserable, right? How dare he become a fully self-actualized human!!

    And the patience injection. Man, if only that were real!

  26. Anonymous9:56 AM

    We tried the sour cream and onion popcorn yesterday afternoon, and even though I burned the popcorn a little, it was delicious! Even worth all the wandering around in the grocery store trying to find the buttermilk powder.

  27. Anonymous3:45 PM

    Catherine--Where did you write about hiding the veggies? One of your commenters on Wondertime mentioned it, and I wanted to read it...thanks!

  28. Cristen,
    It was in the Wondertime magazine. You can get a subscription for very cheap. It's worth it, for the Catherine articles!

  29. Anonymous1:10 PM

    Cristen--the article from Wondertime on hiding veggies is also online at On the home page there is that rolling picture of features, and it's the one about "Six Vegetable Recipes--And don't hide the peas" or something like that. --Cathy K.

  30. Anonymous1:05 PM

    Wow, that's all I have to say, Wow. Your newest post on Wondertime sure did get the keys moving on everyone's computer didn't it? Just had to mention that...Thanks for your writing. Shari

  31. Anonymous9:29 PM

    The link to the veggie article is here

    I think the recipes are elsewhere.

  32. I have found that one or two grocery stores here have the powdered buttermilk (which I add to pancake mix and other odd things). When I bring it home, I write on the top lid where I found it (e.g., Publix, Ansley Mall). If you can't find it, ask your grocery store manager to order it for you. Will try the popcorn recipe perhaps tomorrow afternoon. Sounds delicious.

  33. Anonymous4:46 PM

    LOVED the piece in Oprah for your Dad!!

  34. Anonymous10:12 AM

    You guys! It's a Catherine Newman bonanza over at Wondertime. I swear. There is her blog, some dip recipes with her introductory comments, a piece on blogging and another piece on snacking called "Natural Selection." Fish around. It's worth it. If I were more tech savvy, I'd post the links. Then again, if I were more tech savvy, I'd know how to log on with a name instead of just anonymous. --Cathy K.

  35. Anonymous11:44 AM

    I am interested in reading the Stealth Veggie Smackdown article...but I cannot find it anywhere online. Can someone give me more info? I will check back on these comments. thank you! -abbie in atlanta