Winter's not coming, friends: it's here, and it's here to stay. New York's temp may have peeped above 55 degrees last weekend, but the frigid wind screaming through the tiny cracks around our window ACs have us clutching our cable knit sweaters and this weekend, we're not letting go. We BKTXers have a couple of serious snow days under our belts, and if we do say so ourselves, we're pretty well versed in the art of hunkering down. We like to be cozy. With snow and some big arrows that seem to indicate more wind in the forecast, don't go on spring break: you're just fooling yourself. Follow our lead by surrounding yourselves with soft warm things, books, and the remote control for an overload of coziness.
Once you've got your cozy blanket, socks, and craft ready, you'll need to pick some quality media to binge on. Here's what we've been plowing through.
A SELECTION OF TV SHOWS WE'VE SAMPLED IN 2016
Shameless (American version), Hulu 8.5/10
Jane the Virgin, Netflix, Amazon 9/10
Catastrophe, Amazon 10/10
You're the Worst 9/10
War and Peace, BBC/PBS 7/10
Homeland, Netflix 9.5/10
Downton Abbey, PBS 9/10
Black Mirror, Netflix 9/10
Sherlock Christmas Special, BBC/PBS 7/10
Broadchurch, Netflix 8.5/10
Cooked, Netflix 10/10
Treme, Amazon 8/10
Gilmore Girls, Netflix 7/10*
The Mysteries of Laura, Netflix 6/10*
Making a Murder, Netflix 8/10
Sex in the City, Amazon 6/10*
Shows we disagree on:
Great British Baking Show, Netflix
E: 10/10 O: 7/10
Master of None, Netflix
E: 7.5/10 O: 9/10
The Americans, Amazon
E: 9.5/10 O: 8/10
**bonus: House of Cards Season 4 drops tomorrow, so you should probably just watch that
I recently got a Brooklyn library card, and I've started going a little crazy, starting with Mr. Splitfoot. This book covered pretty much all of my favorite literary bases: there were orphans, mysterious scars, girls on a mission, and communication with ghosts (OR IS THERE?) all while being super grounded in reality, not campy or magicky at all. There's even a scene that takes place in a convent! Bonus points for a bizarre cult based on Mormon fundamentalism mixed with Carl Sagan's Cosmos. I cried when it was over.
LUCKIEST GIRL ALIVE
This one was hard to put down: think the cringe-factor and unlikeable characters from Gone Girl mixed with the teen drama of "Pretty Little Liars," but on crack. TifAni FaNelli is a woman you love to hate - she writes sex features for a magazine, has a closet full of Phillip Lim, and name drops restaurants, fancy barre classes, and shoe brands until you can't stand it anymore. As she approaches her interview for a documentary based on events in her past, her seemingly perfect life completely unravels. Her increasingly crazy and tragic high school experience creeps up, and it's shocking and riveting to read.
FATES AND FURIES
This book topped most of the Best of 2015 lists out there, but it was hard for me to get excited about a book that everyone described as "about a marriage." The two main characters were just astounding. They are so incredibly weird and specific — Lotto is the son of a mermaid impersonator and a Florida orphan-turned-water-magnate. Mathilde you'll need to discover for yourself. They're so strongly individual and the focus on their relationship is so tightly focused that it's impossible not to feel involved in every power play, lie, whisper, secret, and triumph throughout their lives, together and apart. A must read.
We swear by Food52's perfect popcorn recipe. It says to use oil but you can just use butter, it tastes better and we've never had a problem with its temperature.
Pour oil into a heavy-bottomed (at least 3-quart) saucepan. Add 3 popcorn kernels, and turn the heat to medium-high.
Wait for all three kernels to pop. Add the rest of the kernels, cover, and remove pot from heat. Count to 30 — it helps to count out loud. Very, very loud.
Return your pot to medium-high heat. Once the kernels begin to pop — they should do so almost in unison, thanks to the wait time — begin shaking the pan back and forth with the lid slightly ajar. Don't get so vigorous that the lid flies off, okay?
Once the popping slows — 2 to 3 seconds between pops is fine — turn off the heat and empty your popcorn into a large bowl. While your pan is still hot, slide your butter in there, and let it melt. Once it begins to brown, pour it over your popcorn, and toss with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to combine. Sprinkle with a fat pinch of salt.
- 3 tablespoons neutral oil, like grapeseed (You can also use coconut oil — if you do, I suggest using coconut oil in place of butter, as well.)
- 1/3cup popcorn kernels
- 3tablespoons butter (or less, if you insist)
- Generous pinch of salt