Oh the mail I get ... I think that's a standard title for one of Lee Goldberg's regular topics on his blog, (which I read religiously). He usually gets mail from someone asking for an outrageous favor (like, here I am a COMPLETE stranger--please drop everything and help me promote my book ... oh, yeah. I got one of those last week, too), or a nasty fan (?) letter (I also got one of those last week).
The other day I got a note from a reader saying: "In 'Sentenced to Death' Angelica makes puppodums in the microwave. I've never heard of these, but when I looked them up no one seems to make them in the microwave."
Well, I do! Okay, the instructions say you're supposed to fry them in a skillet ... or something like that. Fuggetaboutit! Who has time? And who wants to clean an oily skillet when God gave us microwaves to make our lives easier?
It took a couple of years of trial and error (hey, I've been busy writing books and stuff!), but I've now got it down to a science and I am happy to share my secret with the rest of the world. (Hold your applause until the end of this post. Thank you.)
First of all, I had to experiment with the timing. Too long and they burn to a crisp. Not long enough and they're horrible. And never try to cook a puppodoum in the microwave if you line your glass plate with paper towel. Either that, or stand by with a fire extinguisher.
I found the best way to cook puppodums was on a Syracuse China plate. (Any heavy duty restaurant plate will do, I just happen to collect their Americana pattern.) I found this dinky plate, and it's brother, at a yard sale. (Yeah, I could go to Replacements.com and buy the entire set for a gazillion dollars, but I prefer the thrill of the yard-sale hunt.)
Next up, preparing the puppodum. I squirt mine with I Can't Believe It's Not Butter spray. (I used to use the garlic version, but because I liked it they discontinued it. Product manufacturers always discontinue something the minute I decide to use it. Good thing I don't buy Oreos, huh?) You can use any cooking spray, like PAM, as well. After three or four squirts, I use my finger and distribute the ICBINB to evenly coat the puppodum. I place it on the little plate, and into the microwave it goes.
BTW, I have no idea what my microwave wattage is, and must admit I really don't care. This microwave takes 45 seconds to cook the puppodum to perfection. (It takes a lot less if you just toss it on the glass plate inside your microwave--about 20-22 seconds, but as I mentioned, sometimes they burn. The heavy china must distribute the heat better. That's my story and I'm sticking with it.) If this seems like a l-o-n-g time, you can do something else while you wait. I like to drink a glass of skim milk when I eat curry, so usually my lunch is ready (today I'm thinking of having MTR alu muttar on rice) and too hot to eat anyway (did I mention I like my food PIPING HOT?), so 45 seconds is more than enough time to pour a glass of your favorite beverage.
The end result may look like a dinosaur scab, but it tastes just fine. (If you like lental flatbread, that is.)
So there you have it: puppodums cooked in the microwave.
(It's okay to applaud now.)
I love answering questions about my books and, quite honestly, rarely get them. So if you've wondered about anything in the books--please, ask away. (It's hard coming up with new ideas for blog posts.)