Pass the Popcorn Please

January 27, 2009 by Ellen Stimson in Cabin Fever, Family, Vermont, Wintertime

We spent the whole day, really most of the weekend reading dumb books and watching silly movies. Hannah is deep into the vampire series that all the young girls are reading. I was reading a bunch of old bad Nelson DeMille thrillers. John too. And Eli was hip deep in a juicy time travel story. Benjamin was playing video games, one after another, like he was twelve years old again. These are not the things you tell other people you are reading and doing, but sometimes you just need a bunch of junk food and brain candy, and we were cold and had been cold for days and we needed some comfort. Minus 15 gets to you after a while. It just does.
I finally said to hell with the oil bills and we turned the thermostat way up and started burning about $50 or $60 bucks a day. But by golly we finally got warm. We had roaring fires in both fireplaces, so we could meander back and forth from the library to the playroom and read trash or watch it. We wore fat wooly socks that were purple and green and our favorite, oldest, softest jammies and robes, for two days straight. The hardest part of the day was getting the salsa and the cheese inside those little scoop chips and remembering to get them out of the oven before the cheese burned…(I messed up two batches one way and another. The chickens were glad though) We rented a bunch of old Harrison Ford movies and let our hearts race, as he was chased or chased one or another terrorist.
I have been running around like a maniac with six client’s annual funds, two fat capital campaigns and 27 parties between now and February. And of course I loathe parties, but my clients don’t know. I look like a cheerful big-personality extrovert who has been waiting all her life to meet you and your friends. And really I have met some very nice people. Lots of them. Nice smart engaging Vermonters, but I was tired and all out of extrovert. Bad books and junk food tired. Rotel dip tired. We took it right into supper and had a yummy trashy Velveeta mess from my childhood that my boutique cheese making friends would probably break up with me over.
And now, when you are cold and tired and need a little old fashioned trashy Velveeta comfort you can have some too. Shhh I won’t tell if you won’t.

Beer Cheese Soup…with Popcorn Even
4 chicken bouillon cubes
3 cups water
1 can beer
1 sweet Vidalia (or any sweet onion), diced
2 1/2 cups potatoes, raw and cubed
1 lb Velveeta cheese, cubed
2 cans cream of chicken soup
In a large saucepan, combine bouillon, water, beer,
onion (I like to blacken mine a bit first), and potatoes.
Simmer 20 minutes, and then add cheese and soup.
Simmer 30 minutes. Serve with popcorn on top.


  • Kate

    I need a reading day.


  • katiedid

    I would never have thought of the popcorn. Velveeta sure thing. Rotel dip,..uh-huh.
    Well only on really mopey days

  • Mel

    I cut off hunks of Velveeta and eat it right out of the box. I don’t even want to know what it is made of. I love the stuff. If a boyfriend breaks out I break out the Velveeta. I never miss him for long after that

  • Mighty Morphin' Mama

    Sounds like a perfect way to decompress and stay out of the cold. Cozy.

  • Bia

    cheesy novels (and i have read the vampire series…not too bad), silly movies, velveeta cheese, soft jammies, roaring fireplaces…i am more than a little envious.

    and 27 parties????!!!! i could do without those, though.

  • Kellan

    “Read trash or watch it” – ACK! Love it! That soup sounds delicious and that sounded like the perfect weekend!

    Take care and stay warm, my friend!


  • Anonymous

    I want this day

  • Beesknees

    I hear you guys are getting a big storm up there. Are you snowed in? What’s on the agenda?
    Did the Nelson DeMille thing start because of Gate House. I loved Gate House and it made me want to go back too. But then I only ever loved Gold Coast.
    I just re read it and it was still good all these years later

  • Jamie

    I need a reading day, too.

    A weekend full of reading. And PJs and good food and fireplace and lots of snow.

    Um, that sounds like my dream weekend.

  • laurwilk

    Thanks for the recipe. I’ll make that for sure! I’m on a soup kick.. And I’m pretty much always open to Velvetta.

    I’ve been sucked into books lately. I snuck away today at lunch and instead of eating during the break, I read! I’m looking forward to getting in another chapter on my subway ride home. Yay!

  • library lady

    We finally got our snow. Now to you New Englanders, what we got was a light dusting, but 7-8 inches is snow to St. Louis. Tuesday we only had about 3 inches when it was time to go to work, but I had already made up my mind that I wasn’t going. All day and night it kept snowing and Wednesday they closed the library. What bliss! I paid for all the napping and junk food by being up until around 5:00AM this morning, but it was worth it!

  • Casdok

    Minus 15! brrr
    That soup sounds delicious!

  • Trannyhead

    That DOES sound good. And I have these heinously ugly red reindeer socks that are the thickest, warmest socks I have. They’re awful but they do the trick. I usually have a regular pair of socks, the reindeer socks, AND my mammoth lined Crocs on as I wander around the winter house. I dont’ care how stupid I look!

  • Anonymous

    Velveeta is the staff of life

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