arts & music food

Coconuts and Cayenne

by Briana — February 28, 2015

Cayenne Popcorn

When I’m cooking for myself, there is seldom a dish I’m whipping up that doesn’t include some amount of cayenne. This is despite the fact that cayenne makes me sneeze, without fail, every single time I use it. But it’s totally worth it. It’s good on eggs. It’s good on avocado toast. It’s good on veggie burgers. It’s good in tacos. It’s good in hummus. It’s good on popcorn. Popcorn? Yes, popcorn! Trust me on this one: if you’ve never popped popcorn in coconut oil and then spiced it up with some cayenne, you are SERIOUSLY missing out. Seriously. This is probably my all-time favorite way to make popcorn, and maybe one of my favorite things in general.

Raindrops on roses and cayenne on popcorn…

I digress. The cool thing about cayenne and coconut oil popcorn is it’s something that’s totally mine. I mean, I’m sure someone else out there has done this. But I didn’t find it in a recipe book or on Pinterest or in one of the five thousand foodie emails I get every week. It’s an unconventional pairing that was completely my intention and completely kicks ass.

This has become somewhat of a mantra for me: “find the coconut + cayenne”. As a songwriter, I’m constantly trying to find unconventional pairings of conventional things that make a totally awesome end product. I feel like we should all do this more: try that thing that sounds like it might be good. Even if you’re not sure. Even if it sounds like it could also be the worst thing that has ever been created…at least you still created something!

My typical week includes a lot of cowrites with other songwriters in Nashville. When you get together in a room with someone you may or may not know that well, you never really know what’s going to happen. Sometimes it’s wonderful and sometimes it’s terrible and sometimes it’s something in between that will probably get buried forever. And you know what? That’s okay. Every chance taken to create something is worth it, even if that something doesn’t hang around forever. The more you create, the better you get, and then someday you find the cayenne and the coconuts and everything falls into place.

As a popcorn-maker, I’ve got it down. As a songwriter, I’m still on the hunt. But as Steve Jobs would say, “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” You never know where you’re gonna find the coconuts and the cayenne.

(photo from Once Upon A Recipe because although it’s not actually cayenne popcorn, it looks just as delicious)

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