E-Mail This Story: Of Kittens, Quinoa & Ron Paul

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hide captionIsn't this precious? Wouldn't your sister/mother-in-law/fraternity brother love this photo? Why don't you e-mail them this story right now?

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Porridge

hide captionNPR listeners couldn't get enough quinoa.

From "Quinoa: A Sacred, Super Crop"
Nicole Spiridakis for NPR
Arturo Toscanini

hide captionMiles Hoffman says that YouTube is a great place to see performances by legendary musicians of the past, such as conductor Arturo Toscanini.

From "A Classical Treasure Trove at YouTube"
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Neti pot

hide captionThe neti pot scored with NPR listeners.

From "Got a Runny Nose? Flush It Out!"
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Ron Paul

hide captionTucker Carlson says Ron Paul is libertarian to the core.

From "What's the Deal with Ron Paul?"
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Yoda

hide captionYoda's outlook has become the theology for a new church.

From "A Gospel According to Yoda"
Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Every day on The Bryant Park Project we do a segment called "The Most," where we bring you some of the most e-mailed, most viewed, and generally most noticed stories on the Web. We often feature a piece from NPR.org's Most E-mailed Stories list in the process, but since we're the low show on the totem pole, we too rarely find ourselves on there.

I've set out to change that. I'm attempting to get this story, the one you're reading right now, all the way to number one on the NPR.org Most E-mailed Story list, and to keep it there as long as possible.

First, I need your help. See that "E-mail Page" button at the top? Click it and send this article to someone, anyone, everyone.

To encourage as many people as possible to do this, I've studied the types of stories that appear frequently on the list and incorporated as many of their key elements as possible. After substantial research I've concluded that the following topics are the cornerstones of NPR's Most E-mailed articles:

  • Food stories and recipes
  • Neti pots (These ancient homeopathic devices are used for nasal irrigation. A story about them was #1 most e-mailed for 2007.)
  • Star Wars
  • Student life
  • Scientific discoveries
  • Quinoa (the super grain)
  • NPR's esteemed science correspondent Robert Krulwich
  • The classical arts (theater/opera/symphonic music)
  • Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul
  • "This I Believe" pieces (stories of personal tragedy/loss and the overcoming of said loss)

With these popular topics in mind, I present the following NPR piece.

The Greatest Story Ever E-mailed

I was making quinoa cakes shaped like Yoda the day my dog, Pavarotti Skywalker, died. He was chasing the tennis ball, playing in the yard, when he was crushed to death by NPR's esteemed science correspondent Robert Krulwich.

I haven't made Yoda-shaped quinoa cakes since.

But I believe in moving on, and I know the only way to move beyond my beloved Pavarotti Skywalker's death is to enjoy the food we enjoyed together so many times.

So I'm in my apartment in Brooklyn, where I bring one-and-a-half cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan, wash and drain a cup of quinoa, and simmer the quinoa in the covered saucepan.

While the quinoa cooks, I like to prepare my palate for the feast by using a neti pot to irrigate my nasal passages. Mmmm ... saline solution.

As we all know, a good nasal irrigation usually takes about 20 minutes, which is also how long it takes the quinoa to absorb all the water. Stir one lightly beaten egg into the quinoa, separate the mixture into clumps, and arrange them on a baking sheet, each in the shape of Yoda. After chilling them in the fridge, put them in a hot, oiled skillet.

That sizzle was always Pavarotti Skywalker's favorite part.

While the quinoa cakes fry, read up on a fascinating study from the scientific journal Child Development. This one says that if you teach your kids their intelligence is capable of increasing, they do better in school. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy!

Eight to 10 minutes later you've read the piece and the quinoa cakes are golden brown, which means they're done.

Seeing them in my kitchen brings back a flood of memories. Pavarotti Skywalker and I sure had some good times together. I want the healing to begin. I know it must. But something is holding me back. Suddenly, I realize what I have to do...

"Hey, NPR's esteemed science correspondent Robert Krulwich," I say, "you want a quinoa cake shaped like Yoda?"

"Uh, sure, thanks," Krulwich replies, and takes a bite. "Mmmm, these are good."

"They sure are Robert Krulwich, they sure are."

"Hey, Dan," he continues. "I'm really sorry I killed your dog."

"That's OK, Robert Krulwich. That's OK. "

Breaking bread with someone has never made me feel so whole. And now I'm pleased to report that I've welcomed a new puppy into my life. I named him Ron Paul.

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