Friday, March 25, 2011

Pop-Ins and Popovers

Popovers or pop-ins. Since you may have imagined that this blog was about popovers that you bake, I am sharing a recipe for them at the bottom of the blog. This, however, is about that moment when there is a knock at your door or a ring of your bell, and you know you aren't expecting anybody. Whether you are cleaning, sitting quietly with a book, or getting out of the shower, that sound means someone has come to visit, uninvited.

In my heart, I like to believe that I have an open door policy. In actuality, I don't. I like to be prepared. Occasionally, a neighbor will ring my bell with a question, and while it still isn't my favorite thing, I get it. They live next door. But when someone drives by, and pops in, well, it really makes me angry.

Here's the latest in a two-day pop in period. My handyman had done some work here at my house. Apparently, he wanted to check on the job, and though he called, he didn't reach me. He did leave a message, but I wasn't prompt in returning the call. I have been very busy, and calling people back about things that aren't pressing just isn't in the forefront of my mind. Anyhow, he decided to stop by. Twice. The first time, my front door was closed. My car was in the driveway so he assumed that I was home, but really, I could have been out with someone else driving, or in the shower, or sleeping, or doing laundry in the basement.

The second time, my front door was open. My house doesn't get a lot of light, so keeping the front door open is important for me. If I keep it closed, the house is much darker. So he came knocking, and I was in a towel, fresh out of the shower, and on the telephone. After much ado, I went to the door just like that. I gestured that I was on the phone and couldn't talk, not to mention undressed, and he just stood there waiting for me to talk to him. So annoying.

In the end, he said he'd wait in his truck for me to get off the phone and to get dressed. I was very irritated. It wasn't even anything important. He just wanted to know how things were going since he completed the work. Did that really require a visit?

I have lost friends due to a breeched pop-in policy. If you keep popping in even after I ask you not to, I push away. What part of Do Not Pop-In is so hard to understand and respect? Most of my friends know better, and probably wouldn't pop over anyhow. But just in case you were thinking about it...

The Barefoot Contessa's Popovers


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus softened butter for greasing pans
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups milk, at room temperature


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
Generously grease aluminum popover pans or Pyrex custard cups with softened butter. You’ll need enough pans to make 12 popovers. Place the pans in the oven for exactly 2 minutes to preheat. Meanwhile, whisk together the flour, salt, eggs, milk, and melted butter until smooth. The batter will be thin. Fill the popover pans less than half full and bake for exactly 30 minutes. Do not peek.

Tiffany Palisi is a freelance writer and the author of the book, "Mama's World: Essays From the Inside Out." She has interviewed actresses, designers, and entertainers; her favorites include Cynthia Rowley, Patricia Arquette, Tea Leoni, and children's singer Dan Zanes. She is a contributing writer for Mountain Lakes Living magazine. Palisi lives with her family in New Jersey.


  1. Do I have to call first too? It doesn't apply to all, certainly. (Right?)

  2. The Pop-in also stresses me out I must admit!