Today’s post comes from Ben.
I was thinking about popcorn tonight. Actually I wanted popcorn tonight… but I didn’t want to go to the trouble of making it; I wanted a bag of cold popcorn out of the freezer. But that meant making some and freezing it and that seemed like a long wait and a lot of trouble.
And that’s how come I’m thinking about popcorn.
I first learned to make popcorn in a large metal pot on the stovetop. Add some oil, throw in a few kernels, wait until they pop, then add more, add the lid and shake it across the stove. I can hear that sound of the heavy metal pot scrapping across the electric stove elements.
I don’t remember what we served it in.
My grandfather grew popcorn one year. He was quite the gardener. I remember it had to dry and we had to husk it. No idea how it tasted…
I think at some point we had one of those concave, yellow plastic cover poppers; I think you were supposed to serve it in the lid when it was done. And you added butter to the top – it was supposed to drip on to the popcorn before you flipped it over, right? I don’t remember mom ever doing that.
And then there was the black pan w/ the handle on the top in order to stir the popcorn. That one didn’t last long; it probably didn’t work that well.
Then we got air poppers… they worked and were fun. But mom still wouldn’t let me put butter in the little dish on the top. And the popcorn had a tendency to fly out all over…
I remember going to a cabin with my sister and her in-laws when I was about 10. They had ‘Jiffy Pop’ and I’d never seen Jiffy pop before and I was kinda fascinated with the foil bag getting bigger and bigger. I remember her in-laws making sexual references about that. (I don’t remember anything specific, but I knew what they were joking about… and then ‘Grandpa’ grabbed ‘Grandma’ by one finger and kinda tugged on it and kept saying they had to go. People laughed. I was uncomfortable.)
And this one looks familiar. We may have had one of these.
Fourth of July tradition after I met Kelly: Her aunt would pop (in oil on the stove!) a brown paper bag full of popcorn and we’d park on the side of the street right down by Silver Lake to watch the fireworks. Soon as they were over we throw everything in the van because we had to beat the traffic out of downtown.
And then day old popcorn, out of the grease stained bag was THE BEST!
(Several years later… Kelly and I and the kids are trying to get that spot on the street again. Parking rules have changed and parking isn’t allowed. So you have to time it just right that magically ALL the cars will park at once just before the fireworks start and then the cops won’t chase you all away. I, however, have parked in the entrance to the local power plant. The cop asks us to move. I said I thought since it was closed it would be OK. He says there might be an emergency. I said I’d move if there was…..? He smiled. I moved.)
And then came microwave popcorn. How many fire alarms have been set off at work or school from the burned popcorn??
But still, the best is movie theater popcorn. With enough butter to choke a horse.
Sometimes I go to the movies just to buy popcorn. And if you buy a large, you can get a free refill on popcorn. And I got to thinking tonight (remember I was thinking about popcorn) it it’s free refills… do they care if I go to a movie? Is there a specific amount of time that has to pass between buying the popcorn and getting the refill??
You see where I’m going with this; what if I buy a large bag, dump it into some zip lock bags, and ask for a refill? That’s not wrong is it?
Do I have to buy a bag, go into the ‘megaplex’ area to a lounge, fill my bags and find a different clerk to refill? But again, why the bother? I buy a large, dump in a Target bag, and ask for a refill. Am I right??
And now the places that make the cheddar popcorn! Oh My… I could eat a gallon of that without even trying. That is good stuff. I have to forcibly limit myself around cheddar popcorn. Especially from ‘Carrols Corn’ here in Rochester. (http://www.carrollscorn.com/)
Back to popcorn in the freezer. When I was a kid and I was in the hospital, mom would bring me popcorn for a snack. She’d freeze it and bring it to me in Wonder Bread bags. (we were so poor we had to reuse the Wonder Bread Bags).
And now when I bring home extra popcorn, I put it in quart ziplock bags and put it in the freezer. It stays fresh, it doesn’t get soggy, and it’s a nice, quick, easy, cool snack.
GOT A STORY ABOUT POPCORN?