Sunday, August 27, 2006


I don’t know for sure if popcorn is an acquired taste or if one can be born with a genetic predisposition to love it, but based on my experience I’m willing to bet it’s genetics. I love popcorn. Not just in an “every once in awhile” kind of way either. I mean I love popcorn. I eat it multiple times a week, and crave it even more often and have ever since I can remember. I can’t remember ever watching a movie with my mom without munching on a big bowl of warm, buttery popcorn. I easily remember nights when my mom, step dad and I would get home from a meeting or something after skipping supper and simply eating popcorn for supper. And, like me, Mom didn’t like to share. “Get your own popcorn, “ was a common refrain in my house.

And now my kids love popcorn. Madeleine and Hank get more excited about the fact that they get to eat popcorn when Joe and I announce that we’re about to embark on a movie night than the fact that they get to stay up late and watch a movie. This truth was illustrated the other night when they had two friends over to watch a movie. I made popcorn for them, of course, and served it to them in four individual bowls. My kids ate their first bowl. Refill. Ate a second bowl. Their friends? One ate a quarter of their bowl, the other half. And they like popcorn. I guess they just don’t like popcorn.

There are so many different ways to eat popcorn, with butter, without, salt, sugar… how is a person supposed to know what to choose? My recommendation is to try them all but if you don’t love popcorn as I do then just read on and take my advice.

If I didn’t care about calories and clogged arteries my first choice way to make popcorn would be in my Whirley Pop stovetop popcorn popper. Coat the bottom of the popper with grape seed oil and kosher salt, pop the popcorn and add popcorn salt and butter to taste (shamefully, I love lots of both).

However, since I don’t want to weigh 15,000 pounds and I’d like to dream about fitting into skinny jeans, I typically put just a touch of grape seed oil in the bottom of my Whirley pop, a little kosher salt and then pop my corn. It’s actually still pretty good.

The absolute best popcorn, in my opinion, unfortunately just happens to be the worst for you. Movie theatre popcorn. Oh good heavens is it good. I knew I’d found the man of my dreams the first time Joe and I went to a movie together and he confessed he didn’t even like popcorn that much. Perfect, since smashing hands with someone while you’re trying to enjoy movie theatre popcorn just totally ruins everything (as it does for all popcorn, really; remember the “get your own popcorn” refrain from above?). But don’t try to make it at home. Yeah, you can buy coconut oil and do it, but it never tastes the same. Save the indulgence for the theatre.

I had planned to research popcorn a bit and put in a few interesting facts and details. But I have two problems. The first is I kind of like thinking of popcorn in terms of beginning in my childhood, introduced to me by my mom, a fellow popcorn aficionado, and knowing its real history would ruin that. But most importantly I’m now craving some popcorn. The kids are asleep and Grey’s Anatomy is on so I think I will wrap this and go indulge.


Anonymous said...

Thanks to you I discovered the joys of whirly popped popcorn in grapeseed oil and will be forever grateful. I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT! I AM ADDICTED TO IT (and so is Dad, by the way). I usually just use a bit of the oil and a lot of salt (I have low blood pressure so no problems with that part of it) and I could eat it, BOWLS full of it, every day! Just had several bowls last night, and chances are I will be popping away about 8 p.m. tonight (when I get the night-time snack attack).

t said...

thank you, i am re-inspired. we recently discovered the joy of making homemade popcorn, just in a dutch oven or big pot w/a clear lid. the clear lid is important b/c we gather around the stove (yup, all 5), and crack up watching the little critters pop and dance... we do the butter/sugar/salt thing. but with grapeseed oil? yum! i'll have to try that!

and the thought of you and popcorn reminded me of the futon and watching dirty dancing. :) said...

Having bought a Whirley-pop at a car boot near Southampton, England yesterday with all contents intact for pound I thought I would search further details on this machine. Looking older than it really is I was suprised to find them still being made. I suspect this one to be an unwanted gift and several years old by the appearance so I will be cautious with the included ingredients. Not a fan of popcorn, the wife and boys eat it, I will now have a go with this stove top machine instead of the micro wave method. Anyroad my real reason for leaving this comment is more about how lives can cross. While doing this search I came across Wannabe Supermom which I found interesting, firstly for the popcorn article and then I read on. The photos I found intriguing from a different angle. Giving no clue to the their origins, thousands of miles away on a different continent I could just as easily be convinced this was a family from Basingstoke having a day out in the New Forest (except for the dutch? barn in the one photo).
My point is had I not spotted this popcorn maker under a stall yesterday and chose to research it I would not have learnt of this midwest family and their lives (through Mum's blog).
As I sit in Southampton on this rainy bank holiday monday pondering life and at 56 leaving my first internet comment I am amazed at how far a pound will take you... and I still have the popcorn to make yet.