Dad made a total of two dishes while we were growing up. One of those dishes was scrambled eggs & salami and the other was popcorn.
When we’d hear him shifting the pots and pans around in the bottom of the cabinet to find the heavy bottomed stock pot and lid, we knew we were in for a treat. Out came the oil and the kernels along with said pot and lid. The sound of bottom of the pot being vigorously shaken back and forth atop the burners of our electric stove top was deafening. He’d scoop the hot popcorn into brown paper lunch bags and write our names on them to ensure we ate out of only our own bag. The horror! We’d then jump into the family station wagon with blankets and sleeping bags in tow for our evening at the drive-in movie theater. I can remember two things clearly. 1. the feeling of the stained oil as it seeped through the bag after holding it for hours and 2. twisting the top of the bag to close it so I could take the rest home with me for the next day (invariably, it staled quickly and was thrown sooner rather than later).
|Not my popper of the 80′s, but an acceptable example|
Flash forward to high school graduation. One of my most coveted gifts was my air popped popcorn maker. That one appliance was my best friend throughout college and after my move to Dallas. I used it religiously-repeatedly offending guests with my “that tastes like Styrofoam” popcorn. Just kernels (I like a mix of white and yellow corn) and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese. I loved it. An evening wasn’t complete until I had my bowl of popcorn along side my Diet Coke. It moved everywhere with me–and always had a secured space in my cabinet. Unwieldy at times due to the odd shape? Yes, but it was worth every inch of space it took up on the shelf.
Not only does my love for popcorn come from the nostalgia that smelling it and eating it brings to me, but the health benefits are pretty amazing. We’re talking 100% whole grain, fiber, low in calories, filling and it has large amounts of polyphenols, the compounds that have been found to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Lastly, its very affordable. People who complain that eating healthy costs too much need to take a look at popcorn before complaining again!
Now, it’s time to introduce the young son to popcorn. I have been hunting high and low for my beloved popper to no avail. I have scoured this house. Nothing. Sure, it would be easy to point fingers at others who live in the house who don’t care for my air popped popcorn as to its whereabouts, but that’s not how I roll. (or is it?) My fear is that I’ll never see the popper again. It must have made its way to the recycling bin or the trash or was conveniently left in the last house before moving to this one. Regardless, it’s time for a new air popped popcorn popper. I’ll be searching online and in stores today. Until I find one, I’m going to pay homage to Dad and do a little popping on the stove top tonight.
Here’s a great little recipe and video from the NovelEats.com blog for Stove Top Popcorn.
Photo source: www.thisnext.com