popped corn

Popcorn is weird. C’mon, you know it’s weird, y’all. One minute it’ll hand you a ticket to the dental chair and the next it’s light and fluffy like a cloud. But despite its weirdness, it’s good. Real good. And to all you people with braces out there, way sorry that I’m posting on something that you can’t have. I remember those days; however, I don’t think I actually ever followed the rules. Perhaps that’s why I had to wear them for half my life. Ahem.

I’m going to admit something to you. After I popped this corn, I felt like a hero. I guess it just seemed like magic. The corn’s just sittin’ there and then BAM (I was gonna say POP!, but really? A little expected.)! all the sudden the pan is filled with little white pieces of accomplishment. It almost felt like I had done something that had never been discovered. I think I laughed and squealed and jumped a little. I was alone in the house, if you’re asking. And the plain, hot popped corn is so delicious. And you think, “…but. That. It? This was. And now it’s? And now I’m?” When popping corn in the microwave, you just can’t see it happen. Even those stove-top containers are covered in foil. So, I suggest if you have a pan with a glass lid, USE IT. You’ll be able to see the whole process and it’ll turn you into a six-year-old watching the Mr. Knozit show.

I learned how to make beautiful, perfect popped corn from this site.

popped corn
3 tbsp canola oil, or an oil with a high smoke point
1/3 cup popcorn kernels

Heat the oil in a 3 quart saucepan on medium-high heat. Put 3 or 4 popcorn kernels into the oil and cover the pan. When the kernels pop, add the rest of the popcorn kernels in an even layer. Cover, remove from heat, and count 30 seconds (this method first heats the oil to the right temperature and waiting 30 seconds brings all of the other kernels to a near-popping temperature so that when they are put back on the heat, they all pop at about the same time).
Return the pan to the heat. The popcorn should begin popping soon and all at once. Once the popping starts in earnest, gently shake the pan by moving it back and forth over the burner. Try to keep the lid slightly ajar to let the steam from the popcorn release (the popcorn will be drier and crisper). Once the popping slows to several seconds between pops, remove the pan from the heat, remove the lid, and dump the popcorn immediately into a wide bowl.

At this point, you can add butter or salt or other neat toppings if you’d like, but honestly, I think it’s so delicious just straight-up. Yep, straight-up popcorn. And you know I’m going to say it. With this method, you don’t have to guess. It’s just corn and oil. No dyes. No fake butter. No hydrogenated oils. Just super-fun and super-cute (can I say that?) bite-sized, healthy snacks. Got kids? They’ll love it. Got adults? They’ll love it, too. And that popping is the perfect improv beat to choreograph a short kitchen dance.

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