An Ode to Popcorn

Maybe an “ode” is too highfalutin. I’m just writing because as I was popping my popcorn tonight it occurred to me that some folks might think my fondness for popcorn is something strange, maybe even bordering on an obsession. They might be right, it’s been around a long time.

My relationship with popcorn starts way back, back when I was 10 or 11. My dad was an early adopter, which meant that we often had gizmos and gadgets before other folks. That year, our new gadget was a microwave. Before the advent of the microwave, we popped out popcorn in a JiffyPop contraption on the stove. This  was always a grown-up endeavor, and looking at these pictures now I think I can see why. How did they even open those things?

Next came this electric contraption – also meant for grown-ups to handle. I remember the base would get seriously hot and that more than once I forgot to put the little yellow top on…

 

Electric popper

Electric popper

 

When we got our first microwave, we also got a cool new tool but I could not find a picture of it. I guess it’s too old for digital photos.  It was a kind of conical bowl, into which you placed some oil and the popcorn kernels. Three minutes in the microwave and voila! Popcorn! This was fabulous for me because I was allowed to do it myself.

Skipping ahead a few years, my next experience of popcorn was with Sue, who taught me to pop up half a paper bag full using the air popper (bought at a garage sale for 50 cents) which we then liberally drizzled with butter, one person shaking the bag while the other poured in the melted butter. We ate it whenever we rented a movie (VHS).

Just like this - only with a paper bag to catch the corn.

Just like this – only with a paper bag to catch the corn.

Some years later my X taught me how to pop popcorn in a pot – a new thing for me. After many burned attempts, I finally got the hang of it, and it became my new favorite snack. Again.

The newest iteration of my popcorn obsession has come in this form:

Whirly Pop!

Whirly Pop!

Yes, the Whirly-Popper. When my best friend mentioned this to me as a tool she had recently been introduced to I thought, “Phooey, that’s cheating. That’s way too easy.” But then she sent me one as a gift. After just one use, I was sold. I know you can do all kinds of other things like making kettle corn and such with the popper, but I’m a fan of just plain popcorn.

 

 

 

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