Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Saturday, January 31, 2009

We're going Pop Pop Pop

When I was first pregnant with the twins, I worked for a Japanese company at an office in suburban Boston. The vast majority of the employees were native Japanese and didn't pay much attention to the American workers. Which was fine considering that my Japanese was non-existant and their English wasn't remotely understandable. Plus, they were all men, and they kept referring to me by one word whose meaning I didn't know. Until much later, when I found out they were calling me "Ugly" which is one of their endearing terms for pregnant woman.

Anyhow, one of the real detriments of working at this company is that my office was directly across the hall from the kitchen. Bad enough that I had to endure the smells of microwaving lunches daily, but every afternoon the popcorn brigade would come alive. Bag after bag of microwave popcorn would be popped, and I would have to rush to the bathroom to vomit because the chemical smell made me sick.

Ever since that time, I've avoided microwave popcorn. Unfortunately, my children both love it, and will buy packets for snacks from the variety shop down the street. Usually I can avoid the smell by going elsewhere in the house. But no matter what the brand, the chemical smell kind of makes me nauseated.

At some point I got a lightbulb over my head and decided to buy a container of plain old popcorn. You know, the yellow kernals in a jar? Remember those? Not only are they markedly cheaper, but they do not taste or smell chemically. Plus, you can season to your liking with as much or as little butter, salt, garlic salt, or even cinnamon sugar as you want.

What's so funny about this is that my kid's friends for the most part have never seen regular popcorn made. Some have no idea that you can even make your own popcorn in a pot atop the stove. But you can, and it takes just about the same amount of time as the microwave, and you're not stuffing chemicals into your body when you eat it.

The recipe is simple. One cup of popcorn kernals to about 3 tbs of vegetable oil. Pour the oil inot the bottom of the pan, place the popcorn into the pan, turn on the stove to high, and start shaking the pan over the heat. Shaking makes the kernals fall to the bottom of the pan so you get the most popped kernals. Once the popping slows down, take the pan off the stove, uncover the pot and fluff up the kernals, then add the melted butter and salt and toss. Voila...better than movie theatre popcorn!

I'm not sure how we lost our way on popcorn. It's a great snack and if you're careful with the toppings, it's filling and pretty darn dietetic. Kids love it, dogs and cats clean spilled kernals off the floor, and the house smells great after you've made a nice big pot.

Toss out the microwave stuff and get yourself some real kernals. You'll be really glad you did.

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Blogger The Panic Room said...

As a kid we had a giant jar of popcorn and that old yellow bubble popcorn maker "The Stir Crazy"? It had the spinning bar at the bottom. What was that thing called? It was awesome. Now I want one again.

31/1/09 7:24 PM  
Blogger bethany actually said...

1. THANK YOU for spelling the word "voila" correctly. :-) It doesn't exactly annoy me when people spell it wrong, but I always notice when someone spells it right.

2. When I got married, I begged my mom to give me their old air popper. I still make popcorn with it! Sometimes I make it on the stove the old-fashioned way, and sometimes I make it in the microwave in a brown paper bag, no chemicals needed!

31/1/09 10:36 PM  
Blogger Robin said...

We always do our popcorn on the stove - cheaper, and gotta be healthier too.

Of course it's not without risk. Yesterday I put a wee bit too much in the pan and the damn thing was spitting popcorn all over the kitchen. Blew the lid right off, it was pretty funny.

1/2/09 1:14 AM  
Blogger Nina said...

We're on the same wavelength as usual. Today I brought my hot air popper into the office to bribe/feed my colleagues as we attempt to create a positioning tag line for our little association. I will not go near microwave popcorn.

2/2/09 9:34 AM  

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