Hey there ladies and gents!
Now this might not be a long blog entry, but I felt that it needed to be written. I’m going to pay tribute and give honourable mention to the food in my house that never runs dry… and you know as well as I do, we all have that food. You can run out of EVERYTHING else in the house–butter, milk, bread, eggs– but it doesn’t get real until you run out of that one thing. Now it’s serious.
For some people, it’s ice cream. For others, it’s bacon (I’m serious. I’ve heard this one mentioned before. Who can blame a body, right? Bacon is awesome!). There’s also been mention of coffee, cookies, and all sorts of treats. For me, it’s this:
For as long as I can remember, popcorn has always been there. There were various forms over the years, but I’m almost 30, and popcorn is still around. Mom says she never ate it much as a child, and doesn’t know what turned here onto it. But man, I don’t know what my home life would’ve been like without popcorn.
One of my first popcorn memories involved my mom’s little popcorn maker that used to sit on the kitchen table with a bowl under it. I used to like looking at it from the top and watching the kernels swirls around until it started to pop and overflow out of the machine into the bowl. It served us faithfully until one day, it just disappeared. There was also a really small pan that we had that was used to melt butter. Popcorn making is serious in our household!
After the disappearance of the little popcorn maker (which I suppose gave up the ghost), popcorn kernels disappeared from the house almost entirely. In came microwave popcorn to fill the popcorn void that our deceased popcorn maker had left. I don’t recall really noticing the difference in taste, but what was kind of nice was watching the bag inflate… and licking all of the “butter” off my fingers. We were all pretty greedy with popcorn and would oftentimes be reticent to share with one another! If someone were to walk by and welcome themselves to my bag of popcorn, I would try snatching the bag away as quickly as I could. Oftentimes, it was too late; they had already gotten some of my delectable delight. I have also been the recipient of such a rude gesture by my mom, who loves popcorn just as much as I do.
We happily ate microwave popcorn for years, and it was during this spell that I started learning to catch popcorn in my mouth. I was never good with sports because my hand-eye coordination had a tendency to be off. It was too bad that there was never a sport for tossing popcorn in your mouth; my eye-mouth coordination would’ve been spot on! My eye-hand coordination has since improved, but only slightly so. Eye-mouth coordination has not wavered a bit! See, there needs to be some kind of sport made for such a thing; I’d be a champ and probably writing to you about popcorn from my private yacht!
okay, maybe not… but there could be SOME money in that, right?
So… fast forward until about 2005 and 2006, when I started going to cooking school. At this time, I was learning about food and how good ingredients were everything. There was one class where we made a few different types of popcorn. The type of corn kernels we popped wasn’t different so much as how we dressed them. Having plain popcorn by itself was amazing! The microwave stuff that I had been used to eating paled in comparison to this newfound (and by newfound, I mean rediscovered) treasure!
As a result, the popcorn kernel made an appearance in our home once again. After trying with different pans, I had found the best one to make it in, actually, was our nonstick wok… and it’s the selfsame pan that we use to this day.
It’s now about 8 years later, and this pan is still the primary implement used to make popcorn in our house. We did have a brief stint where we tried to buy another popcorn maker like the one we had when I was small. It managed to scorch the popcorn more than once to the point that all of the windows in the house had to be open. There are a lot of things that you can burn, but NOTHING beats that smell of burned popcorn. It was quickly abandoned (and I think returned), and another one wasn’t purchased.
We normally use butter and salt to dress it, but I’ll mix it up once in a while. I’ve used plain EVOO and salt, and I’ve also made rosemary butter or oil… but there’s always salt. I’ve also made kettle corn on the rare occasion that the mood strikes me… but sometimes things are classics for a reason. I didn’t question it at all.
So, there you have it. On days where I just want to chill and veg out, one of my favourite things to do is steep some tea, pop some popcorn, and maybe watch a movie. Now you didn’t think I’d go watching a movie without it, did you? If I could mull over a bowl of popcorn on one sad birthday when everyone was working and I couldn’t take myself out… you know it’s going to be there when I watch a movie! Mom and I also love eating it late at night when my sister and nephew are asleep; it’s our thing that we do.
Will popcorn be in my future? Well, I sure like to think so. I could move on to another food that I think is groovy and that I always want in my house… but for now, I’ll just sit happily with my tea and eat popcorn… until the bowl runneth dry.
And that’s all there is. There isn’t anymore.