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    Real Popcorn

    September 12, 2006 by Brandy Vencel

    Even though I’ve been too sick to think on my own, or move very much, I have spent a lot of time reading. Mostly, I read real books with real pages, but I did read on the Internet a bit. And I read one article called Simple Pleasures that I thought worth mentioning. It’s not overly profound, so I will excerpt a bit:


    “Waffles are supposed to be HOT,” I thought. Should I tell the waiter that? And then I realized, he had no idea what a waffle should look, smell, or taste like. He is 19, and never had a waffle fresh from a waffle iron, crusty, hot, covered with melted butter and swimming in Maple syrup. He, in his entire life has had only frozen replicas of the real thing.

    He has never picked an orange from a tree, nor an avocado, or grapes from the vine, nor strawberries from the plant. He has never tasted ice cream from the hand cranked freezer, packed with ice and ice-cream salt. He has never put potatoes on the coals and covered them with dirt and let them bake in the ground.


    Well, there are a lot of “real things” out there that others can teach a person better than I. We tried a garden this spring and summer, but I spent more time experiencing morning {afternoon and night} sickness than actually making sure that my children know that food comes from God and not the grocer.

    But there is one thing that my kids know that, it turns out, is a rarity. They know that popcorn doesn’t come from a movie theater or from paper bags or from microwaves. I have never grown my own popcorn, so I’m not exactly a purist, but we do cook it the old fashioned way around here, so I thought I’d explain how.


    3/4 cup of popcorn kernels
    3 Tb. oil or margarine {never had luck with butter–it scorches–I use olive oil}*

    In a giant soup kettle with a good fitting lid, pour in the oil and salt the oil {this will help prevent scorching, and start getting that salty flavor as it cooks}. Tilt pan to cover with the oil, and drop in one or two kernels. Turn heat on medium and put on the cover. Watch carefully. When both tester kernels have popped, it is time to pour in the remaining kernels. Tilt the pan as needed to spread out the kernels so they are in an even layer on the bottom of the kettle. Once the kernels start popping, shake the kettle occasionally to keep separating the kernels from the popped corn. When popping stops, remove from heat and pour popped corn into a large bowl. Salt to taste. I use a long, dull knife to help me “toss” the popcorn to even out the salt.

    Alternate options:
    Si likes sweet popcorn. I suppose if one were really daring one could try using virgin coconut oil to give a sweeter flavor. Sweet popcorn still has salt on it, but it is sugared as well. It is the delicate balance of the two that makes it so yummy.

    So…there it is. Not exactly riveting stuff, but I didn’t want to go overboard on my first day back. The important part is the simplicity of it all. Mr. Redenbacher would like one to think that one must have fancy poppers or microwaves in order to have yummy, flavorful popcorn. But really, kernels, salt, and oil are all one needs. Well, that and a good soup kettle.

    *Coconut oil works really well.


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