Saturday, January 19, 2008

Popcorn - the old fashioned way

I remember Friday nights at home as a kid. Dinner, clean up, wait.... Then.... "Dukes of Hazzard", then "Dallas" (ooooh, that JR), then "Falcon Crest". All of this craziness was usually accompanied by bowls full of popcorn.

My wife and I were doing some shopping yesterday while my mom had the kids. We were picking up a few odds and ends that we needed in the pantry and around the house. As we went down the snack aisle of the store, my wife asked me if we had microwave popcorn. I said I didn't know, because I usually don't eat the stuff much. She thought we were out, so she began looking at boxes in order to see if she could find a brand that didn't' have partially hydrogenated vegetable oil in it....

As an aside, I challenge you to do your grocery shopping without buying anything that contains either partially hydrogenated veggie oil, or high-fructose corn syrup. It can't be done! You'll come home with one, maybe two items! And neither of those ingredients are good for you - at all! But they're in absolutely everything!

Anyway, she could only find one kind of Orville Redenbocker's that didn't have it. It was packaged as organic or some such and cost more. Pshaw.

Now here's the thing about microwave popcorn... Until I was in High School back in the late 80's, such a thing was pretty well unheard of. But by the time I got into college, the smell of prepackaged/prebuttered popcorn could be smelled wafting from the snack room microwave nearly every night of the week. It's all about convenience, I guess.

Now, later on last night, I got to thinking about all the bags of microwave popcorn ever made in the world and I'm sure the number would be staggering. But at what cost? I burn more than I successfully make. And the partially hydro... oh sheesh, that's a lot to spell out.... the PHVO's are killing us. Then I thought, "Well here's something interesting to note..." People my age and older still refer to it as "Microwave Popcorn", contrasted to just 'popcorn'. See, to me, there is a vaaaast difference between the stuff in the bag, and real popcorn. So the fact that a lot of us still make a differentiation, in my opinion, is significant.

I still remember the black handled, silver metal pot that we used when I was a kid. Pour in the oil. Heat it up. Add the corn. Shake it a bit. Put the lid on and let it pop away. Once it's done, pour it out and then melt your butter in the still-hot pot.

So there we were, standing there there looking at the popcorn. In my effort to become more self-sufficient, I made a decision. We bought a bag of loose popcorn. It was about a buck-fifty and will make several servings of popcorn. Compare that with the boxes of 'the other stuff', which was more costly, not as good for you, and less exciting to make. I think I made a better choice.

Now here's the real biggie. My kids have never, NEVER seen popcorn made the 'old fashioned way' at home. This will blow their minds. They'll be amazed. So, I'm increasing their life experiences and doing something better for myself and my family too. How's that?

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