You just get so used to Orville Redenbacher's friendly grin, the enchanting smell of "butter flavored topping," and that familiar beep-beep-beeeeep of an appliance telling you that your movie-night snack is ready that it never even occurs to you that Native Americans have been popping the hell out of corn kernels for ages, before there was a specific button you could push for "Reheat" or "Defrost."
Well guess what, kiddos: Popcorn is a cinch without a microwave. (And way healthier to boot, if you care about that sort of thing.)
|This was the perfect watching-college-football-all-afternoon snack. (Boomer!)|
A little popping corn (available for cheap just at just about any grocery store, but you can also order the really, really good stuff from Rancho Gordo), a little oil, and a little heat: Presto! You've got fresh-popped deliciousness. Perfect for football games, midnight snacks, and Christmas decorations.
(What, is it too early to start talking about Christmas? How about Halloween, then?)
|3tbs popping corn|
vegetable or olive oil
"spices you like"
|In a medium saucepan, add just enough vegetable or olive oil to coat lightly coat the bottom, and put over medium heat. Once it has heated a bit, put a kernel or two of popping corn into the pan and cover with a lid; if the kernel pops quickly, you're ready to go—add the rest of the popping corn, hold the lid securely in place on the pan, and move it back and forth over the heat. |
Continue to move the pan over the heat until the pops are about 1–2 seconds apart (in the beginning, they will come hot and heavy; they should slow a bit as the majority of the kernels have burst). NB: Don't take the lid off too soon, or you'll have popcorn flying all over the place!
Remove from the heat, and stir in whatever toppings or spices you like: Melted butter is nice, obviously, but I always just like a bit of salt and pepper in my corn. For a sweet treat, try tossing with butter and a cinnamon-sugar mix, and throw in some peanuts for extra crunch and saltiness.
Have you rediscovered how to make any other convenience foods the so-called "old-fashioned way?"