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Popcorn

September 24, 2010

I found this old post from my facebook page.  I think it is appropriate.

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October 11, 2008

I made popcorn for the kids this afternoon while they watched Muppets Treasure Island. I often make popcorn for the kids to eat while we watch movies at home, which we’ve done a lot of over the past year.

It should surprise no one to learn that I am opposed to microwave popcorn. It tastes bad and smells worse. So when we have popcorn, I dig out the heavy stockpot, heat a little oil, and presto, popcorn. I would drizzle butter over it but (1) I am not eating so much butter lately and (2) the kids do not like it. Plus, greasy fingers… ew. Even without butter, popcorn is pretty good.

Chris’s parents love popcorn. They’re always nuking up a batch. Once, I asked him, since there were no microwaves when we were kids, if his mom used to make popcorn on the stove when he was a kid.

His response, “I vaguely remember the smell of burnt popcorn.”

I realize that this might sound like a slam on my mother-in-law, but it isn’t. Not being able to pop popcorn on the stove is not such a bad thing, and when you look at the things Carol can do compared to the things I can do, the graph looks like this:

Things I can do XXXXXXX
Things she can do XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Therein, perhaps, lies the difference. Carol is incredibly efficient. And it is totally within her personality to be outraged at the huge percentage of kernels that remain unpopped when you do it on the stove, so I am sure she left it on the stove until almost all the kernels were popped. Ergo my husband’s remembrance of the smell of burnt popcorn.

But the thing is, popcorn is really, really cheap, even considering the kernels that refuse to pop. Whereas microwave popcorn, despite the higher pop rate of the kernels, is kind of expensive. And generally speaking, Carol is a much better manager of the household food budget than I am, with my penchant for French jam and tiny organic vegetables. I’m certainly not motivated to make stovetop popcorn to save money.

It’s really about process.

I could make popcorn even at the nadir of my illness. In fact, I think there may have been a week or three when my kids ate … popcorn. I love to make popcorn on the stove. I love the ding of the popping corn hitting the lid of my big pot. I love to lift the lid in order to stir it, it and watch the escapees fly around the kitchen. It cracks the kids up.

I know I could buy a popcorn popper which would solve the problem of unpopped kernels. But really, popcorn is cheap. And I’ve learned to be comfortable with the inefficiency of my methods.

Because life is not about perfection. It’s about enjoyment.

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4 Comments
  1. Mary Knapp permalink

    Best discourse on “efficiency” ever! And Star Trek with Dutch subtitles, to boot. My cup runneth over.

  2. Well, pan pop corn was great when I was kid, especially when my brother would jump about in a most excited fashion to show me I WOULDN’T be getting any popcorn because he was gonna hog it all…as he lifted the lid, a golden erruption (or a blond erruption haha) hit the ceiling. We probably got the same amount of popcorn.

    Nowdays, as I got sort of sick of the burning the pan re-runs, I let a popcorn blower, or whatever the machine is called, into our home. It’s clean and we like to watch the action. So do the cats.

    Drizzle olive oil (not too much otherwise the neighbor will complain and say it tastes like salad) and herbal salt. YUM. And…beats butter in terms of efficiency.

    I love feeling efficient, especially if it concerns housework, which unfortunately means I do not perform numerous tasks with ease, to be politically correct. Yes, this is what it takes to avoid becoming a MANIAC 🙂

    Big kiss to you young lady.

  3. Crystal permalink

    I love love love popcorn popped in a pot. I am totally opposed to microwave pop corn. Growing up my dad made pop corn for us on the stove, which was a special treat. Now that I am grown I think I have a pop corn addiction, but at least it is better than being addicted to something serious like meth or heroine. 🙂 I love to pop some corn and watch a movie and hang out. I also love to sprinkle a little parmesean cheese on the pop corn, it is delightful!

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