Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Bag of Popcorn and a Bag of Hammers

I’m always amazed at how ignorant I can be, especially when it comes to food.

Like the first time I made butter a couple of years ago by taking the cream I skimmed from the raw milk I get and shaking it up in a mason jar.

That’s all you have to do. Just shake it up. It’ll turn into butter all by itself. Who knew? I sure didn’t. Talk about feeling dumb.

Even after making my own butter every week for two years now – I still get a kick out of it, by the way – I’m still amazed that there was ever a time when I didn’t know how easy it is to make. But there was.

Well, color me ignorant once again. This time concerning popcorn.

I’ve always thought I was pretty familiar with popcorn. I know what air poppers are, I’ve operated the same types of machines that are used in movie theaters, and I’m old enough to remember those Jiffy Pop commercials on TV.

But the two main ways I’ve always made popcorn at home have always been by either microwaving pre-packaged bags of popcorn or – because I’m turning into an old-fashioned, self-righteous, crotchety old goat when it comes to food – buying the bags of cheap, loose popping corn and cooking it on the stove with a little oil in a big pot.

That’s how I rolled, and all was well in my little tunnel-visioned world for 45 years.

And then a friend of mine made an almost off-hand comment one day about cooking that cheap, loose popcorn in the microwave. All you had to do, he said, was to put some popcorn in a brown paper bag, stick it in the microwave, and nuke it.

And just like that I suddenly felt about as intelligent as a bag of hammers, because it had never even occurred to me that you might be able to do that.

I’m not exactly sure why. I guess I always thought that you had to have a “special microwave bag”, or “special microwave popcorn”, or “special microwave popcorn sauce”.


But you don’t. All you need is some popcorn and a brown paper lunch bag. What you get is a bag of fluffy, hot popcorn and nothing else. Add your own salt & butter to taste.

Not only is making popcorn this way far less expensive than regular microwave popcorn, it’s also healthier and faster because you’re not eating – nor having to heat up – all the other “stuff” that comes with pre-packaged microwave popcorn (which in my test sample included: partially hydrogenated soybean oil, salt, natural & artificial butter flavors, lecithin, and beta-carotene coloring).

How cool is that?

I guess even a bag of hammers can learn something new.

Dissection of a pre-packaged 3.5 oz. bag of microwave popcorn. There are 3 ounces of popcorn and .5 ounces of "stuff" that looks vaguely like butter but isn't. (Nasty - even the Honey Badger doesn't want to eat that!)

Cheap popcorn and cheap lunch bags . . .

. . . cover the bottom of the bag . . . .

. . . nuke as you normally would (but be ready, it will cook faster than you're used to) . . .

. . . eat straight from the bag or pour in a bowl. Season / butter to taste. And yes, it tastes as good as it looks!


Teal Lockard said...

Very cool! But, be careful...your sweetheart mentioned getting rid of the miracle microwave the other day. (wink)

Franklyn Jones said...

so I tried the alternative bag of hammers in the microwave and it's a really great light show for about 30 seconds...

Kimberline said...

It is always enlightening when I come here to read. I've learned a great bread recipe, how to make butter and now know a cheap way to make pop corn.

Now I need a source for raw milk so I can make butter, too. My husband remains resistant to buying me a milking cow or sheep, unfortunately. I'm going to have to experiment with the bread recipe because I've learned I am wheat sensitive. I wonder if it would be good with a non gluten flour. I'll have to check that out and see. The popcorn trick still gets two thumbs up. WAY up. I always hated that popping corn on the stove was making my pots turn dark, however the penny pincher in me couldn't help but wince at the cost of microwave popcorn. Voila, a solution via Mr Staat. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Wow! Thanks so much! I am *definitely* trying this. (o:

Anonymous said...

I tried it and it worked PERFECTLY! It tasted so good and none of the kernels burned like the microwave bags tend to do.

Thanks again! (o: