Friday, September 10, 2010

Stove-top Popcorn

First off, if you thought that this recipe is popcorn with a box of Stove-Top Stuffing in it, you are out of luck. You know me better than that.

Since Jack is in morning kindergarten, we don't really have an after-school snack thing. We have afternoon-bored snacks. Sometimes I really fear the hours of about 3-6pm. It's when Van has woken up from his nap, Jack is hot and tired and I am losing steam. I am sure you have no idea what I am talking about, right?

When we have an off day like that, I make popcorn and lay out a big blanket on the floor, but with full knowledge I will be vacuuming later. The popcorn seems to recharge all of us. It occupies them while I can work on dinner or pack up the diaper bag for a quick trip to the park.

So why make popcorn on the stove and not just use a pack of microwave popcorn? Well, a couple of reasons. With homemade popcorn, you can control the amount of butter and salt. And you don't get that film on the roof of your mouth from the artificial flavorings in microwave popcorn. Also, some funky chemicals have been used in microwave popcorn. Chemicals that have given employees a certain type of lung disease. ConAgra, who makes most of the microwave popcorn, has stopped using that chemical, but not all other companies have followed suit.

Above all, making your own popcorn is MUCH cheaper than buying the microwave packs. For less than the price of a box of 3 microwave popcorn packs, you can buy a bag of popcorn and get 28 batches out of it. Yes, 28. You just can't beat that.

3 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup popcorn kernels
3 Tbsp butter, melted
Salt to taste

In a large pot over medium high heat, add the oil and one popcorn kernel. Once the kernel pops, add the remaining kernels and immediately cover the pan. Using both hands, shake the pot almost constantly until you don't hear any more popping, about 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and pour popcorn into a large bowl. Drizzle the melted butter over the popcorn and season with salt.

Rookie's Notes
: If you are looking for a homemade microwave popcorn, my gal Sweet Pea has a great method. Click here.

Also, next week, look for a recipe for chocolate caramel popcorn with peanuts and toffee bits. It's sure to please.