Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Get Popping!

Today's Wonder of the World is...Popcorn!

Flickr photo by panthera71
Yum. How I love popcorn. Are you a popcorn lover too? Does the smell of popping corn fill you with delight? Or does it make you want to step outside for some fresh air?
I could eat popcorn every day. In fact, I'd like a tub right now.

Flickr photo by octaypus
That's not exactly what I meant. Though she does look kind of buttery in that yellow dress.

Flickr photo by y entonces
There. That's better.
By the way, when we lived in France, all the popcorn we found was kettle corn. Not that I minded--I'm crazy about the sweet with the salty!
And did you know that the French don't eat inside movie theaters? (At least they didn't in the Clermont theaters when we were there. ) I figured it was because of their hair-brained idea that food shouldn't be eaten absentmindedly, or for the purpose of comforting oneself during an especially sad or suspenseful film.
No wonder they're so skinny.
(Nor did they eat or drink in the car, but that's another story.)

But back to popcorn tubs...
If you're going to bathe in popcorn, you should use popcorn soap.

Flickr photo by loveleesoaps
Yep. That's really soap!
You could threaten to wash a naughty child's mouth out, and he'd think he was getting a treat!
I wonder if that would clean that oily feeling on the roof of my mouth after I ate a whole tub with extra butter? Not that I would do that.

Halloween always makes me think of popcorn.
I have memories of my mom making popcorn balls to take to my class Halloween parties.

Flickr photo by Pinkpoppy

Have you ever popped popcorn on the cob?

Flickr photo by rothfilm
Isn't that cool? Rothfilm says you can just put a cob of popcorn in a paper bag, place it in the microwave for 3 minutes, and presto! Fresh popcorn on the cob!

When I was a chemistry teacher, I used to yak on and on about popcorn all the time! It was a great way to teach about pressure and temperature.
No! Don't look away!
Chemistry is fun! Chemistry is freaky! At least the chemistry of popcorn is!
Popcorn is one of the most bizzaro snacks you could eat because of the reason it pops in the first place! Popcorn is different from other types of corn in that the kernels have extra oil and water inside, and the kernel wall is completely impermeable to water. When you heat it up beyond water's boiling point, the water within turns to superheated steam which softens up the dense starch inside as the pressure builds and builds! (Can you feel the suspense?)
Finally the pressure is too great, the kernel wall breaks wide open, the pressure drops, the steam expands, and the starch blows up into a delicious treat! And then you gobble down absentmindedly in a dark theater, completely ignoring the wonder of what you're eating.
Perhaps the French are right!

Sometimes the starch blows into amazing shapes that you could probably sell on ebay!

If you eat too much popcorn, you could be sorry.
You might just end up like this duck.

Flickr photo by Mr. Hyde
I'm sorry, but that just doesn't look appetizing to me.
We used to have a hot air popper. It made it healthier, but I missed the oil.

Of course now we microwave it, but that has its own problems.
Don't microwave it too long at work, or your coworkers will start leaving you mean signs.

Flickr photo by Ray Radlein
No, not that one. Though popcorn incontinence is kind of funny. Unless you suffer from it, of course.
No, I meant one like this.

Flickr photo by passiveagressivesigns
Poor Deborah.
If only she had Jiffy Pop! It makes better popcorn than a hot air duck, and she gets to snack on it with Ruth Buzzi! Isn't that Ruth in this old commercial?
She has a broom! (And that's the tooth!)

Have a wonder-full Tuesday, everyone! And share your popcorn love! Or hate!
This is a popcorn judgment-free zone!
Love, Becky


EllenP said...

I could eat popcorn everyday too. I love it. The airpoppers don't do it for me either - you've got to have butter!
Also wanted to thank you for turning me on to Etsy. I bought that Paris map scrabble tile pendant that you highlighted in your Map post - along with a bunch of others for gifts. They are adorable. I'm always finding new and interesting things through your blog.

LoveLeeSoaps said...

Thank you so much for including me in your wonderful popcorn post!

It can also be found here. :)

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Ellenp, you made my day! I'm thinking of buying a bunch of those pendants myself--I think they'd make wonderful Christmas gifts!

Loveleesoaps, thanks so much for the link! I meant to include it in my blog and forgot all about it.
People, go visit her etsy site. You won't believe her fun soaps!

serenity said...

My family is split down the middle on this issue. My oldest son and I love it. My second son and husband hate even the smell. !! What's a family to do? Basically we found a beautiful compromise. Those of us who like it eat it anyway. Those who don't, deal. (And I also make sure to seal any leftovers very tightly into the bag before it goes in the trash).

LW said...

I love popcorn, plain, buttery, salty, caramel…anyway, anyhow…
Popcorn and hot cocoa is one of my favorite winter time snacks..

My dear hubby and I would love France because we don’t eat or drink in our car,
Only on very long trips …… but we sure do have fun watching people who do...I know not nice but some people are really funny as they eat and drive....big bites, cheeks full...


Anonymous said...

I LOVE popcorn! My family doesn't love it quite as much as I do, but that's ok. I make it all the time anyway. Never ate it in the tub though...maybe I should give it a try.

Rosemary said...

I love popcorn, but those darn little husk thingys get caught in my teeth. I don't like that part.
Can't stop eating it though.
Great post Rebecca!

TattingChic said...

Yummmmy! Becky, I would've LOVED to have you for a chemistry teacher when I was in high school. My highschool chem teacher was way cool, too, but I bet I could've learned wayyyy more from you. That guy thrived on making the high school girls scream like little girls any chance he could get with his wacky demonstrations! NOT an emotionally safe learning environment.

Suzie said...

Yumm popcorn love the taste but hate the smell

Cassoulet Cafe said...

Oh, how I have a love/hate relationship with popcorn. I love it, but I always feel nauseated after I eat it. I did go ahead and try again at the movie theater, but I found the key! I bought a lemonade, and drank while I ate, and I didn't get sick...for the first time EVER!
When we were in France, we must have been the Ugly Americans since we ate popcorn during the movies! :)
Their popcorn wasn't very good either.
And I just want to say, you sound like you were such a fun teacher!

Cassoulet Cafe said...

PS. Did you know that people are using those air poppers to roast coffee now??????

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Serenity, that's great. I love that your husband and younger son just deal with your popcorn love. It's a little embarrassing to admit this, but my husband and my older son have this love for...Spam, which the rest of us try to ignore. Yuck! I don't even want to see it!

Louise! You don't drink or eat in the car? Impressive! I don't as much as I used to after nearly choking while driving. Ha ha. It's funny now to think of it. Not so funny then. What used to really crack us up in France was to see people pulled over to the side of the road to have their morning coffee break. But I still could understand--there were no cup holders, so what's a caffeine addicted driver to do?

Welcome to the blog, domesticfringe! I don't actually eat it in the tub because I always take showers. Tanner the Slobber Dog is the only tub user in our family. I bet he'd like some popcorn though. It'd be better than the soap he always slurps down!

I hear you, Rosemary. I hate it when that happens!

Tattingchic, you are a sweetie. I used to do some crazy demos too, but the boys always begged for more explosions. What is it with testosterone?

Cassoulet Cafe, so lemonade is the key? My Ben loves it with popcorn, but I'm afraid it isn't for me. And your theaters offered popcorn? Wow. All ours had was a vending machine, and you couldn't take food in with you to watch the movie.
And WHAT? Air poppers for roasting coffee? I've never heard of that! Hmm. I shouldn't have given ours away!

Anonymous said...

I do eat popcorn every day! I LOVE popcorn. Microwave popcorn isn't good for you, you know. I have made it in a brown paper bag in the microwave, which works, but just doesn't taste like the corn made in the pot with oil. My favorite is to make it with olive oil. YUM. Do you ever put salt and sugar on it? That's my favorite, along with carmel corn, popcorn balls (in the stocking from St. Nick), Cracker Jack, Fiddle Faddle..... there seems to be a sugar theme going on here!

JaxPop said...

On the same page as Serenity. Deb loves the stuff - I can't even deal with the smell, though I do like caramel coated popcorn (so long as I don't have to smell it while it's being popped). In the end - I have to "deal with it."

Didja know Rednecks don't eat popcorn? It gets stuck in their tooth.

Sara Cox Landolt said...

I had popcorn last night. Movie popcorn.

It was so cool learning about popcorn and how its kernals are different than other types of corn! Love that tidbit.


lotusloq said...

We all love popcorn at my house. Usually we do it in the microwave just because it's easier. When the smell permeates the house it works like a magnet on the kids and they all gather to partake. I have a special popcorn bowl that says "MMM...more popcorn please!" at the bottom. Everyone seems to agree with the bowl when it's empty.

I remember being so excited the first time we made jiffy pop popcorn. I was amazed at how the pan magically grew. Fun memory! Thanks!

That air-popped stuff doesn't work for me either. It tastes like cardboard. bleh! It need butter and salt at the very least.

Fete et Fleur said...

I have so much fun reading your blog. I linked your blog to my latest post. Scroll down my post for your link. Thanks for all the laughs!


adrienne said...

When I went to school it was essential to have a popcorn popper and a hot pot. With those items and Cup o' Noodles you could avoid the dining halls for days!

dana said...

I like the kind of p.corn that is not cooked in the house---like kettle corn (the best) or in a bag at the theater. I can't stand the smell of p.corn being cooked--especially in the microwave. I wish it did not bother me, but it really makes me nauseous. So Becky, is there a reason for this? Could it be traced back to my college days when we had this little electric popcorn popper that also served as a great place to warm up our Spaghetti-Os? I can still smell that sick mix of burned pop corn and tomato sauce. Yes, I'll bet that's the root of my p.corn problem. If you hadn't posted this I probably would NEVER have figured it out! You're a saint!!!!! Dana

Rebecca Ramsey said...

qugrainne, olive oil? Oooh. I will have to try that. I know microwave popcorn isn't great for you, but the other makes such a mess. And popcorn is a type of corn, so surely there are a few vitamins in all that starch...? I choose to believe there are.

Jaxpop, you crack me up. Stuck in their tooth. Ha!

Sara, what did you see? I'd love a good movie. The last one I think I saw in the theater was the Alvin and the Chipmunks one. Don't get me started.

Lotusloq, I love the jiffy pop too. We presently have a stove with the smooth cook-top, so we can't pop corn that way. I miss it. It always reminded me of a genie's turban.

Fete et fleur, thanks for the link! Linking makes me so happy.

Adrienne, I had the same stuff! I sounded like a real old fogie, but when we moved Sarah into her dorm room in August, I had to tell her how lucky she was to have a microwave! Way back when I was in school all we had was...

Dana, no problem. I live to help people nurse themselves back to good psychological health.
I still love spaghetti-o's. I buy the meatball kind just for myself. You'd think I'd eaten enough of them back then!

Kathryn said...

I had a bag of popcorn for lunch today. Mmmmm. Popcorn.


I LOVE popcorn, too! I also had an air popper but it was disappointing. I used it for years but never really liked the result.
Love the Jiffy Pop commercial! However, did you ever have good luck with Jiffy Pop? The few times we tried it, we didn't really like it. We'd end up with burnt kernels and the corn usually didn't pop up as fluffy.
We're not fans of microwave popcorn either. We do it the old fashioned way - with a pan of oil and some natural corn. We shake it over the heat as it pops, then dump it into a bowl. It smells GREAT!! Then we melt some butter (or spray it with butter flavored oil spray) and douse it with salt.

Silicon Valley Diva said...

Yum...why do I always happen to look here when I'm starving??? Dangerous I tell ya LOL. Anyhow, I don't like the hot air poppers either. I really miss making it the old fashioned way, but I'm too lazy so we settle for the microwave kind.

CC said...

We've started cooking popcorn on the stove. Saves a lot of money (and no more burnt popcorn! Huzzah!)

Felicity said...

You are NOT going to believe this: I'm taking an online chemistry course called Chemistry Cooks! It is killing me, Becky! If you lived nearby and I would come knocking on your door with a brown paper bag full of freshly popped goodness and BEG you to tutor me. I bet you'd be the best tutor ever.

spinregina said...

Every night at approximately 9:00 p.m. I turn the burner on the stove on, get out the plastic tub that holds the particular popcorn that I like, pour a diet caffiene free coke into a tall glass, neat, do my neti pot, come back, put the popcorn into the stove top turner pot with one tablespoon of oil, put the Globe and Mail book review from the Saturday paper on the counter, turn the popcorn slowly and read, put the popcorn into a medium sized silver bowl and sprinkle with sour cream and onion salt (there are four extra containers in the pantry so I never run out). I run a tight ship (and an obviously insanly exciting life). The only time I did not perform this nightly ritual is during pregnancy, when popcorn tastes like dirt.

Anonymous said...

Corn is so darn good, I don't worry about the vitamins! I have been thinking about popcorn all day (thanks!) and suddenly recalled a high school memory. I had a friend who lived on a farm - the family was very frugal. They made popcorn with the left over bacon grease. It was so gross!!! I would prefer to be really frugal and just not eat popcorn!

May Vanderbilt said...

When I was little and we were very very poor we had a space heater in our living room that we would huddle around to keep warm. (Seriously, this story is like A Christmas Carol or something.)

One year my dad went and got some popcorn kernals and put them on top of the heater. They began to pop all over the living room and he called them snow, which we'd never seen in Florida.

And so I will always love popcorn .

Life on Bonnie Lane said...

My kids were just talking about the Amanda Show and the skit on popcorn pants. And then I clicked on your blog about popcorn! Fate? lol

Check out the video if you want:



Rebecca Ramsey said...

Kathryn, popcorn for lunch! I've done that myself.

Jill, I have had trouble with Jiffy Pop in the past...but who needs reality? I just love watching it puff up into a shiny turban. And I like imagining myself enjoying it.

Silicon Valley Diva, I do my best to tempt the hungry. It's my little contribution to the world.

CC, I'm seriously going to try going back to the old way on the stove. Microwave popcorn is expensive and you guys have inspired me!

Felicity, I would LOVE to teach that course! But I bet we would have too much fun if I tutored you and wouldn't get anything done. Still, I'd enjoy it!

Spinregina, what a great ritual! (Minus the neti pot--sorry, that's not for me.) The rest of it sounds perfect!

Qugrainne, bacon grease! Yuck!
I can just imagine it...bleck!

May, what a lovely popcorn memory, in a Tiny Tim sort of way. Popcorn snow in Florida! How smart!
And you made me recall our space heaters in France. They were lifesavers with that cold tile floor!

Kady, that is one weird Amanda! Funny!

Bobbie said...

When my family spent this last winter in the Middle East, I was silly enough to buy microwave popcorn and think it would be edible. eek. So I bought big bags of kernels at the grocery store and popped it on the stove, pouring melted butter and salt over it when it finished. Now that's the only way we eat it.

When my husband's out of town, I make a big pot of it, slice some cheese and apples, and call it dinner. The kids love it. (Okay. And so do I.)

Now I need to go make some.

Rebecca Ramsey said...

Cheese, apples, and popcorn. Sounds great to me!

cindy said...

LOVE popcorn! It's my fav!


Susie Q said...

I could eat popcorn every day, all day. One of the best things about goinbg out to the movies is movie theater popcorn. bad for you and who the heck cares! Even if the movie is just awful, if the popcorn is great, that is all that matters! : )