Post # 221 Popcorn Time Again!

February 21, 2014 at 6:54 AM | Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Post # 221 Popcorn Time Again!

Sorry I’ve been gone for so long.  The flu hit, and edits on the novel had me snowed under.  But I’m feeling better.  A course of steroids took care of shoulder and elbow pain from last month.  Sleep (and lots of it) along with Mucinex took care of the flu, along with homemade soups.  So I’m finally able to get back to this with some kind of regularity.

Anyone who’s read this thing over the last couple of years knows that I like popcorn.  A lot.  I’ve been eating popcorn ever since I was four.  It was one of the first things I learned to “cook”.   Before it became my “job” to make the popcorn for the family, my mom would make it.  Sometimes she would just put it into a big bowl, lightly salt it, and hand it to us.  We’d sit on the couch watching whatever was on the TV and crunch to our hearts delight.  Sometimes she would melt a tablespoon of butter and drizzle it over the popcorn after she’d salted it.  That way you’d get both salty popcorn or buttery and salty popcorn.  We’d sit eating the stuff and suddenly one of would find a vein of butter and point it out.  I wasn’t a huge fan of butter (still not, although I like it better now than I did then) so while my brother and sister would follow that drizzle of butter till it gave out, I’d eat from a different part of the bowl.

One of my favorite popcorn types is theatre popcorn.  There’s just something about the popcorn in a movie theatre that makes it stand out.  It’s elusive and can’t be replicated at home, even if you get one of the movie theatre popcorn machines.  I owned one for a while (it fell and broke) and even though I used the same corn, same oil, same machine, it just didn’t taste like theatre popcorn.  I loved my popcorn machine, but it could be kind of a hassle putting all the ingredients together then cleaning it out.  It was very messy.

My second favorite popcorn comes from a WhirlyPop.  This is a WhirlyPop:

whirlypop 1

And yesterday, I became the proud owner of my second WhirlyPop maker!  My first one was accidentally put into the dishwasher where the aluminum pot tarnished and turned gray and icky.  I could have saved it with some elbow grease, etc. but I had moved on to my theatre popcorn machine so I didn’t.  When the theatre machine broke, I started making microwave popcorn cuz it was easy, less mess, and I could buy “snack” sizes.

A WhirlyPop is a 6-qt aluminum pot with a lid that has a crank.  The crank turns a shaft in the pot that in turn moves metal arms at the bottom of the pot so all kernels of popcorn cook evenly, get evenly coated with oil, and don’t stick or burn.

whirlypop 2

The best part is that it cooks start to finish in five or six minutes.  The WhirlyPop company makes all kinds of different styles of popcorn and toppings and oils.  Here’s what we have:

whirlypop 4

and a fun bowl:

whirlypop 3

The 6-qt pan comes in aluminum, stainless steel, and cast iron in case you want to make WhirlyPop over a campfire.  They have several dozen flavors to add to the popcorn, and they even have a Kettle corn kit in case you like your popcorn sweet.

I don’t.

You put anywhere from 1 tsp to 3 Tbsp. of oil of whatever kind into the pan and no more than half a cup of corn:

whirlypop 4a

whirlypop 5

I used a solid coconut oil and Giant Yellow corn which they swear is the same stuff used in theatres.  Put the pan on medium heat and start cranking the handle.  You don’t have to crank fast.  Six minutes later, here’s what you got:

whirlypop 6

And it was yummy.  I had it for lunch.  I used a topping called Theatre Spice which was okay, but a little too salty for my taste.  I’m going to make some a little later for the family and I’m going to use some red hulled corn.  I might mix the two, see what I come up with.

If you’re interested in getting a WhirlyPop (and I do recommend them highly) Bed, Bath, and Beyond carry them around Christmastime.  I got mine yesterday at a very large Ace hardware with a spectacular kitchen area.  If neither of these are viable for you, you can go to their website and order whatever you like in whatever kit you like.


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