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Pop Popcorn The Old Fashioned Way
When I was a child Jiffy Pop was all the rage!
We loved to watch that aluminum bubble grow when we popped it on the stove. But we didn’t get Jiffy Pop very often because it was incredibly expensive compared with regular old-fashioned popcorn, and this is still true today. A 2-pound bag of old-fashioned popcorn makes dozens of servings of delicious popcorn for under $2! It is an incredible bargain in snack foods! Sure, it takes a little bit longer to prepare, but the savings alone make it worth the effort. If that weren’t enough, the fact that the popcorn, itself is unprocessed and healthier, and you can top it with your own healthy toppings rather than eating the hydrogenated oil/chemical combinations offered in microwave popcorn, should convince you that old-fashioned popcorn, prepared the old-fashioned way is the way to go!
There are two ways to prepare old-fashioned popcorn that I know of. First, if you have a gas stove, you can pop it over the flame of your burner. You can do it on an electric stove, but it is not as easy. The second way is to use an air popper.
Delicious, Nutritious & Fun!
A fancy alternative...
To pop corn on the stove, you’ll need…
A large, tall pot with a tight fitting lid and a sturdy handle or handles.
High heat oil like peanut, walnut, and/or butter.
Super Fancy Popping Corn!
Here’s what you‘ll do…
Put enough popcorn in the pan to make a single layer over the bottom of the pan. Add enough oil to cover all the kernels. If you want to cook it with butter, you will want to melt the butter first. I usually just barely cover the kernels with oil, then add a tbsp or so of butter. That is enough to give it the butter flavor, and that way I don’t have to melt the butter first! You can also add salt and seasonings at this point if you like. Put the lid on the pan and set it on a medium flame. Stay right there, and listen to it. The minute you hear the corn beginning to pop, start shaking the pan over the flame. Be sure to wear oven mitts while you are doing this to avoid burning your hands. You can turn the flame on high and shake the pan above the flame, that way you don’t have to scrape it back and forth across the burner, and you will avoid having it get too hot and burn the popcorn.
Popping the corn won’t take very long. Probably less than 5 minutes. When you hear the popping begin to slow down, be very vigilant. Take it off the flame as soon as you hear just a few kernels popping. Holding the pan tilted away from yourself, remove the lid. Leaving it on causes steam to collect in the pot and make your popcorn soggy. When you take the lid off, a few pieces of popcorn will probably fly through the air! That’s just part of the old-fashioned fun!
If you have used a flavorful oil and/or butter to pop your corn and added your spices before popping, you may not need to add anything else at this point. Taste it and see, then season it as you wish. I usually enjoy it just as it is when I prepare it this way. Many people like parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese and many other toppings. Use your imagination!
The second way to prepare old-fashioned popcorn is to use an air popper. This is very convenient and eliminates the danger and burning factor inherent in stove-top popping.
Air Popped Corn
To prepare old fashioned popcorn with an air popper, you will need:
An air popper!
Old fashioned popcorn.
A tall pot with a tight fitting lid.
Olive oil, walnut oil, peanut oil, and/or butter.
Seasoning mix, salt, and/or other topping of your choice.
To hold your popcorn...
Here’s what you’ll do…
Measure the popcorn into the air popper according to the manufacturer‘s directions. Set the pot up (without the lid) so the corn will pop into it. Plug in/turn on the air popper, and wait for the corn to pop. While you are waiting, prepare your topping. I usually put 2 tablespoons of butter and an equal amount or a little more of olive oil in a small Pyrex measuring cup and microwave it for about 40 seconds to melt the butter and heat the oil.
When the corn has finished popping, shake seasonings over it and pour the oil over it. Work in a spiral motion over the top of the corn to be sure it doesn’t all end up in one place. Quickly put the lid on the pot, hold it in place, and shake the pot to distribute the oil and seasonings. Take the top off right away to prevent steam from collecting. Taste and add more seasonings if desired.