It’s not even 10:15 am and I already want popcorn. I swear that I can do without any other snack food, but I will end my life on this planet on the day we finally deplete our popcorn reserves.

My love for popcorn is life-long. When I was a kid, it was the greatest thing my mother could drop in front of me. I remember the designated popcorn pot very well. It was very cheap, very thin aluminum with with a black Bakelite handle on the lid. Vegetable oil, popcorn… then goodness. Although I usually only wanted plain salt on my popcorn, I did go through a phase where the butter-flavored salt packets in the bags of certain popcorn brands was a necessary addition. Put it the pot with the popcorn, then add more when the popping was done. So wonderful… Oil was an issue, though, as was the popping vehicle. I never could decide which popcorn was more tasty – my mother’s or that popped by a neighbor who used a cast-iron skillet and Crisco.

Never much of a butter-lover, though. Not at the movies, not at home. The only positive attribute about butter or synthetic variant was that it helped salt stick better. So, I was more than content to enjoy my popcorn dry and I’m sure my mother was glad for the lack of butter throughout the house from my greasy fingers.

I could make a meal of popcorn and often did. A large, hot bowl of popcorn was plenty filling to make a real dinner superfluous. A very large bowlful made for dinner, then a late-night snack. If friends were present, my mother would prepare a huge soup pot full of popcorn, pour it into a paper grocery bag already provided with salt, shake it like a martini and place it in my room or on the back steps for hungry children to rip apart and devour.

Now, I’m too lazy to actually pop popcorn the old-fashioned way. Although the “experts” decry the health-killing properties of microwave popcorn, it is a convenient and quick way to get my fix. It is very rare that I pop enough for a meal, though; the little mini-bags give me enough to satisfy the craving. Some are better than others and I’ve narrowed down the few brands that are acceptable. Right now, I’m headed for a Jolly Time bag that has just the right level of salt and leaves me an acceptable number of half-popped morsels that are always so lovely to crunch as an after-snack surprise. And the dogs are outside, so I don’t have to share…

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