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Archive for the ‘popcorn’ Category

My mother and I are sometimes more alike than we’d ever want to admit. I mean to say that we’re not very accomplished in the kitchen. (And, as an aside, I don’t even have her mad baking skillz.) Back when I was a child, my father would often go out of town for business trips. He was a real meat and potatoes kinda guy, so every night there was chicken, pork or steak, a potato and a veggie. When he wasn’t home, my sister and I would try to convince my mother not to cook and instead get us some fast food take out. She rarely ever buckled under our whims completely; we didn’t eat out too much. She would however make us popcorn and move the couch directly in front of the television so it was like a mini movie theater. When Dad was home, popcorn meant getting out the big and now awesomely retro popcorn popper, the oil and then bag of kernels. When Dad was home, popcorn was a thing to be done with fresh butter, grated cheese and salt and pepper.

The simplicity of tossing a popcorn bag in the microwave and waiting four minutes for hot popcorn was a novelty that we really only enjoyed around our Mom.

There was just one problem: As I got older and knew what good food should taste like, the less I liked microwavable popcorn. I subsisted on 100-calorie pack bags of popcorn because they were an easy snack at the office, and limited just how much I would eat… or waste. Then I met my good friend Alan who hands down makes the best popcorn ever. It seemed so pointless even to buy microwavable popcorn. I wasn’t about to bother my friends for popcorn at my whims and I wasn’t going to try and attempt anything that required oil and a stove-top. (Trust me, the people in my apartment building thank me for that.)

On a trip down home, my sister introduced to me something pretty amazing. She’d been strolling Wal-mart looking for a good nibbling item for movie watching when she came across Orville Redenbacher’s Naturals. We enjoyed the buttery salt and cracked pepper variety that night. I found that, once you reached the bottom of the bag, it was too peppery and my mouth burned from all of the black pepper.  Suffice to say, I wasn’t a fan.

However, I’ve been craving popcorn, satisfyingly delicious popcorn, ever since so I decided to give them another shot, but without the pepper. At the grocery store, I picked up the simply salted variety.

Wow! Without all the pepper, you could taste a real difference. Redenbacher claims that they use only 100% whole grain corn in their Naturals line, and I could definately taste a difference. It tasted, oddly enough, more like corn than many other microwavable brands do. The butter tasted like real butter, not in the least bit chemically, and I even licked butter off my fingers after I polished off the entire bag. The popcorn wasn’t overly salty – another petpeeve I have with other sorts, especially the 100-calorie pack lines.

It’s hard to find a real difference that I can describe in a way to make it seem different than other microwavable popcorns. Simply put, it just tasted like someone made popcorn in my kitchen using the kernels, the oil, butter and salt. And there in lies my joy: It tasted the way good food ought to without involving the effort my mother and I don’t put into the food we eat. Content with my popcorn, I decided to salute some old and good memories. I pulled my couch in front of the television, munched on popcorn and watched television tonight. If you really want to know, I watched House.

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