A Southern Grace: pop pop!

March 6, 2014

pop pop!

Yum

I never really questioned how the corn kernels I gnaw off a cob could be related to the ones that come in that handy bag and microwave up into fluffy, delicious popcorn.


Plus, it was only this year that I realized my grandpa can and does grow popping corn and that a person can pop popcorn without the assistance of Mr Orville Redenbacher.

When I was but a wee lass, I actually do remember my other grandpa popping popcorn for us, and since he's diabetic, he was always careful about portions and the stuff with which he coated his share. I wasn't so careful, however, and I know that I smothered my bowl of popcorn with butter-flavored salt, sometimes so much so that it became practically inedible. That didn't turn me away from popcorn, though, and I've always enjoyed it.


When my grandpa offered to give me some of his popping corn, I readily accepted. After hearing his tips on preparation and doing a little extra research and some trial-and-error experimentation of my own, I think I've devised a pretty reliable method for making a fantastic batch of stove-top-popped popcorn. Over the past few months, I've seen lots of posts about flavored popcorn, so if that's your game, go wild. I'm satisfied with a little bit of salt and a little bit of sugar. While I tried both butter and vegetable oil, my fat of choice quickly became coconut oil (LouAna, a Southern favorite, is my specific pick)--the popcorn seemed lighter and just a little bit more flavorful.

In the pithy words of Magnitude: Pop pop!

Tropicorn
Makes about 8 cups
Ingredients:
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) coconut oil(or other fat)
  • 1/4 cup popping corn
  • Salt, pepper, sugar, spices to taste
Directions:
Put oil into a large stainless cooking pot that has a lid or cover; turn on medium heat.
Pour a single layer of popcorn kernels into the pot and place the lid on it.
Heat for about 20 seconds, then remove and leave to the side for 30 seconds. This allows all the kernels to heat to the same level, to give them all the chance to pop together.
Place the pot back onto the stove, and after a minute or two, you should hear the first pop.
Shake the pot occasionally.
Expect the popping noise to grow more and more rapid as the pan and oil get hotter.
If the popcorn rises to where the lid lifts off the pan, dump some out into the large container, and quickly place the pan back on the stove.
Once the popping has slowed so that you don't hear any pops in 3 seconds, dump the entire contents of the pan into a large container (the popcorn will have absorbed all the cooking oil).
Sprinkle salt, sugar, and desired spices over the popped corn. Shake the container to distribute the additions throughout.

29 comments:

april said...

This is how I always do popcorn, except I sometimes do 3 tbs coconut oil to 1/2 cup of popcorn (my kids eat it with dinner and a movie every Friday night). So tasty!

Alicia Foodycat said...

Home grown popcorn! How amazing!

I have to have melted butter on mine.

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

Buttered popcorn is probably my favorite, followed by caramel :) But I haven't tried making my own stovetop (yet)!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Popcorn is so addictive! I love mine with sea salt.

Cheers,

Rosa

Beth said...

When I was a kid, I grew up on a farm and we always used our own corn. Fun!

Rosita Vargas said...

ohhh Grace palomitas de maƬz rico rico me encantan,abrazos.

Marjie said...

Your Grandpa is one talented man. Could he be Orville Redenbacher's alter-ego? There's nothing like a nice bowl of popcorn on movie night.

Angie Schneider said...

One reason I dare not to touch popcorn is they are so addictive.

Pam said...

I don't eat popcorn much because when I do, it's hard for me to stop!

bellini said...

I jus love popcorn, but I have never really thought of growing my own. Wouldn't that be something.

Joanne said...

For some reason I find popping my own popcorn at home intimidating...maybe because I grew up on Orville? Even though I know it's nothing to be scared of! Sigh...one of these days i'll force myself to just do it.

Amy (Savory Moments) said...

We eat popcorn as a snack about once a week and love it. We use an air popper, but I like the idea of using coconut oil to make it!

~~louise~~ said...

Oh the memories that flood as I think of those Jiffy popcorn "pans" with the foil lids that we use to pop on the stove. Such fun Grace!

I think you have revealed a timeless method here. Your grandpa is on to something here. I bet you weren't left with a bunch of "old maids" doing it his way, lol...

Thanks for sharing, Grace now I'm craving Popcorn!

lisa is cooking said...

I love popcorn. It's weird how much I like it. I give it up for Lent every year, and here I am waiting for the 40 popcornless days to end. I've popped it all kinds of ways but never with coconut oil. Can't wait to try that on Easter!

I Wilkerson said...

After all the bad PR on microwave popcorn additives, we went back to the old fashioned way. My kids looked at me like I was from Mars at first, but my middle daughter is a popping pro now!

Pam said...

So, does the coconut oil give it enough flavor that you don't need butter?

grace said...

@pam: Well, the flavor of butter obviously isn't there, but the coconut oil lends a subtle and enjoyable flavor of its own.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Hehe I wonder how they first came across popping corn? What I love about it is that you don't have those additives and you can pop it in a brown bag in the microwave too :)

vanillasugarblog said...

Isn't it the best?
I wish I had learned this months ago!
So much healthier and you still get that same really good taste.

Katerina said...

My son would go nuts for such a popcorn!

dentistvschef said...

Really wanted it for wacthing game now!!!

Blond Duck said...

I had to make some for Ben tonight!

Lisa-Marie said...

Oooh I love popping corn. Tropicorn is going on the list!

Caroline Taylor said...

I love making my own popcorn, my favourite topping is grated chocolate.

sprinklesandsauce said...

how did you know i love pop corn?! ;) it's either chips or pop corn for me!

Anonymous said...

I use a wok with a glass lid. Part of the fun is being able to see the kernels pop up and fill up the wok. I've tried with ordinary pots but usually end up with some unpopped/partially popped ones especially if the bottom is too wide for the burner. With the wok, shaking it makes them all fall into the base and get popped.

Sugar Cookies to Peterbilts said...

I tried this a while back when I was feeling nostalgic. It didn't turn out so well. Not sure if it was me or the popcorn? I will try again though, and follow your directions :)

Jeff @ Cheese-burger.net said...

Coconut oil surprisingly makes the popcorn a little bit more flavorful.

Mary said...

Miles and I have been popping ours with coconut oil too! I think it is harder to burn because the coconut oil can withstand the higher heat really well! Plus, you're totally right about the taste- it is hard to beat:)