In the good old days, if I craved a little entertainment and didn’t have $.12 to my name for a movie, I’d put a frying pan on the stove, add grease and a little popcorn. Notice I said a “little” popcorn, because a frying pan doesn’t hold very much, certainly not enough to read more than just one or two dog-eared comic books, so the process had to be repeated several times until there was enough popped. Today’s kids should note; it was important to shake the pan and keep it covered at all times….. hence the name “popped”. However there was never enough butter for “entertainment night“ at my house, or perhaps I wasn’t allowed to splurge on the butter, so rendered lard supplemented the butter flavor.….along with a lot of salt.
A real fun night out was going to a friend’s house, where I could enjoy a heaping mixing bowl-sized portion drenched with real butter…….. and new comic books! I don’t know how he made his popcorn at the time, I was too busy upstairs reading, but it didn’t take very long and he never suffered finger burns. We’d eat popcorn and read comic books until midnight, or whenever curfew fell, so maybe 10:00 P.M. at least.
I’ve since gotten an email, from this same lifelong friend, with some cockamamie routine for making tasty popcorn without creating a mess! He uses Orville Redenbacher gourmet microwave popcorn, cleans house every week, reads Martha Stewart cookbooks, grills with propane…. and worries about my cholesterol! I don’t know how anyone can become so corrupted! He probably owned the first popcorn air-popper to ever hit the market.
I can’t say I’ve remained totally dedicated to those good old days, or comic books, or the old frying pan method, but I still enjoy the good things in life without sacrificing flavor -- maybe now a bigger bowl, 3 oz. of real melted butter ……….and the same popper dating to 1963. There’s never any mess! I recall one or two small grease fires over the years, or until I learned that putting the old popper onto a charcoal grille could erase years of neglect and grease accumulation! You can’t do that with propane, or learn by reading Martha Stewart!