These days it is so easy to fall into what appears to be “normal.” Take microwave popcorn. It is so popular that we assume that whenever someone makes popcorn, this must be the way it is made. But not in my house.
The neighborhood kids tend to gather at my house after school on Fridays. With no homework, everyone is ready to play, and ready to eat. I find that popcorn is an inexpensive snack that satisfies. Also, no kid I know seems to be allergic to it.
The first time I got the pan out and started heating the oil, the kids were intrigued. What was I making? They couldn’t believe that it was popcorn. Wasn’t I just going to throw a bag in the microwave and wait three minutes for it to pop? How else do you make popcorn?
My own kids explained what was going to happen. The pan would start making noises and soon there would be popping everywhere. If I happen to overfill the pan, popcorn could be flying everywhere! It was not only a snack, but it was also entertainment.
The main reasons I stay away from microwave popcorn are many, though. The first is the list of chemical ingredients that are added to each bag. By popping my own on the stove, I can eliminate the chemicals and control exactly how much oil, butter and salt is added.
Another reason that I avoid microwave popcorn is the cost. I can pop a room full of popcorn when using kernels for the same price as a box or two of the microwave stuff.
If you are concerned about the environment, it is nice to know that you aren’t putting all of those bags into the landfill. Many kernels come in glass containers that can be reused and recycled.
Finally, as far as taste goes, microwave popcorn just doesn’t have it. Pan popped corn has a fresh, clean taste that just can’t be beat. Plus, there are all sorts of exotic popcorn kernels available to try. They may be a little more expensive than the standard stuff, but they are still cheaper than the microwave bags.