I have this thing for popcorn — popcorn with salt. My popcorn passion comes from childhood. We popped it on the stove in those days, and I knew how much oil and how much corn to add to get it to come out just right every time. You had to shake the pot periodically to get the kernels to the bottom of the pot where they would be hot enough to pop. If you put in too much popcorn, the lid would pop off the pot, so you didn’t want to do that.
They have ruined popcorn now by making different flavors. Cheese popcorn turns your hands yellow. Carmel corn is covered with candy. You can’t even taste the popcorn anymore for all the extra stuff. When something is already perfect, they should just leave it alone.
Nowadays we don’t use a pot to pop corn. We don’t even use the electric poppers that were prevalent for a while, but are now found mostly at garage sales. In the modern world, we have microwave popcorn. Like everything else these days, popcorn went instant. As always, they tend to have too many varieties: butter, lite butter, plain, salty, movie theater, kettle corn, cheese corn, caramel corn, even Cajun corn. What’s next? Dill pickle corn?
My daughter bought me a giant bag of pre-popped corn. It was so big she could hardly carry it. “I couldn’t resist buying it for you.” she said. I appreciated the gesture, but this is the biggest bag of popcorn I’ve ever seen. The more I eat, the more there seems to be. I know that corn is still growing — in a cornfield or not.
The bag was so large that I had nowhere to put it away. There wasn’t a cabinet in the house big enough to hold it. The popcorn ended up following me from room to room, like a pet or a mascot. I didn’t know what to do with it. I couldn’t put it in the garage as it might draw mice. I couldn’t put in the bathroom because that’s gross, and besides there wasn’t room. I was getting really tired of dragging that huge bag of popcorn around from room to room.
Finally, I decided to leave it near my computer so I could munch while I worked. It was getting a little stale by now and there seemed to be more of it than when I started. It watched me, waiting for me to notice that it had not been eaten yet. I felt guilty for ignoring it — but you can only eat so much popcorn. I wondered what happened to those big decorative cans we had at Christmas?
I hate to waste so much popcorn, loving it the way I do. But what else can I do? It seems bigger every day. Maybe I could put it in the bird feeder for the birds — or string it for the Christmas tree, or make popcorn balls for Halloween, or take it to the park and feed the ducks, or take it to the movies and forget it when I leave.
If you have any suggestions for old popcorn, please let me know — quickly. Meanwhile, if you happen to read in the paper that the roof popped off a house like the lid on a pot of popcorn, you will know it was mine.
Copyright 2011 Sheila Moss