Sunday, October 9, 2011

Comfort Food: Popcorn

Comfort Food: Popcorn

The consumption of Popcorn normally doesn't incite any emotions of nostalgia within me, that was until today. When I decided to cook some of it without use of a popcorn maker or a microwave. Yep, the old fashioned way of putting it in a covered pot, adding oil, putting it over a fire, then shaking it once you hear that first kernel of corn pop.


Comfort Food: Popcorn

The skill in making a perfect batch is in knowing how to time the shaking of the pot without tiring or the cover being removed as well as knowing when to stop. Knowing when to stop means having the ear to remove the pot from the fire, too early and you are left with a lot of uncooked kernels, too late and you end up burning some of the popcorn. I usually just base when to stop on the intervals between pops of the corn kernels. Once it slows down a bit then I know its time to quit already.

Anyway, tying in this with the nostalgia theme of this post, as a kid this was what me and my cousins ate when we spent our afternoons on a VHS marathon of GI Joe cartoons, Shogun Warriors, Transformers, etc. When summers were over I had to go back to the city and live with relatives so that I could go to a good school. Living far away from your parents and relatives you like was often very hard for me, but it was a good sacrifice and training on my part as it taught me to be independent at an early age.

By chance I asked a relative to teach me how to cook popcorn, since it was one of the cheapest junk foods you could buy (grade schoolers don't get much allowance). During my school days I made this for a snack once I got home and it always made me feel less lonely as I got to remember those great times in our house watching those cartoons I loved. This feeling of joy and the memory of being relieved of those feelings of loneliness creeped back into me today as I popped popcorn the traditional way.