Popcorn Without a Microwave, Part 1

I have always been a big popcorn eater. We typically had popcorn every Sunday evening when I was growing up, and often once or twice during the week. I am often amazed at how many people don't know how to pop popcorn without using the microwaveable bags. It's much, much cheaper (and probably healthier) to buy a bag of kernels and pop it yourself using an air popper (mine was $16 at Walmart and paid for itself years ago) or a pot on the stove.

It takes a little practice/trial and error to pop popcorn on the stove, but if you can make microwave popcorn, you can make popcorn on the stove.

1. Heat a burner to medium high heat (this is where it might take a little trial and error to get the right temperature). In a pot, melt about two tablespoons of butter or margarine. You can also use oil. When I use oil I usually put a few kernels in and wait for them to pop before adding the rest so I know the oil is hot enough.
2. When your butter is melted or your oil is hot, pour in enough kernels to cover the bottom of the pot, then shake the pot a little to coat all of the kernels. Cover with a lid.
3. After this it's not much different from microwave popcorn. The popcorn is done when there are a few seconds between pops. If you leave it on the stove much longer after this, it will start to burn.
4. Remove the popcorn from the burner and sprinkle it with salt if you want it. You can add other seasonings too like ranch powder, garlic salt, or sugar, or this popcorn will work just fine for caramel popcorn.
5. Eat your popcorn and then floss like crazy.

As you can see, I put too many kernels in my pot and when the popcorn popped it started to push the lid up. It's not a big deal if that happens. If you need to you can pour some of the popcorn out and put the lid back on while the rest pops.

I will try to take pictures next time I use my air popper so I can make Part 2. (I want to do my part to make sure this doesn't become a lost art.) Update: Here is Part 2.

P.S. I have fond memories of eating microwave popcorn at my grammy's house. I may or may not have enjoyed getting a spoon to scrape out the "butter" that was left inside the bag. (That doesn't seem at all appetizing anymore!)


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