The time has come: popcorn bowls

When I first starting blogging almost a year ago, I was in a frenzy of excitement thinking about all the things I could write about. Funny childhood stories, Photoshop learning experiences, cooking, reviews on books I was reading–topics seemed to stretch to the horizon. “You should write about your popcorn pot,” my husband said. “Yeah!” I agreed, and then proceeded not to write about it ever.

Every so often over the next months, when I was having a case of writer’s block or an uninispired stretch, my husband would exclaim “You should write about popcorn and take a picture showing your bowl versus my bowl!” “Uh huh,” I would agree vacantly. And then I would write about something totally different.

Last week wore me out, and as soon as I had recovered some of my energies over the weekend, I went and spent them on my musical endeavors (how dare she!). So when Monday arrived and I faced my computer, I couldn’t seem to bring myself to write about anything. All of a sudden, I wondered if I had simply run out of things to say. I mean, looking at my recent activity on this here blog, it’s all either about cooking, or James. Seriously folks, I’ve been cruising off the 2 days I spent with Heidi and James for far too long–somehow I’ve squeezed 5 blog posts out of that one event, maybe because I feel like material is running in short supply. Maybe I’ve lost my touch, my brain informed me as I sat in my chair, glassy-eyed.

And then, the voice of my husband came back to me. “Wriiiiite abbooooouuuuut paaaaawwwwwpcwwwoooorrrrrrrn,” said the ghostly apparition. So I will write about popcorn.

I love popcorn. My sisters and I grew up eating it during movies, during long study sessions, and on the couch as we immersed ourselves in a good novel. As soon as we were old enough, we started popping our own on the stove, with a goodly amount of olive oil and melted butter poured over top.

My popcorn habit has never stopped. I pop myself a bowl probably about 4 times per week, always in the evening after dinner. To me, it’s like a night cap. It signals: it’s time to relax. Happiness and rest is at hand. Granted, I have stopped using melted butter and am quite happy with a sprinkling of regular salt instead of the flavored kinds I was briefly addicted to, but still–you don’t want to know the amount of calories involved. You just don’t.

Another thing you should know: I like to have my own popcorn bowl. Correction: I need to have my own popcorn bowl. This is a trait my sisters share as well: we must have our own exclusive popcorn space. Upon my marriage six years ago, I soon realized that when my brand-spanking new husband shared my popcorn during a movie, I had to resist the urge to snatch up the bowl and make a run for it. Yes, I was feeling very possessive about my popcorn. You need to learn to share! I moralized myself. But the Little Train that Could, this time, Couldn’t. So I told my wonderful new husband that if he wanted to share my popcorn, he had to get his own bowl. I had to maintain exclusive rights to my stash. I’d share, but the actual vessels of the snack must remain separate.

I’m working on my issues as we speak, because I have a feeling that any children that come into our lives may not respect these boundaries.

Here is my bowl next to his bowl.

Let’s get a closer look at this rather noteworthy discrepancy in bowl size.

And let’s be honest–sometimes he only goes for a little red ramekin-full.

I have long had a metabolism and occupation that could hande this kind of popcorn. Heck, with the stress and physical activity of my previous job, I probably could have eaten three times as much and burnt it all off in a single encounter with my boss. However, changes have occurred in my work-life that have caused a certain bottom and a certain swively chair to become strongly connected. Bosom-buddies, so to speak. Having hit a small growth spurt since coming to Chicago (read: wider not taller; read; I sit in a chair in an office all day; read: I love food; read: I loathe aerobic exercise) one of the areas I’m placing under careful examination is my popcorn habit.

Resolution #1A: instead of liberally pouring popcorn kernels into the pot, I have started measuring out my allotment. I’m currently down from about 1/2 cup of kernels to 1/3 cup, with views on that very modest 1/4 cup. There has been no change in the size of my girth . . . yet.

Resolution #1B: choose to love the girth? (Resolution Still Under Review)

And on the subject of the popcorn pot . . . well, I can’t hide this monstrosity forever.

No, I don’t wash it more than once per month. Okay, fine! More like once per quarter.

Yes, it came from the same set of pots gifted to us for our wedding many years ago. The other pots still look practically new, but this guy . . . I have aged him beyond repair.

Please accompany me on a short journey of rationalization: I figure if there are germs, I’m just making my immune system stronger. I figure if it’s an ugly pot, I’m just teaching myself to look past the surface of things. I figure if the pot looks about 95 years old, it’s just preparing me for being 95 years old and still loving the way I look. I figure it the grease gets so caked on that it will never come off, well, there’s another reason not to bother washing it.

And that, my friends, is all I have to say.

Phew! And that takes care of today’s post. And now for the next day . . . and the next day . . . and the next day . . . How do you get over the hump when your creative endeavors are stalled? I could use some pointers. Current ideas: trudging forward even if the results are under par; rewarding self with large shopping spree at Plato’s Closet; spanking self repeatedly until pain propels me into high gear.

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32 Responses to The time has come: popcorn bowls

  1. Okay, this is weird. I wrote a draft post yesterday about…popcorn. The kind you make on the stove, because any other popcorn is completely unacceptable. We are psychic twins!

    Luckily, I do not need my own popcorn bowl because my husband (freak) doesn’t like popcorn. Who doesn’t like popcorn?!

    ps: My popcorn pot isn’t quite as ugly as yours, but it ain’t good.

    • Jenna says:

      Psychic twins! I like it. Plus, that automatically makes me a waaaaay cooler person (by association with you and your snark =).

  2. Yum. I love me some popcorn. :-) You may have noticed I haven’t blogged in a while – when I run out of stuff to say, I just stop posting. :-) Not saying this is the best method, but it’s what works for me. :-)

  3. Wendi says:

    My popcorn memories are of Jiffy Pop. I loved watching that foil expand and grow as the kernels inside magically transformed into fluffy popcorn. Your popcorn pot has a completely different charm.

  4. SoupAddict says:

    One of the best things about farmers’ market season returning is that one of our growers brings corn for popping -honest-to-goodness ears bred for popcorn. You put the entire ear in a paper bag and microwave it until the popping slows. It’s my favorite popcorn ever!

  5. Virginia says:

    I have also posted about popcorn on my cooking blog. I had to. Popcorn is my favoritest food. We have a Whirly-Pop, so my own pots don’t suffer, but that poor Whirly-Pop pot is quite pitiful. My husband and I share from one bowl, but he is quite aware that if he so much as eats even one half-pop (the jewels of popped corn) then I will leave him and take the popcorn with me.

  6. Holly says:

    You guys turned me into a popcorn addict too. And I finally found more of the Reese cheese powder seasoning (*read- I bought a 6-pack of it on Amazon) which I am equally addicted to.

    • Jenna says:

      I would still be addicted to that Reese cheese seasoning, but our grocery store in Delaware stopped carrying it, and thus broke my addiction.

  7. MMmm! We love popcorn for a nightcap here too, or with our Sunday Night Snack Supper. Dale reigns Popcorn King, so we leave it up to him to make it. He makes a HUGE bowl full in our Stir Crazy popper, which by the way, doesn’t get washed more than twice a year. Dale says it takes away from the flavor. I used to wrinkle my nose, but after reading this, I now know…… it must be a popcorn connoisseur thing.
    2 things we do to make it “healthier”: pop it in olive oil (he says use enough to make the seasonings stick) and we use sea salt. 2 things we do to make it taste better that are NOT healthy: Butter buds seasoning and Lawry’s season salt while popcorn is still hot so it really coats. Oh man, his popcorn is so stinkin’ good.
    It is now a MUST that we smuggle it into the theatre, or our friends won’t go with us. Some friends! No really, it’s that good! :)
    So, have you tried WHITE kernels? Normally it is a smaller kernel. This allows it to pop up a little lighter and a lot more tender and delicate. But maybe you already know that? :)

    • Jenna says:

      YES! I love alternating between the smaller white kernels and the big yellow ones. I’ve never heard of Butter buds seasoning, but now I’ll have to keep an eye out for it at the grocery store. I LOVE that you smuggle popcorn into the theatre. =) That’s just awesome.

  8. I’m in a similar situation with the desk chair and computer screen for work. I’m still not sure how much I appreciate the expansion of my rear since I started – because aerobics and strenuous exercise is the bain of my poor lower back. But I trudge on.

    I may have to venture into the popcorn realm once again. Truffle oil and a little sea salt is where it’s at for me…

  9. skippymom says:

    Ah, the beauty of homemade popcorn. Oh, so, so good. And I agree on the not washing the popcorn pot. The bowls made me laugh tho’. Much disparity. :)

    Now I want popcorn, with unsalted butter. I think I can call that lunch. Right?

    On a side note – as much as I want to love Plato’s Closet [I have teenage girls afterall] I can not get past the dippy [DIPPY!] girls they hire to work there. I have never had a transaction they didn’t screw up royally when they weren’t busy texting or snapping gum.

    • Jenna says:

      Yeah, the music they play also drives me a little nuts–but I always come away with such fabulous (and cheap) finds I figure I can deal with it for an hour or two.

  10. Jen says:

    Fabulous post! And I love the grunginess of the popcorn pot. It speaks of true devotion to the puffed grain.

  11. Veronica says:

    You are a riot! The pot isn’t ugly, it’s just evidence of your love for popcorn. I think it’s HIlarious that your hubby only eats such a tiny bowl–I know it’s probably his choice but it looks like you’re a popcorn Nazi only willing to part with that much from the big bowl. hahahaha I’m surprised you didn’t do a tutorial! I bet a lot of people don’t know how to make popcorn on the stove. I recently just tried it for the first time (used an air popper or micro popcorn up until then) and it wasn’t the best–I totally burned it b/c I cooked it in butter and I dont’ think butter is supposed to get that hot!

    • Jenna says:

      Haha, yeah, I don’t think butter would work. =) I’ve had a lot of fun experimenting with different oils–peanut vs olive vs canola really gives the popcorn a different twist.

  12. NanaBread says:

    I’m not gonna lie, Jenna. I gasped a little when I saw the condition of your popcorn pot. As a compulsive pot scrubber with an arsenal of scrubbing gadgets & cleansers, it freaked me out for a split second. Then I noticed the little bits of popcorn kernels all over the exterior, and it made me laugh. That pot is a piece of art now. Don’t ever try to clean it. As for popcorn, I’m addicted to Orville Reddenbacher’s “natural” microwave popcorn smothered in a spicy Cajun season salt called Slap Ya’ Mama. It will leave your mouth burning for a good 20 minutes, but it’s a good burn.

    • Jenna says:

      It’s weird, because normally I’m a little compulsive about having an empty (clean) sink, clean counters, etc. (okay, maybe not super compulsive, now that I think about my dirty burners, heh heh) But anyway, the popcorn pot is the exception that proves the rule, I guess. I don’t know why it doesn’t bother me when all signs point to the fact that it should, but there you go.

  13. Jacob Menn says:

    I think love of popcorn is a Menn family trait, I love making popcorn on the stove, and I learned from my dad. I have many fond memories of watching movies or TV back home, we’d make popcorn and everyone would try to get as much as possible, dad keeping the main vessel, and rationing it out to the rest of us. I know all the Ambelang boys are addicts as well but too often rely on that Microwave garbage. Poping on the stove top with olive oil is totally the way to go!

    • Jenna says:

      I couldn’t agree more! Olive oil is awesome and gives it such a great flavor. And I can totally see Uncle Jeff being in charge of distributing the portions, heh heh.

  14. Veronica says:

    The condition of your popcorn pot cracks me up because it looks like you cook your popcorn over an open fire rather than a stove since I’ve only seen pots that look like that that were used for camping :)
    I do like your rationalizations for why you allow it to remain in the condition that it is in as well ;)

  15. giselle says:

    Ok, for one, you cannot stop blogging. I would be so sad.

    And two, write about your time in Spain!!! I want to know everything! How did you end up there, where did you live, what did you do for school, how long were you there, was it a struggle to learn the language, what did your parents do, what was school like, do you still have friends there, did you go on vacations, what did you do for fun, what did you EAT!!, etc etc etc. I think there are at least a few hundred posts you can do.

    • Twinky Satterthwaite says:

      Yes, my dear! Cuentanos de Espana!! Plus you have great “vintage” childhood Spain pics…. plus, can you post videos on this blog page of yours? there could be some fun stuff if you could!!

      Indeed, it would be a little sad not to find a new post some morning (or afternoon, whenever I get around to looking)…. you could write anything and I would be delighted…. but you know me!!

      • giselle says:

        Yeah Jenna! Your Mom agrees and you know she’s always right. So there you are. Inspiration. =)

      • Jenna says:

        Haha, so now you’re ganging up with my Mom, huh? =)
        I may try to write . . . what scares me is that it’s a massive subject. I’d have to take it in tidbits. Hmmm . . . I’ll give it some thought.

  16. Kimby says:

    Jenna, my hubby and I “share” popcorn in a similar manner. You are not alone.

    Re: topics to write about, I’d love to hear more about your music. :)

  17. Simply Life says:

    we don’t have a microwave so our popcorn comes from the stove or an air popper – I definitely prefer it that way!

  18. Tracy says:

    You know, I just made popcorn on the stove for the first time a couple nights ago, and now I don’t think I can ever go back to the bagged kind. And I have to have a pretty big bowl, too. ;-)

  19. Sarah says:

    mmm i love popcorn too! but i never make it as it’s such a mess…i should remedy that. :)

  20. V.E.G. says:

    In the popcorn bowl, they should put the number “30” or THIRTY because it means the end in Newspaper terminology. It is great for newspaper publishers!

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