Alex and I used to eat our way through bushels of it back in the States. It’s always been my Second Favorite Comfort Food, securely in its place right after ice cream. While pregnant I subsisted on popcorn alone for several weeks. But it was always the microwave kind. Are we not able to find something as basic, as intrinsic to human snacking as microwave popcorn in the UK? I’m sure we could. In fact, I’m almost certain I remember seeing a few envelopes of it in a store somewhere once, tucked away on the top shelf. The problem is deeper. We have no microwave. This absence has affected our lives in no other way whatsoever except that we can no longer heat up leftovers in a matter of thirty seconds. (I remember desperately asking my mom when she was visiting after Harriet was born how I was going to manage to heat up foods. Her answer? “In a pan.” Oooohh.) And of course, we have had no popcorn. UNTIL NOW.
Did you know that it is not actually the micro-waves of the microwave that make popcorn pop??? It is just heat. Heat which can be generated in a pan. Which I have. So when I spotted some plain popcorn in a store a few weeks back, I grabbed. I envisioned an entire “Family Fun Night” with popcorn and a movie. (I love F.F.N.s, by the way. SO fun with little kids. If you do these, do me a favor and leave a comment with some ideas–I’m always looking for more!) All I had to do was learn to pop corn.
Doing this intimidated me completely. But I faithfully consulted The Internet. I poured oils and popcorn in a pan. I turned on medium-high. I waited. If you were standing in our kitchen, you would have heard the following:
“It’s not doing it! Nothing’s happening!”
“Did you turn the stove on?”
“Yes, and it’s hot and nothing. Oh–wait!! It’s starting to move!”
“Is it popping?”
“No, false alarm. Is it smoking in here? Is that smoke or steam? I think it’s steam, I don’t smell smoke.”
“Wait, I’m coming.”
“OOOOHH! One popped! It popped! But the rest aren’t! Are they all duds, do you think? Maybe I did too much oil . . .It’s doing it!! I gotta put the lid on! Norah, come and see!”
“Daddy, why is Mommy screaming?”
“Don’t worry, Norah, she’s happy.”
Don’t forget to leave me that comment.