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Popped to perfection

Published: Friday, March 17, 2017 9:51 a.m. CDT

Who doesn’t like popcorn?

It’s the perfect snack. Not complicated, just delicious and for the most part, guilt-free.

Back in the day, the biggest dilemma with popcorn was with butter or without.

My mom grew up with her parents serving popcorn in a bowl of milk with a bit of sugar every Sunday night for dinner. My grandpa continued the practice his entire life.

On occasion, when I would fix popcorn at my house, mom would put some in a coffee mug, add a little milk and sugar, grab a spoon, sit back and enjoy. I can’t say I ever tried it — nor do I have a desire to do so. But if you’re up for an adventure, give it a try and let me know what you think.

As a child, it was so exciting at Christmas time to receive that large round tin divided into three sections with plain popcorn, caramel popcorn and .... wait for it ... cheese popcorn! At our house, the cheese was gone first, followed closely by the caramel popcorn. As for the plain popcorn left in the tin, I think at least half of it was usually tossed. Who wanted boring old popcorn after the rare treat of the cheese and caramel?

You have to realize you couldn’t purchase those tins of flavored popcorn just anywhere or get them at just anytime of the year in those days. It really was a special treat.

Now when going down the popcorn aisle at the store, there are a multitude of options to spice up any batch of popcorn. You have a choice of toppings from salty to sweet, ranch to barbecue, as well as any number of varieties of cheese toppings.

At my house, it’s not the topping but the popping causing the bone of contention — microwave vs. stove-top popped.

Me? I’m a stove-top popper through and through. And I don’t mind making popcorn at all. When any of my kids are home, it’s not uncommon for me to pop several batches of popcorn in an evening.

Oh, I realize it may be handier to toss a bag in the microwave for three minutes, but my life is simply not so busy I can’t spend five minutes of my time whipping up a huge bowl of light and fluffy popcorn.

My kids were brought up with “homemade” popcorn, and that’s the way each of them prepares it in their own abode.

But the hubbs simply refuses to jump aboard the whirly popper train. He will pick up a box of microwave popcorn for himself.

As a rule, I wouldn’t have a problem with that. But this past Christmas, I noticed “Santa” left everyone a few packages of microwavable Orville Redenbacher movie theatre butter popcorn in their stockings.

It’s one thing to face off with my husband, but now it would appear I’m clashing with Santa.

Contact Dana King at dking@shawmedia.com

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