Never eat while standing at the sink is a piece of advice I have heard. It has something to do with not eating the right things. Eating too much quick stuff and not enough nutritional things. Okay I say, I will not eat while standing at the sink. I will sit down and eat a regular meal. Eating at the sink conjures up meals like eating peanut butter right out of the jar off of a knife. Or popping the top off a can of Vienna sausages picking out one at a time and stuffing them in like your mouth is a sausage casing and you’re filling it just as fast and as full as possible. So sit, relax, and enjoy one of the most primal experiences we humans partake in; eating.
With that being said, now let’s talk about eating in the living room, after dinner, while watching TV. Let’s talk about popcorn. When those after dinner munchies come knocking what do you reach for? Ice cream? Cookies, or maybe just the dough? Well I like popcorn. It drives my husband crazy that I really like a glass of ice cold, nearly freezing, milk with my popcorn. Yes popcorn and milk. Don’t knock it until you try it. I know that the standard fare with popcorn is soda, but milk “pops my corn.”
Popcorn has come a long way. From heating the dried kernels of delight most likely burning a lot of it over an open fire. To heating those little golden self-exploding packages inside of a sack, in a microwave oven and of course burning them, a lot. I have the worst luck with microwavable popcorn. I read the instructions, honest I do. However, when the instructions come to the watts verses the number of minutes I am at a loss. So I often poo poo the instructions which ladies, and you too gentlemen, will always get you into trouble. So more often than not there is one bag burnt and thrown out the back door because of the smoke and burnt popcorn smell and the second bag is usually edible.
When microwavable popcorn first came out it was a novelty. There was a company that even put popcorn still on the cob in a bag and sold it as the freshest popcorn you can get. Like dried up kernels could actually be fresh. But I bought some. I am nothing if not a trend follower. After bringing the new fresh popcorn home it sat on my counter so I could look at it for a week or so. I have a thing of not being able to use something right away that I buy for myself. Self-inflicted guilt that I spent money on myself is the problem I think. But again, that is a whole other trip to the couch of life.
So the pop on the cob popcorn sat on the counter and I would walk by and look at it and read the package and wonder how in the world people come up with those ideas. Like the pet rock, hula hoop, giant fingers that are sold at ball games, you know the must haves we spend disposable income on. Oh, off track again…
After a soul cleansing amount of time I decided to try the corn on the cob popcorn. I scanned the directions and threw the bag and all in the microwave and fired it up. Uh the oven not the bag! Standing there watching the turntable go around I realized how impatient we as a society have become. Like getting a fax. Do you stand at the machine and say “Come on hurry up.” I admit have done that. My goodness in this day of e-mail, speed of light and even faster than that communications why do I tell my fax machine to hurry? Breathe Trina, breathe. Moving on.
So a pop, then another one, then the bag starts to expand and the popping is going on and the bag gets bigger with the tiny explosions letting off gas and steam. Then it starts to slow. I want every kernel to pop so I wait, just a little bit too long. If you get even the slightest whiff of burnt popcorn, you’re too late. Well I was too late. Yes when I opened the bag a puff of smoke came out. But the most amazing looking, well, weird thing came out too. It was a corn cob with the dried husks turned down and still attached and the corn had popped and stayed attached to the cob. Of course some had fallen off and were smoking in the bag and not all the kernels popped but the ones that stayed attached to the cob were kind of scary looking. Like, I know this is gross and maybe this is why the pop on the cob popcorn didn’t do so well, they looked like popped zits on the cob. Needless to say the bag, cob, popped and un-popped corn all went out the back door, never to be tried again. Live, pay and learn.
Trina Machacek lives in Eureka. Her book ITY BITS can be found on Kindle. Share your thoughts and opinions with her at firstname.lastname@example.org