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I love popcorn. Just ask my family, who has the same affliction as I do. Nothing, I mean nothing, can satisfy a craving better than hot popped corn in a big bowl and then gulping it down, handfuls at a time.

It started innocently enough. When we were young my parents would pile us kids into the back seat of the car along with big bags of popped popcorn, and away we’d go to the drive in movie theatre. We were happy there, three kids in the back seat watching movie after movie, eating our popcorn and gulping our pop (a treat for those nights). It couldn’t get any better than that. When we got older, there was Saturday Hockey Night in Canada and while watching the game, there we’d all be with big bowls of hot buttery popcorn and cheering on our team – it was family night, it was hockey and popcorn.

popcornready

So I’m sharing what I think to be the best way to make popcorn. Popping kernels on the stove top might not be new, but it might be new to those who grew up with the microwave popcorn. Sure, I made the microwave popcorn for more years than I care to admit to. But I finally remembered how my parents made it, and rediscovered the stove top method.

This is amazingly the best. The wonderful smell, the sound of the kernels in the pan, the spattering of oil … hmm.  For the purist moments, I leave it plain. Other times I might lather it with seasoning, add some sugar in the pot for a kettle version or drizzle it with delicious honey butter. I’ve discovered recipes that are so good, that when you drizzle white melted chocolate and add some sprinkles, it takes on a whole new world of flavour and taste. Who knew chocolate and popcorn could work together! Since rediscovering this way of making popcorn, I’ve vowed to never go back to the microwave stuff again.

This version is easy, takes only 3 ingredients, I can make as much as I like, costs me pennies and if that’s not enough to entice you, the smell alone will drive you crazy!

Stove Top Popcorn
(courtesy of PastryAffair.com)

Yields about 2-3 servings

3 tablespoons coconut oil */**
1/3 cup popcorn kernels
1/2 teaspoon popcorn salt, more or less to taste

In a large 8-quart pot, melt the coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add 3-4 popcorn kernels, cover, and continue heating until they have popped. This is how you know the oil is hot enough to begin the popping process. Add the rest of the popcorn kernels, cover, and remove from heat. Swirl the pot around to evenly distribute the oil around the kernels. During this wait period, all of the popcorn kernels reach the same temperature, which allows them to pop at more or less the same time.

In approximately 30 seconds, return the pot to the heat. Cover to avoid spattering oil, but keep the lid slightly askew to allow the steam to escape; this will result in crisper popcorn. Soon after, the kernels should begin popping. Every so often, completely cover the pot and shake it lightly to prevent the kernels from burning. In 2-3 minutes, the popcorn should be completely popped.

Immediately transfer to a serving bowl. Sprinkle on the salt, toss, and serve hot.

*Any oil with a high smoking point will do, such as peanut, grapeseed, or vegetable oil. Use whatever you have in the cupboard.

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