I grew up with popcorn. It was a cheap and relatively healthy snack. Everyone learned to make it the old fashioned way and got very good at it. We initially eschewed the hot air poppers and microwave bags for the simple and pure popped corn in a pot. Then, one day a hot air popper appeared in the kitchen. Popcorn was not happy. It turned on us like a bitter ex wife. Not that it acted any different and it’s taste and appearance never changed. But, like most revenge. it waited until we least expected it, and then attacked.

I was in college and had been up all night the night before working on a project. Nearly ready for bed, around midnight I suppose, my girlfriend requested popcorn. She knew that I was an expert at the old method, even though I let few people in on this dark art. I began the oil heating ritual. It got a little too hot under a covered pot and exploded, sending hot oil all over my hand and foot as the flames shot into the air. I had second and third degree burns and was in a great deal of pain. It took months before I was able to rejoin society and the popcorn sat on the shelf, smirking behind the flour.

No other attacks have been reported in my family until last week. Uncle Bob became ill. The doctors thought it was a serious disease of the lung. They did not one but two biopsies only to determine that it wasn’t cancer. Unconvinced though, his doctor sent him to a prestigious mid west clinic and was once again invaded. He was put under general anesthetic and the procedure was performed by a team of top notch professionals. There were twelve in all and when Bob awakened they were all laughing.

Popcorn had struck again! What the surgeon had found in Bob’s lung was a small piece of a kernel of popcorn and it was wreaking havoc. Fortunately, they got it out, and sent Bob home to enjoy his life.

I’m sure that it’s not the last we have seen of the dreaded popcorn. Cook this at your own peril.


  • 1 Cup Popcorn (I prefer the one from the actor who gives all profit to charity)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Vegetable Oil
  • Butter and Salt
  • Cayenne Pepper (optional)


  • Pan or Hand Cranked Stove top Popper
  • Bowl
  1. Add the oil to the pan over medium heat. The hand cranked popper is really inexpensive and available at most kitchen stores. Instead of shaking the pan you turn the handle which keeps the popcorn moving.
  2. Place a piece of popcorn in the oil. When it pops the oil is hot enough.
  3. Add the popcorn, cover and gently move back and forth or crank in order to keep the popcorn moving and not burn.
  4. Turn off flame and remove from burner when popping slows.
  5. Salt and add a little melted butter.
Eat with caution!



2 comments on “Popcorn

  1. zucchini123 says:

    You should have had one of those electric popcorn poppers like Amy and I had in college. It had a deep dish where you put the oil, and a big plastic dome that then became the bowl. You plugged it in and turned it on and the popcorn was always perfect. Good memories of many a ‘popcorn’ night! Do they still make those things?

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