Friday, January 18, 2008

A culinary misadventure

We bought an 8 pound jug of Orville Redenbacher's 'gourmet popping corn' a couple of weeks ago. As soon as we got home, I zipped to the kitchen and pulled out our heaviest pan and started popping. I had previously read that you can throw some sugar in (just before the kernels pop) and make kettle corn. So I got my sugar ready and voila! I had kettle corn! It turned out perfectly.
Now, I don't know how this happened, but somehow after this initial success my perfect popcorn popping skills took a turn for the worse. I burned every batch after! This was a problem. I suddenly found myself addicted to kettle corn and unable to duplicate my previous successful popcorn experience. Undaunted, (due to my newly acquired ravenous appetite for popcorn) I kept popping. I would just pick out the burned ones and call it good.
Then I had a great idea: MAPLE-CORN! Yummy!
Ooh, I couldn't wait. I even had 100% pure organic maple syrup! Ooh, yummy.
Now, what possessed me to think that I could suddenly produce perfect maple-corn after burning batch after batch of kettle corn, I don't know.
I took out our heavy pan perhaps a bit too optimistically. I heated up the oil and put in the kernels. I thought I'd just wait until the first one popped to add the maple syrup. That way, it wouldn't have time to burn to the pan. I even heated up the syrup so it wouldn't stunt the popping process.
I waited until I heard the first "POP!"
I whipped the lid off and was instantly pelted when 3 or 4 kernels exploded right at me. I was ready, though. I poured the syrup in as fast as I could and put the lid on fast, shaking the pan vigorously and
"KaSHZZZZZZ!" That unmistakable burning sound followed by that heart sinking burny smell. :-(
The stove was only on a low medium! I waited for the last moment to pour in the syrup! I even used gourmet popping corn! WAH!
I took off the lid. Every kernel was burned, half of them hadn't even popped. Lousy maple-corn. Lousy pan. Lousy popcorn!
What a let down! I grudgingly dumped out the scorched snack. I grabbed a spatula to scrape out the rest of the charcoaled confection, when there, on the bottom of the pot was the perfect image on John the Baptist burned right into the pan!
"MATT! Look! Look at this! Who does this look like? John the Baptist, right?!"
Matt agreed.
I could tell it was him because only his head had appeared.
I thought of that grilled cheese sandwhich with 'Jesus and the Virgin Mary' burned into it that some casino bought for some unreasonable amount.
"We could sell this on e-bay! We could be rich! Ha ha ha ha!"
Then Matt, and my conscience, reminded me that this would be taking advantage of those searching for spiritual enlightenment of sorts in the form of images 'miraculously' burned in cookery. John didn't actually appear to me in the pan. It would be like peddling vain idols. My mom tried to sway us by saying, "Hey, you could consider that fine art! Let the consumers decide! Don't deprive them of the chance to own such a culinary masterpiece!"
Matt heard this and washed the pan.

So I got down our 'Stir Crazy' popcorn popper, which pops plain popcorn perfectly every time, and enjoyed some perfect, unsweetened popcorn.

In observance of National Popcorn Day, (which, coincidentally just happens to be today- this was added January 19th), I am sharing my scorched pan picture featuring John the Baptist. I didn't realize it until just now, but it also looks like, to the right, John Lennon has appeared in my pan as well!
And, finally for your popcorn making bliss:
A note for those wishing to make kettle corn:

I did some research. If you put oil in your heavy pot, along with 3-4 kernels, you can turn off the heat once those kernels pop. Count off 30 seconds, and put in the rest of the popcorn and turn the heat back on. (Some swear this makes the perfect corn every time.) Then, just before you think they'll pop, throw in a teaspoon or two of sugar and shake. A few may still burn, but you'll get your kettle corn!


Ron & Jessica said...

yes, you could try it your way, but our microwave makes perfect kettle corn everytime :)

KarenC said...

You crack me up! I love kettle corn but I just have it occasionally so the microwave kind works for. My husband LOVES popcorn. He used to make it every night but he never got to see John the Baptist. I'll tell him to keep on the lookout. Hopefully he'll get someone like Ronald Reagan or - better yet - Elvis. That way we CAN get rich and not feel bad.

Alyssa said...

"I could tell it was him because only his head had appeared." --That is AWESOME.