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Patriotic popcorn. December 12, 2009

Posted by ourfriendben in homesteading, wit and wisdom.
Tags: , , , , , ,

Our friend Ben asks everyone to forgive the lateness of today’s post. Silence Dogood and I have been scrambling around since practically daybreak trying to get all the shopping done before our weekend dinner events.

Not to point a finger at anyone, but our friend Ben thinks Silence got a little, teensy, appallingly horrible bit carried away promising to make about 10,000 extremely elaborate dishes for these events, requiring a packhorse (aka yours truly) to carry all the various supplies to and from the car. And then, sure enough, came the traditional Yuletide panic: “Ben, what if we don’t see [fill-in-the-blank] again before Christmas? We’d better get their presents together now. And wrap them. And…”

Gasp. But there was one highlight. This year, everyone on our local list will be receiving a really fun stocking stuffer, courtesy of a shop called Adam’s Pantry at our local Kutztown, PA farmers’ market. Adam had the bright idea of combining red, blue, and white popcorn kernels in bags and naming it Patriotic Popcorn. The bags were so colorful and cheerful, Silence and I couldn’t resist them. (And the price was certainly right: just under or just over a dollar a bag.)

Silence, ever sensible when it comes to cooking, asked Adam, “Will all these kernels really pop at the same time, even though they’re different kinds?” He assured us they would; after all, they were all the same size. (And, ahem, our friend Ben can now attest to the truth of this.)  

No Patriotic Popcorn near you? No worries, you can make your own. Since Adam didn’t have as many bags as we needed, that’s what we did, too. Fortunately, he had plenty of individual bags of red, white, blue, and yellow popcorn on hand. (Well, fortunately for our gift-giving plans, but let me tell you, it’s amazing how much two huge double-bagged loads of unpopped popcorn can weigh… )

When we got home, Silence handed our friend Ben a huge mixing bowl, a huge spoon, and the bags. Even I proved equal to this task, and soon we had mass quantities of beautifully blended bags of multicolored popcorn. (True, it’s not quite patriotic, but Silence thinks a mix of red, blue, and yellow popcorn is even prettier than the red, white, and blue.)

Patriotic Popcorn: Great idea! But if you decide to make your own stocking stuffers, remember to warn your recipients, as Adam said, “Whatever color it starts out, it all pops white.” That’s fine with us. I don’t know about you, but we’d prefer not to eat blue and red popcorn, thanks all the same. We enjoy looking at the beautiful unpopped kernels, though!

Oops, Silence asks me to remind you all that unpopped kernels keep a really long time, but that as they get older, fewer of them pop. That’s because what causes the popping is the moisture in the hulls of the kernels, and as they get older, they lose moisture. But fortunately, there’s an easy remedy for this. Just as you can keep brown sugar from hardening by soaking a ceramic disk in water and putting it in a sealed container of brown sugar, you can add a half-teaspoon or so of water to a jar of popcorn and shake well, and it will rehydrate the kernels so they’ll pop well again. But please, don’t drown your popcorn or it will mold instead of rehydrating. (Silence is screaming “EEEEWWWW!!!” in the background; better cover your ears.)

Our friend Ben has an easier solution: Just eat the popcorn while it’s fresh, with plenty of butter and salt, not to mention cheese, either shredded on the popcorn or cut in chunks and eaten with it, preferably with a crisp sliced apple, since as we all know an apple will cancel out any calories and cholesterol from the popcorn, butter, and cheese…