A Pleasant Little Memory | Popcorn

popcorn-in-a-bowlEvery pan has a story…at least the pans in A Pleasant Little Kitchen do and this is a story about a very special saucepan that lives within my cabinets.

Today’s tale is not about the 9 quart Le Creuset French Oven that makes the best bolognese and was gifted to me by my parents.

Nor is it about the flat bottomed stainless steel skillet that I use exclusively to fry cabbage and sauté mushrooms. That particular pan was part of my wedding registry (no one bought it for us, so we had to gift it to ourselves).kernalsIt’s about a light bottomed, medium sized sauce pan with an aerated lid. It drains water without dirtying another dish, it’s dishwasher safe and I wish I had two of them. This particular pan has become the workhorse of my kitchen

This piece of cookware wasn’t a gift and I didn’t buy it… it became part of my collection as a reward for shopping at Market Street through their Rewards Program. How pleasant is that?

I have grown particularly close to this pan because every time I use it I tap into a food memory I love.covered-in-panPassed down through my grandmother and mom, popcorn making is a family food inheritance.

As an adolescent, I would sneak down the stairs past bedtime, grab a bag of popcorn kernels, throw it into the microwave and impatiently wait for three minutes. Once the popcorn was popped and poured into a large bowl, off I went to share with my parents. They called me their popcorn queen.bowlThe many evenings spent at my grandmothers with cousins involved monopoly, small glasses of Dr. Pepper and of course popcorn.

The difference between these two popcorn snacks were the devices used to “pop.” Mama used the microwave, and granny used a tall narrow popping device with a black nozzle on the end. I didn’t have a preference. Both produced what I loved– a salty, buttery treat with the ones I loved.ingredientsI will never forget a friendly conversation about popcorn I shared with a friend. We were talking popcorn and I proclaimed that nothing could beat a microwaved bag. She looked shocked. Very confidently (yet kindly) said I really hadn’t experienced true stovetop popcorn if I thought that.bag-and-ingredientThis comment stuck with me. Had I been unaware of the best form of popped corn?

After this conversation I began to read several articles on creating the best tasting popcorn and it seemed that there was a unanimous cry that stovetop popcorn topped with butter was the way to go (if you’re looking for a contraption-free popping method).covered-in-pan-iWith such overwhelming evidence I had no choice but to stovetop pop.

After several attempts resulted in burnt or underdone popcorn due to incorrect pan and fat choices, I reached for my Market Street pan and canola oil.

Eureeka! My little free pan made the perfect popcorn.bowl-and-handThe weight of the pan wasn’t so heavy to require major muscle strength to shake. The aerated lid design meant that the lid did not have to be tilted while cooking the kernels. It sat on top of the pan and the holes allowed air and moisture to move through the pan to form a fluffy popped kernel. Genius.

It made me love my pan even more…it officially became my go-to popcorn making pan.popcorn-in-pan-with-handLittle did I know that all that shopping I did at Market Street for the first Christmas I hosted allowed me to earn enough reward points to get the pan I have come to love.

Although the items and programs change through the years, Market Street’s Rewards program still allows me to use my points for items I love.

Isn’t it great how things work out?

So now I work to pass down that love of popped corn to my little people. For them though, instead of memories of microwaves and popping devices there will be one pan that comes to their mind. It’s shiny, lightweight and full of delicious memories.

Stove Top Popcorn

  • Servings: servings vary
  • Print
popcorn-in-a-bowlAuthor note: This recipe has been modified from the Perfect Popcorn Recipe found at Food52. Herb salt is a delicious salt option, click here for the recipe. Coconut oil would be a nice substitute for the canola oil. If you have a saucepan that has a lid with holes on the side, use it! If not, keep the lid slightly ajar.

3 tablespoons canola oil

1/3 cup corn kernels

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 paper towel

  1. Place the oil and 3 corn kernels into a large sauce pan. Cook over medium heat.
  2. While the oil is heating up, get a large bowl and cut the butter into four cubes.
  3. Once all three kernels have popped, extract them from the pan. Remove the pan from the heat and add the remaining kernels. Leave off of the heat for 30 seconds, but keep the burner on.
  4. Place the lid onto the sauce pan slightly tilted to allow air to pass through. Place back on the stovetop and begin to move the pan back and forth on the burner. Continue this process until most of the kernels have popped and the amount of time between pops has slowed down (about 2 to 3 seconds).
  5. Pour the popcorn into a large bowl, reduce the heat to low and with the paper towel, wipe out the leftover bits of kernels from the saucepan (I use a set of tongs to hold the paper towel).
  6. Place the saucepan back on the burner. Add the butter to the saucepan and melt.
  7. Pour the butter over the popcorn in two batches, fluffing the popcorn after each pour over. Top with salt, fluff one more time. Salt to taste.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Market Street. All opinions are my own and I appreciate your support of the brands and companies that I love.

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