When I think back to my childhood, I realise that my brother and I used to cook quite a bit. It was all experimental with no guidance because we did spend most of our growing up together without a lot of parental supervision.
Our dad would work night shifts and early mornings and sleep during the day and our mum would work afternoon-evening shifts (and weekends). They did like a tag team, one would come home and the other would go to work.
There was always an adult in the house for emergencies but during the day when we were awake, my dad would be asleep so we were pretty much left to our own devices.
I always joked that the TV was our baby sitter but it’s pretty much what happened. Funny what happens when you let kids be responsible for themselves… they come out… well, responsible!
We were very sensible kids: we never stuck forks into the electric sockets, never stuck knives in toasters while the toaster was plugged in. We did short circuit our very first microwave trying to warm up a cup of milo (with a spoon in it.. these were early days when we didn’t know that you weren’t supposed to put metal in a microwave) but that’s probably the worst we ever did.
As the eldest, I was expected to look out for my brother, wash dishes, do laundry, hang clothes, fold them all and tidy up the house so I used to do all of this too.
When we were hungry, we made ourselves a snack like cup-a-noodle soups, or Cambell’s soup (the canned soup that you add milk and water to and warm up on a stove) just by following instructions on the can. Sometimes we’d make tea and eat biscuits and on occasion, we’d make popcorn (not in the microwave… on the stove – these were the days before microwave popcorn was sold).
So when I was telling Tones how fun it used to be to watch the corn pop and how excited we used to get as kids making the popcorn ourselves and he stared at me blankly, I was shocked.
J: “You’ve never made popcorn?”
T: “Yeah I have.. in a microwave”
Today, I thought I’d rectify this major flaw and we bought popping corn from the grocery store at a whopping £0.50 for 500g!!
Now, I mentioned as kids my brother and I didn’t have much guidance when it came to cooking, we only ever followed instructions on the pack but if you look at the pack that we bought even today, there are no instructions!! So I do distinctly remember us knowing that there were 2 things in the popcorn… butter and salt. So we used to heat the butter in the pan with the popcorn in it and burn the butter in the process and end up having brownish popcorn. We didn’t care, we still ate it… it was fun and it was still yummy.
However, as an adult and with internet, there are no excuses not to make the perfect popcorn!! And you know what? We did it… in like 5 minutes and Tony’s verdict?
“Oh yum! It tastes so much better than microwave popcorn!”
The amazing thing is, we made a giant salad bowl full (larger than what you would get for £6 at the cinemas) with such a tiny amount of popping corn kernels that the £0.50 of popcorn will last us AGES and now, we can even start flavouring our popcorn in different ways! I’m also sure that microwave popcorn would be much more expensive than this!
So… how did we make perfect popcorn? We went here.
We didn’t measure anything… it’s the method you want 🙂 We actually had ZERO un-popped corn (maybe 2 half popped kernels) and we didn’t burn one bit!! For a first time, we did great! Plus Tony got to see exactly how simple and easy it was.
T: “You mean it’s THIS EASY?! It takes 1.5 minutes on Medium, then you have to take it out and shake it and then put it in for another 1.5 minutes on High in the microwave. It takes the same amount of time on the stove! And you even get burnt bits in the microwaved one whereas you don’t in this! And the butter isn’t as fresh in the microwaved one… this is MUCH better!”
I don’t think he’ll ever be making microwave popcorn again!
He can’t anyway… we don’t have a microwave!