This may have to remain a trade secret. Jan says it makes up 50% of her bodymass and I know that really it is the only reason she puts up with me. Well, that and warming up her cold feet…
Anyway, the reason that Jan likes the popcorn so much is that I make REAL popcorn. No microwave. No bag. No Orville Redenbacher. Just a stove, a pot, popcorn kernels, olive oil and salt. Oops – there went the secret.
But there’s more to it than that. I’ve gotten the popcorn thing down pretty well and Jan now uses popcorn to divine my mood. Three or more unpopped kernels at the bottom of the bowl – I’m mad at her. Two – unhappy but OK. One – things are OK. No misfires means that all’s right with the world.
So. Here’s how to make perfect popcorn.
First, you need white popcorn – not yellow. Now, put (as Jamie Oliver would say) three or four glugs of olive oil in a big pot. Put it on the stove on high. Wait about a minute and then pour in enough popcorn kernels to cover the bottom of the pot in about a single layer. Shake the pot up to get hot oil on all the kernels. Put a lid on the pot and wait. In a couple of minutes the corn will start to pop. As it gets really rapid fire, shake the pot again very thoroughly. After about another minute and a half the popping will die down slowly. Shake the pot again. As the popping begins to stop, count seconds between pops. When you get to five between pops, take the pot off the heat. Dump the popcorn into a big bowl and salt to taste. Shake the bowl up to get the salt well mixed in. Eat hot.
Here’s a quote. Jan says ‘it’s like eating the hot insides of a fresh crusty loaf of bread but with a crunch to it and the taste of olive oil.’ She also says that you should eat it from a big, deep, relatively narrow bowl so it stays warm.