I've written before about how there are some things that once you start making them yourself, you never go back to the package. For me, this includes vinaigrette, granola, roast chicken, marinara sauce, soup, and popcorn. Ever since we found ourselves in Maine on a rainy day a few summers ago, with only popcorn kernels and no microwaveable bags, I've been hooked on making my own popcorn. The flavor possibilities are endless, the fresh taste is unbeatable, and honestly, it takes the same amount of time as the microwave version. Seriously.
To make your own popcorn, simply heat up a large pot, cover the bottom with oil, and when the oil gets hot, pour in enough kernels to cover about 3/4 of the bottom of the pan. They should start sizzling. Cover the pot, and when you hear your first pop, start shaking. Within a minute or two, you've got fresh popcorn waiting to be covered in salt, sugar, rosemary, lemon zest, paprika, cayenne pepper, you name it! If you want to make kettle corn, simply pour in the sugar when you put the kernels into the pot. Use brown sugar for caramel corn. Try it, and I guarantee you won't go back to microwaveable.
There is one exception I will make to my popcorn rule. And that exception has arrived at my apartment every Halloween and Valentine's Day for the past five years. Popcorn Factory popcorn. This tantalizing popcorn comes in a large tin (thank goodness my parents sent a small one now that I'm living alone!) that is divided into four sections: butter, caramel, orange cheddar, and white cheddar. Don't even think about skimping for the three sections, you need the white cheddar.
There is something so mouthwatering about this pre-packaged, I'm sure extremely unhealthy popcorn. I was diving into the can last night before I could even take my coat off! I love to eat it "Chicago Style", where you mix the caramel and the cheddar (I recommend a ratio of one caramel to two cheddars). It is so embarrassing to watch me with this stuff - I'm like a vulture just going nuts over it, stuffing it into my mouth as fast as possible. Who am I???
Enough about my dorky eating habits. Please come over and rescue me from this tin.