Date: 12 December 2015. Popcorn for One
(and Stone-wave Update)
THE NEW MECHANIC IS ABOARD RIGHT
Life is great afloat and more on Paul is upcoming.
I love my
new microwave. I'm definitely well on the way to a popcorn
addiction. The problem is the container for cooking. In that regard I went
through a few versions before I found perfection. There's nothing
like a bowl of fresh hot popcorn and a movie or three in the afternoon...
you this all the time because it's true: Life afloat is wonderful.
great and popcorn is the perfect accompaniment. I've made it for
years on the stove. That is good too. It leaves me with a pan to
wash plus a bowl. In the interest of saving water (you can roll your
eyes here) and speed (when the girl is hungry feed her) ... well, I
wanted microwave popcorn.
did not want to pay retail prices for those little packages of
popcorn laden with chemicals and salt sold at grocery stores. So I
looked into my galley supplies and started the testing process. It
required me to eat bowl after bowl of popcorn. That was wonderful.
Tina on Oremae taught me
the joys of making popcorn on the propane stove using bacon
grease. That adds a tasty flavor. What's not to like about
bacon!?! There's more about our fun popcorn and movie
afternoon in the
Oremae is a Morgan41
With a microwave I wanted popcorn in a minute, with minimal cleanup.
First I took a small plastic bowl that I had been using as a lentil
growing container. The
Growing Lentil Sprouts
article gives details on the original purpose for the plastic bowl.
I remembered from my days of
cooking on the stove and using those Jiffy Pop pans that a
hole was in the top for steam to escape. The lentil container
seemed perfect. It was not. Here's what happened.
The problem soon became evident. The heat was too much for the
plastic container. Unpopped kernels melted holes in the bottom
of the bowl.
first attempt (no pictures) was with a regular plastic
container from Philadelphia Cream Cheese. The one in these
pictures says it is
microwave safe on the bottom.
The bowl may have been fine for reheating. The top warped
and cracked. All in all, this bowl did not work for popcorn.
Next I went to Walmart and looked
for a ready-made microwave popcorn maker. I found the smallest
available unit by Nordic ware. It looked large and was indeed too
big for my 700watt Rival. This is the one I bought and returned:
Nordic Ware Quick Pop Single Serve Popper
The Nordic did not fit into my oven. It is almost the size of
a basketball. Though called a single-serving the five to seven
cups would have been excessive for me. I prefer smaller
batches so the popcorn is hot.
Dimensions 8.5" x 8.5" x
From the reviews of the Nordic and others offered on
Amazon I reasoned the issues with the poppers were twofold:
The wattage of ovens makes precise
directions nearly impossible
The freshness (moisture content)
of the popcorn plays into how well it pops
My cheap plastic bowls had failed.
The proper popcorn maker did not fit in my microwave. I had a
quandary that needed resolution. There's something rather decadent
about enjoying fresh hot popcorn while watching a movie on the boat.
I am truly blessed.
Because I still had not gotten to
the thrift store to donate my Stone-Wave microwave bowl I pulled it
out for another go round. When
push came to shove, I knew I had a solution on hand. In the
article I described the down
side. The main point I needed to remember is that the stone-wave
bowl cooked my popcorn to perfection.
I was trying
to reinvent the wheel. Argh!!!
|A bit of of
coconut oil is in the bottom.
Nuked for 3.5 minutes in my 700 watt oven→
Voila. One bowl of perfectly
popped popcorn. Now my initial objection still holds true. The
handle is hot. That's why pot-holders were invented. I'm pleased
especially since I checked out alternatives and found them wanting.
Side Note: When I open a new bag
of popcorn I test the timing and listen for when it stops. According
to reviews on Amazon fresh popcorn has a higher moisture level and
thus pops better.
My friend Tom on S/V Gone Tropic
says that when he was on ships popcorn was a hot topic. Experiments
were made. The Best Results came from popcorn poured into a coke
bottle. Add water. Shake. Rinse. Store in refrigerator for a day or
three. Then pop.
Taking heed of the reviews on
Amazon for other popcorn poppers I tried again. And lo and behold I
did have success.
Of course popcorn
isn't popcorn without seasoning. In that regard there are choices.
Years ago I was on a
Molly McButter kick and at some point simply stopped buying it.
I'm not sure why anymore. When I started on my popcorn binge I knew
just what I needed and headed to the grocery store. At the store
folks were adamant that Molly was better than Butter Buds so I
bought a container. It was super!
Then the thrifty part of my psyche
raised her head and said "but there's more in the
Butter Buds shaker" and you really should try it. I did. It's
not that it's bad: Butter Buds is not awful. It's simply not as good
as Molly McButter on popcorn in my opinion.
However the Prepper in me also
knew that there was a dehydrated butter product by Hoosier Hill Farm. I had been hankering to try it. If the
Premium Butter Powder would be better I could save money by
making my own concoction. So I bought some to try.
I bought a pound container and gave it a go. It's
wonderful but not salty of course. Plain butter is not salted and
this is just butter. However, with a smidgen of my other favorite
seasoning I have a perfect popcorn topping. My favorite of all time
on everything from meat to clam chowder is
Nature's Seasons by Morton.
In any event, this is probably far
more than you ever wanted to know about Popcorn for One.
My decision has been made.
I'll keep and use my Stone-Wave bowl. It's earned a place aboard
ever aboard in the afternoon popcorn is just 3.5 minutes away. Life
is very good afloat.
Are you a microwave popcorn fan, or do you
do-it-yourself on the stove?
And, if in the nuker, what do you use as the cooking container?
Manatee Mama and Baby (calf) ~
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