A sure way to get my family excited about a snack - tell them we are having popcorn! At our house, this "meal" comes up about every Sunday night. And I mean meal too. Our small family of four puts away about three batches worth in one night alone. By that I mean, three full cups of unpopped kernels goes into the "popper" (one cup at a time) and into our huge popcorn bowl, as we call it. Our bowl is very large, I mean gallons large.
I have fond memories growing up when we'd have our popcorn supper on Sunday evenings. Actually my dad is the one who makes the popcorn now. Last I recall, he makes it a few times a week in small batches for an evening snack these days.
I thought you might like to know how we make this delicious and inexpensive treat at our house.
We get out our 10 quart (no, I'm not kidding) heavy duty kettle.
I have ready on my counter:
3 cups unpopped popcorn kernels (enough for 3 batches)
extra large bowl (to put popped corn into)
oil (currently I'm using coconut oil)
homemade seasoned salt & nutritional yeast
I put oil into the kettle, covering the bottom and 2 popcorn kernels. Put the lid on to cover. I turn the stove on medium heat and then wait until I hear the 2 kernels pop. Then immediately I put in 1 cup of popcorn kernels, close the lid and then give the kettle a "swirl" around to get them coated with oil.
At this point, I wait to hear more popping. When it's pretty steady, I turn the heat to the lowest setting until it gets slow again, then I'll turn it up again a bit more, to finish all the popping. During the popping time, I make sure to "shake" and "swirl" the kettle to keep things moving now and then, so it won't stick and burn to the bottom. I use a heavy bottomed kettle for this reason too.
When the popping stops or is really slow, then I turn it off and wait for anymore to finish popping. Then I open the lid, putting it carefully somewhere it won't melt anything (also, there is oil on the lid by this time, so I make sure there is a safe place to place the lid, keeping this in mind). I use hot pads and pour the popped popcorn into the popcorn bowl. I repeat this another 2 times with the other 2 cups of popcorn kernels.
Add seasonings and stir by using a serving spoon to "scoop" it from the bottom to the top carefully, rotating the bowl as you go (since by now, the bowl is very full).
I like this method, because it seems to me the best way to pop nearly all of the kernels. I rarely get more than 10 unpopped kernels. Seriously. With 3 cups popcorn kernels unpopped for all my batches total. Try it. It works.
Instead of the usual salt and nutritional yeast, sometimes I use turbinado ("raw") sugar and cinnamon as a dry topping after popping, with just a smidge of salt. Oooh - so good. I prefer this sweet version of popcorn over the syrupy candied "kettle" corn out there.
Pretty decent for a girl who loves an air popper for popping popcorn. Can't wait till we get back for that! I still love air poppers, but none around here, so I had to learn the art of popping corn on the stove. Don't own a microwave (never have) either. My husband says it smells like a theater around here when I'm using coconut oil.