“So, do you guys want some popcorn? We’re going to watch a show.” (Read: it’s rainy, and we’re putting on Planet Earth.)
“Yes, please.” (Are kids always more polite when you recall earlier conversations? Maybe.) “Popcorn!” says the little one.
“Dad, what are those seeds?”
“That’s the corn, Arthur.”
“See, we put it into the pan with some hot oil, and then it pops.”
(Okay, I might have mentioned something about the rapid expansion of steam blowing apart the kernel. He does really like the “Solid Liquid Gas” song from They Might Be Giants: Here Comes Science. He is a science teacher’s kid, you know. I did resist the urge to break out McGee to explain all the relevant details of endosperm, protein matrix, and starch granules, in case you were wondering. He’s only 3 after all.)
So, you obviously don’t need me to tell you how to make popcorn. We use a pan on the stove with rice bran oil, which I’m enjoying. The real reason for the post is to say that using hickory-smoked kosher salt, smoked maple syrup, a teaspoon of sugar-in-the-raw, and a knob of butter makes for a kind of smoked kettle corn thing that’s a pretty great rainy day Saturday movie snack.