Since about the age of four, I have LOVED popcorn. I remember my mom making popcorn for us in an air popper and then pouring buttery goodness over the top. I remember making popcorn with the help of my dad on the stove with one of those popcorn packages that looked like a pan. You would put that pan over heat and the top of it would expand with popcorn as it popped. That stuff was freakin’ delicious. We would make that popcorn and sit down to watch his beloved western movies. Good times in my father’s lap being daddy’s girl.
Those are some of the good memories I have with popcorn, but I also have some memories of popcorn that come with some sad times. Those memories include being around twelve years old and not having any food in our house EXCEPT popcorn- microwave popcorn. After my parents got separated, my mom worked two jobs to put a roof over our head. My dad provided some child support but it was rarely enough to make ends meet. Those two jobs made her enough money to pay our rent in a one bedroom apartment and our utilities and on occasion if she worked overtime, we had a little extra money to put gas in the car, buy a few key groceries like bread, milk, eggs, POPCORN and sometimes rent a movie at Blockbuster Video- the actual brick & mortar store, not online. Showing my age a little with that statement but oh well! She apparently made too much money and didn’t qualify for any government assistance.
My little sister and I learned how to get creative with popcorn by adding spices other than salt to our microwave popcorn. My favorite way to eat it back then was with melted butter, chili powder sprinkled over and a squeeze of lemon or lime (depending what was in our refrigerator). When that bag came out of the microwave, I would open it up drizzle in a bit of butter, sprinkle in the chili powder, squeeze over the lime and then shake it up in the bag. I can smell and taste it as I type this out!
I won’t say that I have a love- hate relationship with popcorn because I will always LOVE it. As I’ve gotten older though, I’ve found that popcorn, especially the popcorn from the movie theaters makes me feel really gross and that’s because I don’t ever add “extra” butter. It’s probably due to all the “extra” stuff that doesn’t really need to be in it. Doesn’t mean that I won’t eat some every once in awhile and endure the pain.
We don’t eat a lot of popcorn anymore but when we do, I’d rather make it at home with coconut oil and REAL butter.
How do you make popcorn at home?
We started out making popcorn in a covered saucepan with a lid but have since moved onto a Whirley Pop stovetop popcorn popper. I love it! I love it because I can make as much or as little popcorn as I want with whatever oil and spices I want as well.
When I try new things, I work hard to appease the Mister because, let’s face it- if you can make your husband smile with food, your life will be happy! Being that the Mister likes all things bacon, I decided to try my hand at some Spicy Maple Bacon Popcorn.
- 1tbsp coconut oil
- 1/4 cup popcorn kernels
- 4-5 pieces of bacon cooked and crumbled
- Reserve 2 Tbsp bacon drippings
- 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/8 tsp chipotle chili powder*
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- In a medium saucepan melt the coconut oil over medium heat, and then add the popcorn kernels.
- Put the lid on the pan and allow the heat to build up. (I personally like to shake/swirl the pan gently around so that the popcorn kernels don't stay in one place too long.
- Once the popcorn starts to pop, I continue to move the pan around, gently, on the stove.
- When the popcorn is done popping, take the pan off the stove, remove the lid carefully and then pour your popcorn into a bowl.
- Whisk together reserved, warm bacon drippings (if you need to warm the drippings in the microwave only do it for like 15 seconds), maple syrup, chipotle powder and salt in a small bowl or measuring cup.
- Drizzle over your popcorn and crumble the bacon over the top as well.
- * You can just use regular chili powder if you don't have chipotle chili powder.
- I personally love to use a bowl that has a lid so that I can put the lid on and then shake it all up.
- I would even stick your hands down in the bowl (or if your're proper, a spoon) and mix it all up from the bottom- oh man! So good!
- This recipe makes the perfect personal serving. I can only eat half of it but the Mister can eat the whole amount.
I was so happy with how this turned out. It was the perfect amount of spicy, salty and sweet in one bowl! The Mister approved as well! Even when the bowl was empty, the aftertaste lingered in a wonderful way.
And although popcorn isn’t paleo, at least there aren’t a whole lot of strange ingredients in this that will make me feel sick.
What got me thinking about these memories and popcorn? I am participating in a recipe challenge with Amplify Snack Brands and their healthy popcorn company, SkinnyPop. So, you can blame/thank them for this awesome tasting stuff!