not so easy as it looks
In another century (yes, literally) snack foods weren’t quite as common as they are today. It was a big deal if a small bowl of cheesies or plain salted potato chips were put out and one must have been a veritable angel of a grandchild to get a tall glass of ginger ale on the side to sip politely. These nibbles were usually the accompaniment to an occasion, not a filler because we were still hungry or craved something sweet or salty, and as such they were treated differently. Both our stylish grandmothers played bridge or canasta or whatever card game was in vogue at the time on a round table set up with dainty linens in the living room. The delicacies that accompanied their soirées seemed much more soigné than the peanuts thrown back by their cigar-smoking husbands playing poker or shooting pool in the basement…
A trip to the movies, then and now, is often a good excuse to eat popcorn. Salted or not, slathered in butter or caramel, everyone has their preference and according to statistics, the average American eats about 51 quarts annually. That’s 16 billion quarts of popped popcorn each and every year – probably enough to fill up a decent-sized football stadium! When we were young, this treat was occasionally made on top of the stove in a sizzling hot, covered pot and required considerable upper arm strength to shake without it all burning. It made Ed Sullivan that much better… In the 70s Harry Blackstone, the magician, touted Jiffy Pop popcorn in television commercials – “the magic treat–as much fun to make as it is to eat.” We all clamoured for this taste sensation and it was, for many consumers, the beginning of the instant food revolution. Orville Redenbacher struck gold with this trend; the odd-looking but seemingly trustworthy and likeable character whose obsession was creating the ultimate popcorn also appeared around this time and in the 80s he perfected microwaveable bags, bringing the treat into homes for good. Fast forward to the 21st century and there are more brands of popcorn available than toothpaste – junky, weird flavours popped or not, gourmet, organic, non GMO, packaged or bulk – there’s something for everyone’s taste and price range.
It brings us full circle to this fortnight’s Two Cents Tuesday Challenge theme – Cook – where we find our our own Miss Z refining the art of piping hot, golden perfection popped on the stovetop. Last week we asked “How do you cook?” – On a griddle, on a grill, on a Bbq in winter still, like a short-order guy, fritters, fish or fry, vegan or carnivore, a little less or a little more… We would love to see your vision.
For all those who are new readers to Across the Bored, some great entries and the guidelines for this fortnight’s challenge can be found here. Need more info or want to browse past themes? Have a look at HOW DOES THIS WORK.