Saturday, April 19, 2008

Popcorn

One of the easiest ways to declutter in the kitchen is to look for items that serve only one purpose. Some single purpose tools are valuable: I do own a garlic press because I often cook with large amounts of garlic and I find it more satisfying to press the garlic into the recipe. We have, on the other hand, survived without an ice cream scoop for several years and we eat a lot of ice cream in this house. The garlic press is a point of dispute because I could just chop the garlic with the same knife I'm using for everything else. Come to think of it, that garlic press might be toast next time I go through the kitchen. A better example in our house would probably be our ice cream maker. It only makes ice cream but there is no other way to make ice cream and given the amount of ice cream we consume I'd rather make it myself.

Last time we did a major kitchen purge I did get rid of our hot-air popper. We like popcorn but I knew that I could make it in a pan and that darned popper took up a lot of space. I tried making popcorn in my dutch oven several times but the results were less than satisfactory. The pan is pretty heavy with a lid on and the metal handles were too hot to hold without pot holders. And there were always lots of unpopped seeds left in the pan (this always happened with the hot air popper, too).

I recently had the idea to try making popcorn in my wok and I'm no longer tempted to buy a hot air popper. The wok is lighter than my dutch oven and has two wooden handles that stay cool to the touch. The large, domed lid keeps in all the popped corn and the heat distribution allows for all the seeds to pop. I often get every single seed popped and I've never had more than five left in the pan. I pop four or five tablespoons of seeds in two tablespoons of oil on medium heat for the whole family. It takes about five minutes to pop the whole pan once the popping starts and the pan must be gently shaken while the corn is popping. When we are feeling especially piggy I dump the corn into the serving bowl and cook four tablespoons of butter, four tablespoons of brown sugar, four tablespoons of maple syrup, and a few dashes of salt together. Stir the mixture constantly until it boils and then continue cooking and stirring for 2-3 minutes. Remove the pan from the flame and stir the popcorn back in. We enjoyed a large bowl of caramel popcorn and a movie last night after the kids went to bed unexpectedly early.

1 comment:

Mrs Pea said...

I go through a similar process in our tiny home. I'm always on the look out for tips on stovetop popcorn - sometimes I go great and then at other time nothing pops and it all burns! Only thing - I decluttered the lid of my wok!