How Many Pops Does Popcorn Pop …When Popcorn is Popped?
Can you smell that? If you let your imagination work just right, along with this “virtual article” you can smell the wonderful aroma of popcorn popping wafting through the computer. Of course you may have to scratch your computer screen to get it to work.
Grains, beans, and seeds; you may already have these staples and basics in your preparedness pantry.
Well on the same shelf should be another grain that must be considered a priority! That would be popcorn. Yes, popcorn! There is no season for popcorn, and you should not think of it “just as a snack”. Year round popcorn is a good item to have in your cupboard … and to eat!
Did you know that popcorn can be part of a meal as well as a snack? A good-for-you lunch is a good-sized bowl of popcorn and a bowl of canned peaches, or some other fruit. In fact, The Wellness Encyclopedia of Food and Nutrition, (University of California at Berkley, Random House, 1992) details how nutritional popcorn really is.
“… Popcorn is a nutritional winner. It’s high in both complex carbohydrates and fiber: Ounce for ounce, popcorn has about three times as much fiber as chickpeas (garbanzo beans), and about six times the fiber found in cooked broccoli. One cup of popped popcorn, prepared in an air popper, contains just 30 calories and virtually no fat.”
My personal favorite is a bowl of popcorn and an apple, accompanied by a good book, of course.
In our experiences of living through extremely difficult times, one of the things that bailed us out of the doldrums was popcorn. From now on, make popcorn one of those items that must be included when you think of the Morale Boosters you will need for comfort food – no matter what time or season of year it may be!
Popcorn stores as well as any other grain. That’s what makes it ideal as a morale booster for hard times. Unlike ice cream or chocolate, popcorn will last for years if you keep it in an airtight container, in a dark, dry and cool area. If you transfer it from its original packaging into a glass or plastic jar, it has wonderful keeping qualities. One of the main incentives to not keep popcorn in its regular plastic-type packaging is that you take the chance of losing it to the bugs and/or mice. Both can and will chew right through the packaging.
Just so you know, and can figure the amount of jars or containers you will need; a gallon jar will hold 4 ½ to 5 pounds of popcorn. Four pound sacks of popcorn can usually be found in supermarkets at a much more economical price than the smaller 12-14 oz. bag. A pantry-pointer is that regular popcorn is much better to store than the microwave version. Microwave popcorn is usually loaded with fat and various other ingredients that can turn rancid very quickly. Use the microwave popcorn for everyday eating, if you want, but for a huge economical advantage and longer term storage, chose the regular kind. The other, not so happy pantry-pointer is that the bugs and mice love the ease of getting through the microwave packaging to the popcorn as it sits on your shelf.
The economy of regular popcorn is high on its “reasons-to-buy” list. The ration of unpopped to popped kernels will vary with the kind of popcorn as well as its age. (Most will not re-pop.) An approximate rule of thumb is that ½ cup of dry corn when popped will fill a four-quart bowl. That is an overflowing 16 cups! (That is your trivia statement for the day, and it can be verified because I measured it.)
Sometimes stored popcorn will lose its “pop”. This is because it has lost its moisture content. Simply put one to one-and-a-half cups of popcorn at a time into a glass or plastic quart jar that has a tight fitting lid. Sprinkle a few drops of water into the corn, (1/4 to ½ tsp. at the most), put the lid on tightly and shake it well. Let the popcorn sit at least several hours, or overnight. The corn will absorb the water and can then be popped. Don’t add water to large amounts of corn at one time. Too much moisture will cause it to mold.
You can always season popcorn to taste with garlic or onion powder, a small amount of cheese powder or grated cheese, or a “Season-All” type of spice combination. Or you can even use cinnamon and sugar. You could try a combination of sugar and salt that has become so popular with the kettle–corn style of popcorn. Sometimes the spices or flavorings won’t stick to the popped popcorn. If this happens, spray your popcorn with a quick spritz of cooking spray, and then add your seasonings. It doesn’t change the taste or feel of the popcorn, but it will make the flavoring stick.
When it comes to your preparedness program, popcorn is a winner in the Moral booster category as I mentioned. That is as long as you have the old-fashioned know-how of how to pop popcorn in a frying pan. You pop it on the stove, your emergency stove, over a fire in the fireplace or outside on a camp stove. You use a frying pan or an old fashioned, long handled popcorn popper. (While pursuing the thrill of the hunt for all the items in your pantry, finding one of these old-style popcorn poppers could be considered a real bonus.) Learning to use a regular frying pan to pop popcorn so the corn is edible – not Cajun style, as in burnt black – can be an experience in itself. The trick is to use oil, a lid, and while keeping the lid on never stop shaking the pan while it is on the stove!
Now if you will just scratch on the computer screen, “that” smell will once again waft into the room, and off you go to fix that popcorn. Be sure to count the pops. On the other hand … don’t forget to keep “enough” popcorn in your cupboard!