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My Favorite Snack for Summer!

Summers should be spent by the water, or on the water in a boat, splashing about.  Laughing and having fun while getting some exercise is the best way to spend a hot summer afternoon.   Growing up in the South, I spent my Summer days outside playing.  Splashing in the lake or hiking in the woods, both were adventures.IMG_3789 Beach with Umbrella and Palm Shadows 4x6 100dpi

After a few hours of playing, we would be ready for a mid-afternoon snack.  Of course, cold watermelon was delicious, along with strawberries and peaches.  To add some crunch to the fruits, we often had a big bowl of popcorn!  Back then, we did not have a microwave to instantly nuke some kernels of corn coated in a variety of chemicals.  No, we did things from scratch.

Now that I have my own family to make snacks for, I find myself going back to the easy way to make popcorn, on the stove top!  It is yummy and easy.  The recipe has been handed down in the family for generations, and I just passed it on to my niece while we were on a family vacation.  She could not get enough of my popcorn.  Puts the microwave stuff to shame!

The recipe is simple really and even the older kids can get in on the fun.  Make this a family cooking event.  And it is good year round as well.

You will need:Popcorn_1_2 5x3 5_72copy
1.  Large Dutch Oven or Pressure Cooker base (larger the pot the better).
2.  Splatter guard.  I use a silicon one, but a metal one would work as well.
3.  Organic Coconut Oil.  This is what makes the popcorn have a yummy flavor.  And no, it does not taste like coconuts when popped.
4. Non-GMO Popping Corn.  I like the Organic Popping Corn from the Farmer’s Market as well as the Orville Redenbacher Non-GMO White Popping Corn.  White or Yellow is your personal choice.  They both taste good, just slightly different!
5.  Table Salt.  I used Iodized Table Salt.  It is fine and sticks to the kernels.  And that is important since unsalted popcorn is just yucky!  Kosher salt is usually to large and does not stick as well.

Now, put your pan on the eye of the stove, medium high heat.  Add 1 Tablespoon to 1 1/2 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil to the pan.   As the coconut oil melts, lightly cover the bottom of the pan with the popcorn kernels.  You might need to adjust the amount of popcorn to suit your pan as you don’t want the corn to overflow the pan when popped.  Give a light dusting of salt to the kernels, and add the splatter guard.

As soon as you hear the kernels begin to pop (several minutes will pass depending on pan and stove!) get ready to add some more salt.  When the pan is about half full of popped kernels, carefully slide the splash guard to one side, uncovering enough to peek into the pan.  IF the kernels are not hopping out of the pan, then add a little more salt.  Wait till you can safely add the salt as you don’t want corn everywhere!

Now is the time to start a gentle shake of the pan, still covered with the splash guard. Or you can take a big spoon or rounded tip knife to gently stir the corn kernels.  This will make certain that all the kernels come in contact with the hot bottom of the pan, so they can pop.  Fewer old maids this way! b22030 But do be very careful as the oil & pan are HOT!

When you hear the popping becoming less frequent, it is time to remove from the heat and salt one last time, stirring as you salt.  Grab some bowls, a glass of Shaklee’s Energizing Tea and get ready for the best afternoon treat anywhere!  You will never eat microwave popcorn again.

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