Inviting Children to Help Pop the Corn
Adults can invite children to get in on the popcorn making procedure. Children participating in popcorn preparation usually get pretty good kicks out of the process, even if their job is merely to pour seeds or take out ingredients.
Popcorn Seed Shopping
To make popcorn at home, you must first go to the store to purchase a bag or a box of popcorn seeds as well as some oil if you do not have any at home. Canola oil and olive oil make the healthiest lubricants for microwaving popcorn. Olive oil is rather expensive; however, while canola oil prices typically linger around the cost of vegetable oil and corn oil. If planning to add butter or margarine to your popped corn, you might want to pick up one of these ingredients as well.
People who like fancy gadgets might appreciate a container made specifically for popping corn. You might need to buy such a gadget in a department store if your grocer does not carry popcorn poppers. Of course, you do not need to purchase a fancy popcorn popper, and refraining from buying one will save you the extra expense.
Use of a large bowl with a lid that completely covers the bowl rim is all you really need to pop corn in the microwave. The bowl should be large enough to support a bucket of popcorn. The bowl and the lid should be made of microwavable material such as plastic.
Popping Seeds at Home in a Microwave or Popcorn Maker
* Measure the seeds according to the instructions on the bag. Generally, this means you should be adding 1 teaspoon of oil to 2 teaspoons of popcorn seeds.
* Pour the seeds and oil into the popcorn maker or bowl.
* If you purchased a popcorn maker that does not require the use of oil, skip the oil to keep your popcorn healthier.
* Place the container in the microwave and set the lid on top of the bowl. Bear in mind that the lid has two purposes. One purpose is to keep the popcorn from flying all over the microwave once the kernels begin exploding. The other purpose is to help retain moisture popcorn kernels need to pop. Therefore, place the lid gently atop the bowl but do not seal it.
* Set the microwave to cook for two minutes. Generally, it takes between 2 and 2-1/2 minutes for popcorn to pop when microwaving it. Whether you are using a popcorn maker or a bowl, the first batch or two may call for a bit of trial and error. The heat setting on your microwave may cause fluctuations in cooking time. Adjust this setting if your microwave allows you to do so. You could also simply push the popcorn button on your microwave. This button usually causes food to cook for 2 minutes and 20 seconds.
* Once the time expires, wait a few extra seconds before removing the popcorn from the microwave. The extra waiting time allows kernels that are about to pop to do so before you remove the lid and let the heat escape from the bowl.
* After removing the bowl, you can lightly sprinkle a bit of salt over the popcorn - or not. If you go with the salt, however, it would be okay to seal the lid now so that you can give the bowl a few shakes. Shaking the bowl in this way allows salt to spread to popcorn bits located on the bottom.
* Adding butter or margarine is another seasoning option. If choosing to add one of these flavorings, you will need to melt it before adding it to the popcorn.
* Butter or margarine melts easily in the microwave or in a saucepan over the stove. If melting butter or margarine in the microwave, place about two tablespoons of the ingredient in a small microwavable bowl or cup. Place the cup or bowl in the microwave oven and cover it lightly with a paper towel. Proceed to microwave the shortening for approximately 15 to 20 seconds. Check to see if all the ingredient has melted. If not microwave it for a few more seconds.
* When melting butter or margarine over the stove, place the ingredient in a small saucepan and set it on a burner. Turn the flame to a medium setting. Once the ingredient begins to melt, turn the flame down to simmer. After the butter or margarine is completely melted, turn the flame off.
* Whether using butter or margarine, it is best to purchase a light version and, once melted, add it to the popcorn sparingly.
* Pour popcorn in individual bowls or just set the big bowl on a table and enjoy!