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Friday, May 16, 2014

Brown Paper Bag Microwave Popcorn

We find ourselves in need of comfort food these days.

Once during a class I was asked to imagine my most comforting meal as it cooked in a kitchen. Many of my classmates imagined things like a pot roast, with potatoes and carrots. My meal was chicken noodle soup and sweet sourdough bread.

Popcorn is another ultimate comfort food for me. Unusual, I know, but I think it must be tied to my memories of watching movies with my family every Friday night growing up. We would pop big bowls of air-popped popcorn, then add butter and salt. And we'd gather in front of the TV to watch something new or an old favorite.

When I left home for college, my mom gave me a hot-air popper, and I still use it. In fact, one of the first things I made in my new apartment as a freshman was popcorn, and I didn't have a microwave yet so I had to melt the butter on the stove. My inexperience with American stoves after living in Europe led to a kitchen fire and a big mess. Luckily there was no permanent damage. All in pursuit of a little comfort by a lonely and homesick freshman!

There are many ways to prepare popcorn, but let me share this tip from Alton Brown as an easy way to get air-popped popcorn without a popper.


Brown Paper Bag Microwave Popcorn

Source: Alton Brown's Good Eats TV show

Place 1/3 c popcorn kernels in a regular brown paper bag, like what you'd use for a child's lunch. Fold the top over a couple of times, and staple it on both sides. Cook in the microwave for several minutes, or until the popcorn slows to a pop every couple of seconds. Enjoy as is, or pour into a bowl and add 1 T butter and salt to taste.

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