Tuesday, July 22, 2008

well that was easy!

I've given up microwave popcorn. Since I'm the one who does the shopping in this house, we've both given up microwave popcorn. It hasn't been a very popular decision around here, and it means I've spent more time than I'd like shaking a heavy pot with oil and popcorn seeds over a hot burner.

So today, I tried a little experiment. I reused a small brown paper bag (we get lots of these in our CSA share holding tomatoes, squash, and such) and placed about a quarter cup of plain old yellow popcorn kernels into it, and folded the top shut. I read online that one staple would be ok in the microwave, which I believe, since my tea bags have small staples that don't do any damage, but we actually have a cool staple-less stapler that I used just to be on the safe side.

I put it in for a little over 2 minutes, and voila! freshly popped popcorn, ready to be seasoned however I wish.

It's definitely a good way to save some money, and it absolutely cuts down on waste. Plus I've heard some concerns lately about commercially produced microwave popcorn, and this way I can be sure there are no nasty chemicals in there.

I'm glad I figured this out...it's way too hot to be shaking that pot over a hot stove today!

15 comments:

Heather @ SGF said...

How cool! I never thought you could do that - assumed they put something special in it to make it pop in the microwave.

organicneedle said...

I'm a big fan of the air popper, which seems to be an appliance relic. When my last one died, after 10- yes 10 - years of devoted service, it took me months to find a new one. I am a popcorn freak. When the kids are safely tucked into bed with their well balanced dinner nestled in their tummies...I eat popcorn for dinner.

Green Bean said...

Nice! I have been doing the hot pan over the hot stove where half the kernals burn on the bottom for the last year! Thanks for the tip.

Bugs and Brooms said...

We gave up the microwave completely to cut back on all the wasted packaging. We use an air popper that we bought used off of craigslist and we love it. Way to think outside the box! Very cool!

Rebecca said...

I'll be trying this! Does anyone have a favorite natural seasoning other than butter and salt?

ilex said...

And here I thought that fancy-schmancy, mega-engineered microwave bag was somehow magical. I never would have guessed that any old paper bag would do. Brilliant, sister.

Joan said...

I found your blog through Green Bean. I haven't tried this b/c I read paper bags not intended for microwaving release toxins. Then again I wasn't sure if it was just bad press being put off by microwave popcorn companies.

eco 'burban mom said...

I never knew you could do that!! We have a stove top one, that does generate a lot of heat, but is great to make kettle corn as a treat for the kids. Throw in some organic sugar while turning the crank and voila! Kettle corn on the cheap! Though, my husband loves the microwave corn which we gave up too, so I will pass this little tidbit on to him, he will be thrilled!!

Melissa said...

heather, isn't it funny; I had thought the same thing!

organicneedle, there's nothing wrong with popcorn (or icecream) for dinner!

green bean, you're welcome :) enjoy!

bugs and brooms, I considered the air popper route, but I've been trying to cut down on appliances in the kitchen, but that is also a great alternative - and there must be a lot of used ones available!

rebecca, I like a little grated parmesan cheese sometimes, and my husband will only eat it with salt, turmeric, and red chili pepper!

ilex, I wish I could take full credit, but I'll admit, I googled it :)

joan, glad you stopped by! I hadn't heard that about brown paper bags, only plastics. I did a quick google search and wasn't able to find anything on this. do you know where you heard it? I certainly don't want to poison myself!

eco 'burban mom, I have to say, kettle corn is my favorite but I've never tried making it...today might be the day!

Recovering procrastinator said...

how cool! I figured it needed oil or something to pop in a micro. I guess not :)

I like garlic salt and pepper on popcorn.

kale for sale said...

I could eat nearly anything with olive oil and sea salt on it and especially love the combo on popcorn. The tumeric and red chili powder is inspired though. Thank you. I'm an on the stove popper though. I think I like the challenge of getting every kernal popped without burning any, which I've found much more difficult to do with local popcorn. Industrial popcorn was much easier.

Melissa said...

recovering, I've heard that you can add oil, but you don't need it. I've not used it yet because it seems like the bag couldn't be reused once it was soaked in oil.

kale, I know what you mean about the challenge of popping every last kernel - it's addictive, isn't it? The real challenge is not singeing off all your arm hair in the process :)

Allison said...

I love this. My kids will love making their own popcorn. You can buy in bulk and control the ingredients. And you can reuse the bag. No more micrwave popcorn in our house. All I need is a handy dandy stapleless stapler.

Melissa said...

allison, I see you already have your eye on quite the adorable little stapler, don't you? your kids will love this - it's way better than the prepackaged stuff.

Kathryn B. said...

I finally tried your DIY microwave popcorn method. Previously, I did the stovetop method with a regular pot, which works really well for me, and there are almost no duds. The DIY microwave method had more duds and a little scorched clump of popcorn in the middle (probably because it was my first time and I might have left it too long). But it was successful enough that I am adding it to my arsenal of popcorn techniques. Thank you!