“Of course life is bizarre, the more bizarre it gets, the more interesting it is. The only way to approach it is to make yourself some popcorn and enjoy the show.”

Yellow and purple crocus are almost blooming in the garden. I now believe in spring.

Snow is still on the deck, but I could get to the bird feeders for the time in months. I am so happy to feed the birds again and will welcome their return. I just hope the red spawn has forgotten about me as it hasn’t been around since the seeds disappeared. Maybe he found better offerings elsewhere. With the snow nearly gone, I have a few outside chores to do. I have a metal holder for string and lint and yarn which hangs from the tree. The birds grab the construction material to help with building their nests. That has to go up yet. The lights on the backyard trees go on and off at weird times because the electricity died for a few hours this winter and I could never get to the timer to reset the clock. That I’ll do today. These are fun chores, spring chores, snowless chores.

My father used to make us popcorn. He always used the big pot with the lid. First some oil and a kernel or two were put into the pot. When the kernels popped, my father knew the oil was hot enough for the rest of the popcorn. He’d put in the rest of the kernels then hold the cover on the pot and then keep moving the pot in a circle on the stove so the bottom kernels wouldn’t burn. We always stayed to watch. It took a while, but then we’re hear the popped corn hitting the cover. More and more popping sounds meant all the corn was popping. When it came down to only a few pops, it was time to take the pot off the stove. Melted butter was always added to the bowl of popcorn then my dad would scoop the buttered popcorn into four bowls, one for each of us, so we wouldn’t fight over the big bowl.

The sound of corn hitting the lid with a pop, pop over and over and the smell of popping corn are permanently etched in my memory drawers. Even now when I smell corn popping, the image of my dad at the stove immediately comes to mind, and I can see him clearly standing at that stove just a bit bent over swirling the pot.

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20 Comments on ““Of course life is bizarre, the more bizarre it gets, the more interesting it is. The only way to approach it is to make yourself some popcorn and enjoy the show.””

  1. Bob Says:

    My mother always made the popcorn in our family using the heavy metal pot method that your father used. My mother never tested the oil she just threw in the kernels and began shaking. Soon my mother bought the Jiffy Pop aluminum foil pans with the wire handle which made the popping chore easier. I loved watching the foil unfold as the popcorn grew into a round aluminum ball that we tore apart to get to the popped kernals.

    Do you still have one of those 1980s air poppers? They were popular during the low fat craze as an easy healthy snack. Unfortunately, the carbs in the popcorn led to larger waistlines because fat isn’t the culprit of obesity. I always coated mine with melted butter which killed any health benefits. The microwave oven has made air poppers obsolete. The dedicated popcorn button on the microwave oven should go down in history along with the light bulb and air conditioning as a marvel of modern life. Today folks put all kind of flavors on popcorn such as chili powder or garlic powder. I’m a traditionalist and go for melted butter, or cheese, or caramel. I love sweet or greasy.

    Today we have clear skies and temperatures in the lower 80s.

  2. olof1 Says:

    Much the same memories about popcorn but it’s my mother popping them in just the same way 🙂 We use the native american name for corn here (just spelling ut different, majs) and I don’t think anyone really understood the name popcorn, so we say that we are popping popcorn 🙂 I’m not even sure if kids today understand that popcorn comes from majs 🙂 I almost like the smnell of popping corn better than the popcorn itself 🙂

    The days started rather dull but the wind died out and the rain became drizzle that stopped and suddenly just an hour ago the sun broke through, I guess the night will be cold if it stays clear.

    I’ve tried to give the birds dog fur but they never take it, I wonder why because so many people say that it doesn’t last for long when they’re doing it. Perhaps I should get me something like what You have, they might like that better.

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      It is the smell of popping corn which I meant. It is such an easy smell to identify. IN the town where I lived, there was a place which made candy, and when they popped corn, you could smell it all over the town square.

      Today was sunny but chilly. I went to the dump, and it was filled. I deliberately went late hoping it would be quiet-it wasn’t. I had to wait for a spot at the recycle bins.

      Lint and yarn are good to help hold the sticks together. You could probably make the holder. It is heavy wire with big enough openings for the birds to get the material and it has a removable bottom so you can put the nest material inside.

      I hope your evening is a good one.

    • Caryn Says:

      Christer, the English sparrows love Rocky’s fur. They wait nearby while I’m combing it out and chase the furry bits as the blow around the yard.

  3. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    My mother did the popcorn until we were old enough to do it ourselves. It was fun holding down the lid while the furious popping was happening. Of course we would lift the lid when the popping got slow (but not quite slow enough) just so we could watch popcorn jump out of the pan and all over the stove. I love the sound of popcorn popped in a big pan. Pop, ping, pop, pop, ping. Lovely. 🙂

    Eventually we went to Jiffy pop which always fascinated me. The ballooning aluminum sphere was cool. Next I got a machine with Lexan popping cover, a space age material, and a butter melting well in the top. All automatic. Popcorn tasted awful. Finally, there was the microwave. Faster. Popcorn still tasted awful.
    The strongest memory of my former workstation is of the smell of burnt popcorn. I worked near the cafeteria and every afternoon someone would deliberately burn her microwave popcorn because that’s how she liked it. And the rest of us would have to smell it for the remainder of the day.

    I have two flowers now. Others are getting ready to bloom but I forget what they are. They’re all quite close to the house which is why there is no snow. I still can’t get to anything farther out in the yard.

    Sunny and getting a little warmer up here.
    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      It is a lovely sound as the kernels pop and hit the top of the pan. We’d try to catch them in mid-air though we never cared if they hit the floor because we’d eat them anyway

      I totally agree bout Jiffy Pop. Watching it swell was the best part of using it. I found a microwave corn which tastes good, but I don’t know the name. I have to look at the package. Burnt popcorn is the worst, and it hangs around forever in the air.

      I am amazed that I have 4 or 5 flowers already, including the snowdrops and some caucus. They are in the front of the house which gets the morning sun.

      Sunny but chilly here though it was good dump weather.

      Have a great evening!

  4. Birgit Says:

    Must be spring, the first mosquitoes are back and hungry. One of them had a festive dinner in my room last night.
    I don’t think that we’ll have a blackbird nest right next to our house this year because a neighborhood cat discovered that our windowsill is a nice sheltered place to sleep and sunbath. No sun today, just rain all day long.

    • katry Says:

      Birgit,
      I hate the blighters. I remember my dad chasing them with a rolled up newspaper when I was a kid. I seldom have any in the house, and I am lucky as the deck is so high there are only a few. I have one friend who is the only one who complains about being bitten. None of the rest of us are swatting the air but she always is.

      Your rain was our yesterday. Today we have your sun.

  5. Hedley Says:

    Sparty.

    • katry Says:

      Okay, My Dear Hedley, why Sparty?

      • Hedley Says:

        That would be Final Four, Michigan State University.

        You missed a classic tune today …. “Popcorn” by “Hot Butter”. A gigantic and tedious hit in 1972 all over the friggin place…

        Meanwhile back in the land of Sparty, they put their opponents on the bus back to Louisville and now wait for the winner of Duke and Gonzaga

      • katry Says:

        MDH,
        I know who Sparky is but i couldn’t figure out how it fit. Now I’m having an aha moment.

        I didn’t miss it, just didn’t choose it. I listened and decided it wasn’t to my liking.

        Waiting time is horrible.

      • Hedley Says:

        Sparky had a magic piano…”sparky, oh sparky it is I, your piano”

      • katry Says:

        Enjoy:

      • Hedley Says:

        Here is the “real” Sparky’s Magic Piano – Hello Children everywhere

      • katry Says:

        Thanks, MDH

        I saw that one too but didn’t know which to choose.

  6. t gibons Says:

    Kat,

    I’m going with “of course life is bizarre.The more bizarre it gets, the more interesting it is.” Who needs popcorn to enhance that interest?

    Your thoughts of your Dad And Mom popping that popcorn are exquisite. My memories are very similar. And from reading the comments—you hit a chord with a lot of folks. It seems each of us can smell and hear and see that lidded pot/jiffy popper/air popper/melting butter in our old childhood kitchens.

    Coffee is a great place for folks to connect. Thanx.

    • katry Says:

      t,
      As with watching movies, popcorn enhances the experience.

      I am continually amazed by how similar all our lives have been thanks to our our parents’ generation who also grew up around their same times and passed along what they knew. I think each generation adds its own touch and that too gets passed and becomes a comforting memory.

      You are welcome, but I also thank you for what you all share to me.

  7. Jay Bird Says:

    Sadly, popcorn at the movies is now prohibitive. They’ve got the $8 small, the $15 large, and an XL tub without a price. Like a yacht, if you have to ask, you shouldn’t be looking. Occasionally, Hoyt’s sends a $2 small popcorn coupon, which always drags me to the movies. I don’t recall my parents ever cooking popcorn; maybe Jiffy-Pop.

    Tonight I just watched University of Connecticut pummel Dayton at the NCAA women’s tournament here in Albany. On to the Final Four!! UConn women’s hoops is an iconic program in American sports, Two-time defending national champions; 36-1 this year. Glad to finally see them live.

    • katry Says:

      Jay,
      I sneak in popcorn, but I do buy a drink. Sometimes I also buy candy ahead of time. Going to see a movie is expensive enough even in the afternoon. I have the perfect sneak in popcorn bag.

      I haven’t watched any basketball though I do like the sport. Mostly I’ve been reading or watching movies.

      Upon women I know all about.


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