Friday, October 28, 2005

Pop popity pop-pop corn

I'm not sure if there is any smell worse in the kitchen then burnt popcorn. Not only does it smell so bad that skunks would run away, it's really hard to breath when the smoke is billowing forth as if the whole kitchen is afire.

So here's the story.

Here in Korea it's been a real trick finding popcorn. Growing up the stuff was a staple food in our house. It's still one of my most favorite snacks, what am I saying, meals. :-) Ok, not really, but close! Anywho, I have gone several months now without this little treasure from heaven and I finally found some again.

Now, the microwave stuff is everywhere but since I don't have a microwave here (I know, how can I live) it does me no good. I don't even have a popcorn popper. I've discovered that one does not need such a modern appliance to enjoy this most wonderful snack. All you need is a cooking pot and a well fitting lid. This I have and viola, say no more.

So, with one of my batches, I got a little carried away and put to many kernels in the pot. Thus, I ended up having several unpopped kernels. What to do you might say? No worries, I'll reuse them. After all, they're almost worth their weight in gold.

Many many years ago, back when I was a kid in 3rd grade, ok, not so many years ago :-P, makes my mom sound old and she wouldn't like that you know, our teacher made this stuff in class called parched popcorn. Wow! We all loved it. Many many many times I've tried to recall exactly how she did it but I cannot remember. So, what better popcorn to use for this experiment than my unpopped volunteers? :-) How nice of them really.

A few nights have gone by, and I'm ready to try this experiment. Into the frying pan go the little troopers (she had used a frying pan), add a little oil, a medium to low flame and I'm in business. Or so I thought. Guess what! Those overly anxious guys started popping and jumping, and well, going every where. Quickly I turned off the heat and scooped what was left into my popping machine.

With the lid securely in place, I went back to what I was doing, cleaning the bedroom/living room. Silly Ken. I often multi task and I do it quite well actually, but before I knew it, there was this terrible smell coming from my kitchen. I ran in there and turned of the heat but to to late. The silly little things had finished popping and then burned to a mushy black almost tar like ball that was just pumping out this horrific dark brown smoke that just sucked the air from my lungs. Then I took the lid off.

Oh, how nasty. My eyes water just thinking about it. I had to run from the kitchen, open all of my one window :-P and run back into the kitchen and open my door and kitchen window. This at least started to air things out. I quickly bagged this tar creature up and set it outside. Cleaning the lid and its accomplice was just about as smelly. What's in that stuff?! I'm beginning to think that popcorn is not such a healthy snack. (ya ya, i know that with the oil and salt used that it's not anyway, but i'm happy in my delusion so we'll leave it there)

Thus ends experiment number one. I shall not give up the quest though. I just need to do a little research that's all. Anyone out there know how to make parched popcorn? You would make the little kid in me very happy if you did. :-)

Speaking of which, my aunt Sharon has a great saying. "Inside of me is a thin person screaming to get out. I can usually shut her up with a few cookies though". :-P

much happy popping,



At 9:36 AM, Blogger Darren B said...

I believe that you discovered how they turn corn into car fuel. They start with innocent popcorn, burn it to create coal, then the crush the coal to make oil, from which they make gasoline.

I have a microwave popcorn bowl that you put ordinary kernels of popcorn into and in 3 minutes you have a steaming hot bowl of plain, dry popcorn (how healthy is that, eh?) I spray a little vegetable oil on, sprinkle some flavoured salt (my favourite is sour cream and chives) and I have a decent, healthy snack.

Viola. lol. Ken, you're hilarious - I love your writing style!

At 10:13 AM, Blogger Al Menezes said...

Quite sad Ken. But alas you are a batchelor. :)

What is Parching Corn?

The word parching is from Old English and means to make dry, the way your throat feels on a hot, dry day. Parching corn means not only to cook the kernels gently until they expand and soften, but in this case, it also refers to the corn varieties best suited to this treatment.

Parching corn is similar to popcorn, in that kernels pop loudly when heated. But these two types are different in almost every other way, including flavor. True parching corns are varieties of flour corns, and their kernels are soft and dry when mature. When heated, they expand only slightly, and the seed coat usually splits. Popcorns are flint corns. Their hard, brittle mature kernels explode furiously when heated, expanding in volume.

Parching corns are much sweeter and more flavorful than popcorn and don't need added oil or salt to enhance their flavor. Their sweetness and flavor develop as you chew, so munch them thoroughly. Finally, you can prepare parching corn easily in a microwave oven, then store it in a sealed container for about four months.

No wonder you couldn't make any....he he he

At 11:49 AM, Anonymous me said...

:-) Thanks for the compliment. I'm glad you like it. I probably shouldn't say this, but at times I crack myself up too. :-)

Thank you so much there Al for the info. I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that before this blog you didn't know squat about parched corn. :-P None the less, I appreciate the info very much. Now I just have to find some parching corn. :-S Just one more thing for me to do when I come back home. :-) Maybe I'll bring some with me when I go back to Sarnia.

You know, Sarnia seems more like home to me now then sw MI does. I really miss you all up there.


At 8:43 AM, Anonymous me said...

Oh ya, Darren, the popcorn bowl, I remember it well. I used it myself. Made good good poppetycorn.

Coal eh? hmmmm, yep, or should I say, shhhhuuuurrrrrr, wink wink.

At 2:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish I had as much time as you guys all do to research these 'wonderful' topics! Maybe I can hire some of you to do my research projects that are driving up the coo-coo wall!

At 9:04 AM, Blogger Al Menezes said...

Time is a commodity that can be bought or sold. If only I could stock pile it for later use.....

Parched corn is a favourite past time of mine. When I was a young lad, back in my old country, we used to walk 50 miles up hill, both ways, in 6 feet of snow, just to pick our own parched corn.....oh wait a minute here! That's my Dads story when he went to school!

At 2:36 PM, Blogger Darren B said...

Speaking of going back to Sarnia... any idea of when? We miss you.

Oh, and one word of advice from my wonderful spouse - the smell of burnt popcorn can be cured by boiling two cups of vinegar. The vinegar smell will be overwhelming for a short time and then will clear, removing the smell of burnt popcorn. She says there's nothing that you can do for the poor pot. :-(

Now I want to try parched corn.

At 1:52 AM, Anonymous me said...

Ah Sally, been there done that, bought the t-shirt, gave it to the Salvation Army. Thanks anyway. :-P

Vinegar, hmm, gonna have to remember that one. Please tell your flufy pillow I said thanks :-D (I don't know if you remember that comment or not.) Good advice.

I'll be coming back to Sarnia in mid February. Not sure on exact dates yet, but Lord willing that's the plan.

At 1:53 AM, Anonymous me said...

I think Al's dad and mine went to the same school!

At 8:52 AM, Blogger Darren B said...

I do remember the pillow comment, and it's not really fluffy, but it _is_ a full-body length pillow.

We'll have to warm up the hot tub and chill a Margarita for you when you get back. Mid-February is a wonderful time for a 104 degree soak.

At 12:13 AM, Blogger mrx65 said...

I'm not sure what to think, I am shocked that you would victimize innocent popcorn like that. The humanity!! :)

A friend of mine had a bad back too and he put a piece of foam on his bed (3-4 inch thick).

At 3:52 AM, Anonymous me said...

Ok, it's time for me to come clean. Yep, I'm guilty. What can I say! I tried but now it's time for the truth to come out.

Darren, I can never remember how to spell Sherry's name. Ahhhhhhh. The curse of the no spellum. As such I have tried to hide this fact behind humor. Yes, my mask is coming off.

I wrote to a very close friend of ours and asked her how Sherry spelled her name. There are a few names that have too many spellings and hers for me is one of them.

Lest it be thought that I am or have been dissing your wife, I thought I should come forth from the shadows of shame and plainly state what I really think.

All seriousness aside, the pillow comment still makes me laugh. :-D But!!! I have much respect for Sherry. I think she is a great partner for you and you for her. I really see her as a P 31 woman.) That's Proverbs 31 for those that don't know.) Honestly, when I think of her and all that she does in your family, I really believe that she is a living example.

You know, there are many women that I know that exemplify this passage as well. You men are really blessed. I'm sure your wives would agree. :-P lol

So to all you P 31 women out there, God Bless you very Much and may the men in your lives treasure you and fill your hearts with love. Please be patient with us, we are after all only men.


At 8:56 AM, Blogger Al Menezes said...

'only men'....? Are we just the 'stupid guys'? Come on, give us a little more credit there Scrockly. We 'are men'. They 'are women'. Dobsons bringing up boys, really opened my eyes to the devaluing of boys/men in todays femanist focused society. Watch the commecials/movies and see how stupid men are, and how smart and strong women are. Lies...all lies....BIG TOPIC for discussion. :)

At 11:24 AM, Anonymous me said...

Sssshhhhhhhh! You're going to blow our cover! If they think we're not quite with it, it makes life a lot easier. If there's one thing I've learned from the older men in my life is the art of the ignore or should I say, selective listening skills.

Ok, in reality, it is a biological thing. Women are more global in their thinking, (both hemispheres of the brain) and when it comes to feelings and other such things, women as a whole are much more gifted than men. That's not to say that men can't or don't develop said abilities, but as a general rule, women have the advantage. Thus my comment.

Thank you for voicing your concerns. I actually thought about it before posting my comments, that someone might say what you said, but I took the risk.

Let's be honest. When it comes to the department of love, men as a whole really fall on their collective faces. I'm very happy to say that you however do not. :-) So, keeping my comment in context, men do fall a bit short.

I hope this clears things up a bit as to what I was saying. I don't think that men are stupid nor should they be degraded, but again, being honest, we do tend to be a bit goofy sometimes relationship wise. Does that make us wrong? No, I don't think so, it just requires some understanding.

Well, I'm going to stop here before I dig a hole to deep to crawl out of.


At 11:47 AM, Blogger Darren B said...

You know, Sherry and I both answer to a lot of names. I get Darryl a lot - she gets Sharon every now and then. We don't really get hung up on it. The only reason I remember how to spell your last name is that Michelle came home from your class one day and said "Ess See Aitch Rock!". It stuck.

I tell Sherry every morning how much I love her. It's usually the first thing out of my mouth and 95% of the time it's the last thing I say to her before she or I leave the house. Twice a year or so I 'let her have it' and list all of the things that I love about her.

I very much know she's a P31 wife and I make sure that she knows I know. Hmmmm, it's been a while - I'll have to do that again soon.
Thanks for the reminder.

On the topic of Men. I agree with both you and Allan. In our natural, unrefined state I think we are a lot like you describe, Ken. However, self-awareness and expression can be learned if you have a patient teacher.
In other respects I fully agree with Al -- God has created us uniquely with the ability to focus, make decisions and act (one of the benefits of NOT having both halves of our brains chattering away at each other all the time). That gives us an amazing ability to lead (not that women can't or don't yada, yada, but men *do* have a biological advantage here).

It also helps to have an understanding partner. A _long_ time ago, Sherry and I agreed not to use 'hints' or subtlety to try and communicate with each other. Neither of us are mind readers and if I need a hug or she needs flowers, then we simply ask straight out to have our needs met.
(You'd be surprised how hard it is to ask for a hug if you're not used to that!)

So, having said all that, I didn't even notice that you avoided using Sherry's name in print for fear of spelling it wrong.

I'm not a mind reader.

At 12:35 PM, Blogger Al Menezes said...

It is an issue that I knew you were aware of, I just wanted to stir the pot.

BTW did you notice my mispelling...'Scrockly'

At 2:26 AM, Anonymous me said...

LOL, I love u guys. No, I didn't even catch the spelling rib poke. 8-P lol

I think we all are in agreement with the men giftings and women giftings. :-) That's pretty cool there Dare the way you let your wife have it. Very nifty idea. If I'm ever so blessed to have a wife partner I think I'll use it. Thanks.

Asking for a hug, good idea. The no subtleties idea would solve a lot of marital problems I think. The old classic, "Well if you don't know what's wrong I'm not going to tell you" thing to me as a guy is so absurd. But alas...

I was thinking about it all again this morning. I really am blessed to know so many P 31 women and E 6 men (Eph. 6). So many young people that I talk to have never seen a healthy relationship. In-fact, they don't believe that such a thing exists. Many many young people that I talk to say they are never getting married. They will just live with the person because marriage is so bad. Very very sad. I wonder where the get the idea that living together is any better than marriage (TV no doubt). When I tell them that I can name 10 couples off the top of my head that have great marriages they can't believe it. I also tell them that even these couples have their moments but that's all part of a healthy relationship. Growing and stretching don't you know.

So, Al and Dare, thank you both, as well as many many others of you out there, you know who you are I hope, for being a light for Jesus in your relationship with your partner otherwise known as your blessing. :-) I'm really blessed to see and know of so many good relationships. I've learned a great deal from all of you. Thanks.



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