Back in the Dark Ages when I was a little girl there was no microwave popcorn. There weren't even microwaves (gasp)! Mom actually used to make popcorn on the stove. Here's how, courtesy of the Fannie Farmer Cookbook.
- Put the oil in a 4 quart heavy pot and let it heat over medium heat for 30 seconds.
- Stir in the kernels, turning with a spoon so that they are evenly covered with oil, then spread them in one layer on the bottom of the pot. (I just shake them around a bit).
- Cover the pot, leaving a small space at the edge for escaping steam. As soon as the first kernel pops, move the pot gently and continuously back and forth over medium-high heat until the popping stops.
- Turn into a warm bowl. Toss with melted butter, if desired, and salt to taste.
I've done this before and it is really good. Lately, however, I have been adding butter in with the oil. It browns and adds a nutty and buttery flavor. Since it mixes with the oil it isn't as susceptible to burning as it is by itself but there is definitely still a risk of burnage. So, be extra sure to keep an eye on it! *Note that browning the butter does impart a different flavor than simply melting it.
Now this takes me back to being a little girl! Momma made popcorn like this before a good movie came on TV (the Wizard of Oz was my favorite!). My husband and I make this popcorn on our home "Movie night" too: it's become our tradition. The microwave could NEVER make popcorn this GOOD, and this is much cheaper too! I use canola oil with just a bit of butter for flavor, then just some salt. Thanks for sharing a classic. It's simple recipes like these we need to pass on to the next generation.
Yes this is the way to do it. I use coconut oil, (refined so no coconut flavor)and since this oil is so light, it give the popcorn no oily taste. Movie theaters use coconut oil exclusively and in recent years coconut oil has been redeemed as an actually healthy product. I also skip the lid, and use a splatter screen instead to let all of the steam escape, because a tight fitting lid will yield tougher popcorn, and it seemed that I always got some soggy pieces from my lid catching the steam.