Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Why Popcorn?

Going on ten posts on this blog now and have not paid adequate homage to "Popcorn" which in this blog's title suggest I should, hate dishonesty in advertising!
Popcorn and movies goes together like...popcorn and movies. For me personally it started laying on my grandparents wood floors, gaurded by the cold next to their rock fireplace and on top of large braid rugs, that my grandma could still point out my uncles little cotton T shirts from the 50's woven in to,  watching Sunday TV- shows like Rawhide, Mutual of Omaha 's Wild Kingdom and the Wonderful World of Disney. My grandpa loved popcorn- and it has always been an acceptable Sunday evening dinner in my family, popped by hand on top of the stove in an old fashioned popper you have to stand over  the burner to turn the internal paddle that keeps the kernels moving across the hot pan.
Where to start with popcorn- its history or my family history with it- I think I will start on a personal note. My grandpa was a farmers in Minnesota, before the doctors told him he should go West due to his health. That was when my mother was in High School, so by the time I came along we were entrenched in living in Colorado, but returned to the farms of Freeborn County often to visit. Going East- in the 70's, we took Coors beer and 501 Levis - two things unattainable and much desired by our relatives- and coming home we brought  back popcorn- popcorn grown on my families own land.

Popcorn cobs are small and hard- sometimes we could get it already off the husks and sometime we had to do that part ourselves, twisting it in our hands protected by leather gloves letting the kernels fall into big brown paper bags.
As each great niece or nephew graduated from High School, my great Uncle Edmond would gift us with a full brown grocery bag of popcorn, mine lasted until sometime in my Sophomore year- generously sharing the small but unbelievably nutty fluffiness with my friends and roommates and trying to recruit them to the joy of my favorite Sunday dinner.
My great uncle is gone, and no one else still grows the popcorn- and the shelves at the grocery store are shrinking the choices of unpopped kernels and replacing them with nine billion varieties of microwave bags, which by the way my Navajo students loved to rip apart after the popcorn was gone and suck the last bit of whatever the butter substitute was that the paper was satrated with- but that is another blog-
Luckily there is still Orval Redenbacher- pretty descent and looking out my upstairs window where I sit on my bed- I can see the red dirt of Yellowjack and Cahone and further to the north is Dovecreek- where dryland farming - meaning no irrigating- beans, sunflowers and yes popcorn is still grown and I can buy popcorn that is not as good as that of my uncles, but at least hints at the nutty goodness I remember- If Adobe Milling ever stops growing popcorn, I will just have to pick up the family tradition of growing our own in my own backyard- hummmmm- might do that anyway!

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