Many a night, he dreams he is sitting in the old Avenue Theatre in downtown DuBois enjoying a movie. Surprisingly, he awakes smelling the wonderful aroma of fresh made popcorn while missing Claire beside him. He sneaks downstairs to find her crunching and munching. With the Queen of Corn’s latest advice, he may find Claire right in bed lunching away.
Julie recommends perfecting the snack food with the following steps. First find a heavy duty pan with a loose fitting lid (cast iron or stainless steel work well– Teflon gives toxic fumes). Heat oil (we like to use organic coconut oil) and put in one kernel. Allow it to pop and then add the rest of the uncooked popcorn. Monitor your heat – high in the beginning and gradually turn it completely off until you have a pan full. Julie explains that the moisture escapes during cooking and gives a tasty, crispy result with very few “Old Maids.”
Walker takes it from there; he suggests melting herb butter (chives, garlic and winter savory) in the popping pan, pouring the popcorn on top of the butter, and finally sprinkling sea salt and nutritional yeast as the perfecting ingredients. Rusty shies away from popcorn, not because he is watching his girlish figure (he does that while Claire is in the kitchen). Actually he finds the snack caught between the spaces in his teeth making consumption uncomfortable.
Another reason, he nearly burned the house down, so his family keeps him away from popcorn production. Way back when we had a microwave oven, he took a reddish-purple ear grown by Claire’s dad and attempted to pop the whole thing. He didn’t obtain Julie’s results; instead, the ear burned, never popped, and poured black acrid smoke into the kitchen. In attempting to remove the fire hazard from the microwave, Rusty dropped it on the linoleum floor leaving a remnant of that close call.
Since the Avenue Theatre and microwave are no longer with us, we gratefully depend on the Queen of Corn’s popcorn preparation protocol-- knowing it is here to stay for the next millennium.