Some select people (Matt and Ray) will realize the humour behind this recipe because they experienced the tragic and horrifying event with me.  For the rest of you, I shall humble myself enough to share the story with you.

As I’ve said elsewhere, my parents didn’t permit me to cook much at all growing up.  My work in the kitchen was limited to mundane tasks like prep and clean up.  I was peeling carrots once and sliced the skin from my finger and had that task taken away.  Another time my mom asked me to turn on the stove burner and I checked that it was on with my bare hand, resulting in second degree burns on my palm that lasted for months.  So one Halloween my parents were going to a neighbourhood block party and shocked me by saying if I wanted to make popcorn for myself in their absense – I could.  Did I know how?  Not wanting to miss the opportunity, I quickly said that I knew how.  But I didn’t.  I knew that my grandmother made popcorn by pouring oil into a pan and I knew that my parents used a bright yellow and white machine called an air popper to make popcorn.  How hard could it be?

I set about by plugging in the unit and then pouring half a cup of vegetable oil into the hole at the top.  I then added a cup of popcorn kernels and I sat examining my work for a bit.  I then called my dear friend Matt and asked him how to make popcorn.  I explained what I had done thus far and the phone exploded with laughter.  He told me to try to get the oil out, you know because it was an air popper.  I turned the unit upside down and found my dad’s plus sign screw driver and sat about the task of unscrewing the machine’s base.  Should I unplug it first I asked Matt, who then promptly hung up on me and abandoned me in my hour of need.

I finally wound up calling our neighbour Ray and he and my mother snuck away from the party to come back to the house and examine the damage.  They worked at draining the oil and avoiding laughing, somehow.  They finally made me a batch of popcorn and then promised to never speak of it again and certainly not to my father.  I later learned they had a race to see who could make it back to the party quickest to tell him.  The story made the rounds through my family members and ten years later at the passing of my grandmother, someone thought it would be funny to give me her air popper.

So for those who thought this day would never come, I shall now make popcorn!


3 Tablespoons butter

1 Tablespoon iodized salt

1 cup kernels


  • Place butter and salt into a large skillet over medium high heat and allow butter to melt.
  • Add in kernels and cover skillet.
  • Reduce heat after about five minutes, or when popping has subsided.
  • Remove the lid carefully as kernels may still pop after heat is removed.
  • Serve.


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