Popcorn is my favorite salty snack of all time, mostly because it’s a perfect companion for cuddling up with someone you like to watch a movie. As a kid, I used to love going to the theater, mostly because of the tub of popcorn that I knew awaited me there. It was popped in a strange oil and covered in a yellow “butter” slime that had such a unique flavor that it would later be branded by grocery store popcorn brands as “movie theater popcorn” as they attempted to replicate it. It was gross, to be sure, but the smell and the flavor were synonymous with the cinema and that made it special. These days, however, you’ll find me eating the air popped variety sprayed with extra virgin olive oil. My adult stomach has gone on strike when it comes to fake foods and they tend to make me ill. But the smell still makes me smile with memories of my childhood every time I go to the theater.

In college, my best friend and I would often get together and play cards. The highlight of the evening was bringing out the Jiffy Pop® popcorn. For those unaware, Jiffy Pop is a popcorn that comes in a round foil container with a metal handle that you pop on the stove top. She and I would hold a contest we referred to as a Jiffy Pop Race. We would each stand at the range, our little containers on the burners, and then turn the gas on at precisely the same time. Immediately, we would start shaking our container violently to try to encourage the little kernals inside to start popping. As the suspense continued to build, we’d eventually hear a single pop, followed by others and soon joined by a series of pops expanding into the signature silver foil mushroom cloud. We’d scream as the tiny metal handle threatened to burn our hands off, but we were too focused on winning the race and getting the first fully popped bag to worry about trivial things like that.

The only problem with our little game was that we would end up with more popcorn than we could eat. Sometimes we’d leave the little containers on the stove and just go back to playing cards. But the game was a blast, and never failed to thrill us. She and I tried it again years later and found it was just as fun as it was in college. It’s always nice when memories are as good as you remember them. And the silliest little things are the ones that I remember most. To this day, each time I pass a Jiffy Pop container in the grocery store, my heart races just a bit. I can feel the sheer delight of all the previous races and it’s all I can do to resist grabbing a couple to challenge the next person who walks into my home. But I move on. That was our special time together and one day, the race will be on again, and together, we’ll make new popcorn memories.

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About the Doodlewash

Sennelier L’Aquarelle:  Carmine, Indian Yellow, Burnt Sienna, and Ultramarine Deep. Lamy Safari Al Star pen with Platinum Carbon black ink and second pen with sepia ink in a little red cloth hardbound l’aquarelle journal I found in a Paris shop.
 Day 20 - #WorldWatercolorGroup Popcorn Memories spilling out of red and white striped popcorn bag box
Posted by:Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world!

30 replies on “Popcorn Memories

  1. Charlie, you have the best, memory! its like you take us all back in time in a blink of an eye…. what magic and fun!!! it caused me, to Remember – Jiffy popcorn🙂 great doodlewash, popcorn spilling out – Just waiting for someone to grab it up Yummm. Fun Post Charlie!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. OMG! This is wonderful! Popcorn is my favorite snack/meal too! I eat it in place of a meal quite often actually. Several members of my family think this is my diet staple. They’re not far wrong.🙂 I have an air popper; I don’t add butter, but do use butter spray and seasoning salt.

    I do crave the buttered, salted popcorn served at the theaters from time to time and your painting is what my mind craves! The colors, and perspectives are superb!

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    1. Awww thanks, Deborah! 😃💕 That’s a wonderful compliment coming from a true popcorn fan! hehe Yeah, I love it as well. We found a fabulous olive oil (Bragg Organic EVO) that has a really great flavor so we just use that and a little salt. Probably still not a fully “guilt-free” option, but tastes amazing! hehe I think I’ll be making sure there’s room for some tonight! Yum!

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  3. Oh what memories, I actually had some microwave popcorn last night, my daughter also poped a bag for herself and her boyfriend…..she poped the better bag, according to her, she always does, ‘popcorn queen ‘title she has self acclaimed. Just slightly salty is perfect. I see the supermarkets are full of some amazing flavours lately, but I have never tried them…yet! I still love the memories of your doodlewash, back in the days when new films came out, trip to the cinema the excitement 😀

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    1. Thanks so much, Margriet! 😃💕 yeah, this one is pretty American… hehe… Europe tended to stick to actual food while America delved into the world of “food inventions” instead. Mostly just messed up our diet, but in cases like Jiffy Pop, it was just a lot of added fun!

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  4. Your lovely French notebook must be getting full up, by now. Love the popcorn doodle!
    I’m afraid I’m one of those rare people who don’t like popcorn. I don’t think it’s as popular here in the UK as it is in the States. When I go to the cinema, I can’t stand the smell of popcorn which is everywhere. I prefer crisps or peanuts at home. I never eat things when I go to the cinema, weird, aren’t I?

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  5. Wow, it just looks so popcorny! Awesome job! And this composition is especially fitting, as invariably someone would get overexcited or careless and – whoops! – there it goes! Saying this, I don’t think I ever actually had popcorn in the cinema, much less did I blow my entire bank account at the pick ‘n’ mix stand; we just snuck in with our own sweets… nothing too noisy😉 But there’s no question that popcorn makes whatever you’re watching that little bit better!

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