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.
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.