How to make popcorn

I do adore an occasional buttery, salty bowl of popcorn. You know, the microwaveable kind that is quick and easy and buttery and salty and oh, so tasty. But sometimes, a simpler, healthier popcorn tastes just as good. I don't have a fancy air popper, or whatever contraption people use to pop popcorn nowadays.

My non-fancy, simple popcorn-making method is super slick, and healthier than the microwaveable version. And it doesn't require a lick of butter or salt. It tastes great right out of the pan.

Pour 3 tablespoons of vegetable or olive oil and 1/3 cup unpopped popcorn into a heavy, 3-quart or larger pan with a lid.

Cover the pan and shake gently over medium-high heat to allow steam to escape from the kernels.

This is my favorite part. I eagerly anticipate the popping of that first unsuspecting kernel. And once it pops, the frenzy begins! Popcorn shoots everywhere within the pan's confines, pinging and zipping about. I imagine what fun it would be to remove the lid and unleash those darting kernels of popcorn into the world. It would rain popcorn! We could stand nearby and open our mouths to the sky, hopeful that a kernel or two would unite with our salivating tongues, while Chariots of Fire played in the background.

Oops, back to reality. Sooo. Yeah.

The entire shaking/popping process takes less than five minutes. When the popping slows way down and when you can count more than two seconds in between pops, remove the pan from the heat. Carefully pour popcorn into a large bowl.

Popcorn is like rice in the sense that I always look at it unpopped (or in rice's case, uncooked) and think that there is absolutely no way that little amount could make enough to fill a bowl! But it does. 1/3 cup of unpopped popcorn fills a large bowl that we usually eat from for a couple of days.

Now, tuck your freshly popped popcorn into your lap as you sit down to watch a scary movie!