The late night noms: how popcorn changed my life

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Cinnamon toast popcorn recipe from Bijoux & Bits

We all know the routine. You somehow managed to feed yourself a decent meal at a decent time, but that was hours ago and now it’s dark and you’re watching something on Hulu and the gaping maw opens inside you and YOU ARE STARVING FOR SNACKS. Growing up, my macrobiotic uber-healthy hippie parents would turn to a bowl of granola and raisins, which they called “The Goddess,” based on some sort of idealized imagery of grains and honey and milk being offered as a divine offering to The Goddess etc etc etc.

As for myself, my late night snacks always leaned towards the darkest sides of stoner food: quesadillas, cracker dipped in cream cheese, during more desperate moments, cheese melted on a plate scraped off with my own fingernails. On a whim last winter, I bought my husband a gift: a Whirlypop, which is a stovetop popcorn popper.

whirlypopYOU GUYS. Suddenly my late-night eating went from grease-laden plates full of regret and tomorrow morning’s diarrhea to an enormous bowl of HIGH FIBER AIR. My husband has always been like, “oh yeah popcorn, whatever” about this gift, but I would estimate that three forths of my winter evenings now involve me at the stove, turning the crank of the Whirlypop, obsessing over just the right timing so that the butter is coming out of the microwave at the exact same time as I’m pouring the popcorn into my enormous wooden salad bowl that I use exclusively for popcorn popping. It’s a major obsession, and the fact that it’s reasonable healthy (whole food! fiber! only as much oil and/or butter as I choose to add!) and dirt cheap (I buy it in bulk and it’s like a 35 cent snack) has totally changed my winter times.

I know, I know: we’ve totally written about popcorn before but seriously you guys: the fucking Whirlypop. It’s the best gift I ever bought for someone else, EVER.

Comments on The late night noms: how popcorn changed my life

  1. Whirly-pops have been in my life for as long as I can remember — so long that I always just referred to it as “the popcorn maker” and didn’t find out until recently that it had a trademark name and was something that you could buy in stores and wasn’t, like, something that only existed in my house. Ah, the weird logical errors of youth that you never got corrected until your early 20’s. My parents ended up with three of the dang things (long story) and gifted me the oldest one to use in my college apartment. I was apprehensive at first (“I’m gonna burn everything. Only my dad can do this!”), but I popped nearly ever kernel perfectly the very first time I used it, and it tastes amazing with popcorn salt.

  2. I love my whirly pop! I use vegan butter and add it, some coconut oil and salt into the pot, then the popcorn. It all melts together and gets tossed around and distributed. You get the butter flavor without the sogginess of melted poured butter, which has never been my preference. I also use it to make kettle corn. Just coconut oil, a little salt, 3 tbsp sugar, 1/2 cup kernels and make sure to stir a little faster than normal. It’s amazing.

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