Tuesday, March 20, 2012


     "Hey, Mom, we're outta microwave popcorn!" Lincoln disappointingly shouted from the kitchen this afternoon.  "I really was craving some popcorn."

     "I'm sorry, sweetie.  I might have some regular popcorn in the cabinet somewhere.  Why don't you try to find it?"  I replied as I walked into the kitchen.

     "Regular popcorn?  What's the difference?" he asked.

     My mouth turned up at the question.  Lincoln was born in 1996 so "regular" popcorn really wasn't a term he understood.  "Well, the popcorn kernels come in a clear plastic bag and you have to heat them in oil to make them hot enough to pop," I laughed up at him.  "It's actually cool to watch it sizzle until the first kernel pops!  We used to pop some every Sunday afternoon at your great grandma's."

     Lincoln reached into the cabinet and moved a box of Minute Rice to the left.   Cream of Mushroom soup was the next item to be pushed aside.  There behind the soup sat a bag filled with creamy golden popcorn.  He pulled the bag down onto a counter top the color of a fern frond.

     I quickly retrieved a heavy saucepan from the cabinet under the counter and put it on the stove.  Next I grabbed the canola oil.  I poured in enough to cover the bottom of the pot.  Once that was done, I measured out about a half cup of popcorn and put that in the pot.  I turned the burner on  medium and waited for the kernels to start heating up!  While I worked, Lincoln eagerly watched all the action.  Hissing and bubbling, the popcorn was almost ready to burst.  Finally, the first kernel exploded without warning and Lincoln jumped like a bullfrog hopping into the safety of his pond! I couldn't help it--I giggled at his leap.   I quickly threw the lid on the pot and started to circle the pot around on the burner.

     "Why are you doing that with the pot?"  Lincoln queried.  "It looks weird!"

     "This is the way your great grandma taught me to do it.  It helps the pot heat evenly so none of the popcorn burns while the rest of the kernels pop," I said hastily.  "Hand me a bowl--it's almost done popping." I took the pot off the heat and lifted the lid.  Lincoln's eyes bulged!

     "My gosh! Half a cup makes all that?" he asked in amazement as I poured the fluffy white stuff into the bowl.

     I turned the burner down to low.  "Yep, can you believe that?"  I walked to the fridge, took out a stick of Blue Bonnet, and opened it.  With a butter knife from the drawer, I sliced some off the end of the margarine.  I placed the pot back on the burner and slid the pale yellow chunk into the pot.  As it melted, Lincoln stood looking over my shoulder.

     "It's melted, Mom.  Can I please, please have some popcorn now?"

     Lincoln has a tough time being patient, but I have to admit the smell of the freshly popped corn plus the melting butter had my mouth watering too!

     "Your great grandma used to use a dish pan to hold all the popcorn she would make.  All your uncles and second cousins and your great uncles and aunts and I would eat it about as quickly as it would come off the stove!  This reminds me of those Sundays we all gathered as a family just to visit and talk.  Times are so busy now with everyone going in so many directions all the time, we don't get together like that anymore.  It makes me kinda wish for time to slow down a little like it was when I was your age,"  I said wistfully as I gazed at my fifteen year old.

     With a wisdom that sometimes amazes me, Lincoln put his arm around my shoulders, gave me a squeeze and said, "Mom, if that's what you want, all you've gotta do is make it happen.  You choose."

    He keeps me grounded to what's important.  I love that boy with all my heart!

Lincoln (being a goofball) and me :)




  1. Great slice of life. There is a whole generation that has no idea what real popcorn is - amazing!

  2. What a wise kiddo! It's hard for me to imagine not knowing how to make popcorn that isn't from a bag. I must be getting old. ;)

  3. Stove-popped popcorn IS the best! And not the Jiffy Pop kind. Mmm...yummy.

    Great slice; I liked how you wrote the conversation out, too. I can picture you and your son during this conversation!

    Thanks for sharing!

  4. Great slice. It's hard to imagine that kids don't know you used to cook popcorn on the stove! We also used to cook it over a camp fire with a special pot we had. Love that smell!