Stories of Food, Food as Story
I Smell Popcorn
"I stood at the top of the stairs as I inhaled and said; 'I smell popcorn' in my seven year old tiny voice. I was tucked in bed yet woke to my favorite scent. Dad was making himself a bowl of buttery popcorn and my nose got a whiff and I was ready."
I stood at the top of the stairs as I inhaled and said; “I smell popcorn” in my seven year old tiny voice. I was tucked in bed yet woke to my favorite scent. Dad was making himself a bowl of buttery popcorn and my nose got a whiff and I was ready.
To this day, I have a strong attachment to popcorn and my childhood. Probably my fondest memory is our summer Sundays, after church, Mom would cook up a huge lunch with chicken, potato salad, fruit salad and rolls and we’d get our swimsuits on. The four of us kids loved this Sunday outing, which became a ritual during our Long Island summers with our little motor boat, named the Brigadoon. After a delightful day of swimming and building sand castles and jumping off sand dunes and eating, we’d head home, our fair cheeks pink with sunburn and our hair a shade lighter. We four would clean up in a bath and get into our pajamas and line up on the couch ready for the Walt Disney show, which, back then, was fantastic. This is about fifty-five years ago and it was before Disney movies.
Dad’s trademark food item was a giant blue metal bowl of buttery, salty popcorn along with his thick chocolate milkshakes. This was our dinner and I thought we were the luckiest family in the world! We each had a small basket lined with a paper napkin. Dad would fill each basket. This is popcorn cooked in a pan with oil, and a lid, and I can still hear the “ping ping” of each kernel banging against the lid. It made the best popcorn and no air popper today can compete. Some old fashioned methods are truly better, even if they take more time.
I went to bed with a smile on my face on those magical Sundays, with a tummy full of popcorn. I continued the tradition, minus the boat, and minus the milkshake, with my own two daughters and to this day, all of us continue to love popcorn, only we skip the salt and use nutritional yeast instead. It is still yummy and still connected to fond childhood memories, whatever they may be for each of us.
-Maggie Post, Winter Cohort 2023