The topic of older technology comes up in our house once in a while. That usually leads to my daughter laughing.
But one thing from a bygone era which does not result in chuckling is the many ways you can make popcorn.
One of our family traditions revolves around making popcorn when we settle in to watch a movie. These nights have increased in frequency lately as we have decided to introduce our tween to some classic films from the 1980s.
Usually, the snack preparation for movie night involved my daughter tossing a bag of popcorn into the microwave, filling up a few baskets, and then taking the one with the most popcorn for herself.
Things changed one night recently when I had other plans on movie night. For some reason, they decided to eschew modern popping technology and make popcorn on the stove. I guess the possibility of tastier popcorn overrode the desire to mock the past.
That led to a discussion about making popcorn when my wife and I were growing up. I said I didn’t really remember stovetop popcorn that much, but I did remember the magic of the air popper. Before I knew it, my wife went down to the basement and brought up the air popper she took to college.
Actually, that does not give the moment the justice it deserves. To say she brought up the popper she brought to college evokes a vision of a lone piece of old machinery sitting in our basement. Oh, no, that couldn’t be the case.
She brought up the popper in the box it came in more than 25 years ago. By the way, her sister bought the item on sale at Jamesway. We know that because her sister, like always, left the tag on the box. And it has stayed there ever since.
We marveled at the simplicity of the design as we removed the popper from the box. The yellow plastic top simply screamed mid-1980s. But we found something even more fascinating than that. The manual only came in one language.
Now I’m no xenophobe so I have no problem with instruction manuals in multiple languages. It just served as a marker of the times when a fairly extensive manual – and why they needed more than a few pages is beyond me – could come in just one language.
But my wife didn’t bring the item up from the basement just so we could laugh at it. We also wanted to laugh at how cool it was to see popcorn begin to shoot out of the top. I always loved that part of the air popper.
So we loaded it up and waited for the fun to happen. The first batch went by without a hitch, but the second one brought one of those great “Oh, no, grab another basket because the popcorn is coming out so fast” moments that only an air popper can provide.
We all survived and really enjoyed our popcorn, which we topped with real melted butter to make the night even more special.
Now I just need to see if I can find that Jiffy Pop stuff to cook on the stove. Now that will be a blast from the past.