Popcorn night was a family tradition for me growing up. Every Sunday night, we would make a big bowl of popcorn plus a variety platter of fruits and cheeses. That was dinner and we would sit together on the floor in front of the TV watching the Muppet Show. Later, when that went off the air, we rented movies. But the classic popcorn night for me will always include Pigs in Space, the Swedish Chef, and that “we’ve got crab legs” jingle during commercials. It’s a wonderful memory, so I’ve continued the tradition with my own spin: less frequency but more “grown up” nibbles.
The “fruit and cheese” portion of the meal can be anything you want for munchies on the side – nuts, veggies, marinated olives, etc.
I also plus-up my popcorn with olive oil, garlic salt and thyme instead of butter and salt. It’s healthier (vegan, if that’s important to you) and more fun. I love it with nutritional yeast instead of thyme for a cheddar-like flavor, but that’s not as popular with other members in my household.
My parents have an air popper, but I never got one. Instead, I use my big stock pot over medium heat on the stove. Works great and there’s one less small appliance in my cupboards.
- 1 cup popcorn kernels
- 2 tbsp grape seed oil
- .5 cups olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 1 tsp dried thyme OR 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- Heat the kernels over medium in grape seed oil on the stove. After a few minutes they’ll start popping. Listen for the popping to slow down until it’s almost stopped and remove from heat.
- Immediately transfer to a large bowl and cool the stock pot under cold water.
- In batches, add the popcorn back into pot.
- Top with olive oil, garlic salt and dried thyme/nutritional yeast.
- Shake vigorously with the lid on so all the popcorn is evenly seasoned.