I hope everyone's Christmas was a good one, spent with family and friends, or not, if you're not into that kind of thing.
We had a good holiday with this being the first where Logan was really getting it. He'd been telling us for weeks that Santa was going to bring him a big garbage truck, and when he opened the garbage truck he really liked it. That is, until he opened a three-inch plastic train a few minutes later and then that was the toy of the day. Ava got a lot of clothes, and Brandi pretty much picked out her own presents, so she got what she wanted. Makes it easier on me. Brandi spent way too much on me and got me an ipod Touch, saying that I never get anything throughout the year and she wanted to do something special for me. And let me tell you, Adult Swim's Amateur Surgeon Christmas Edition is fun and addicting.
Probably the most notable thing we got for Christmas was popcorn. We like popcorn, and ever since we started popping it on the stove a couple years ago, we've probably only had a handful of microwave popcorn. The microwave stuff smells good but rarely tastes as good as it smells. You're probably thinking 'what's the big deal about getting popcorn for Christmas?' It's not so much that we got popcorn, but the volume of popcorn that we got.
2 lbs of black kernels
2 lbs of black jewel kernels
6 lbs of red kernels
2 lbs of white kernels
50 lbs of what it probably yellow kernels
If you did the math, that's 62 lbs of unpopped popcorn, or nearly twice Logan's body weight in popcorn. The smaller bags came from a couple people, and then Brandi's dad thought it would be funny to get us the 50 lb bag from Sam's Club, which I kept joking about. Then I also got a bottle of gourmet popcorn oil (we make ours on the stove) and four different kinds of seasoning.
All the different kinds of popcorn have their own attributes. The white and yellow, which are the most common kind, have a 44:1 popping ratio and have the regular 'butterfly' shape. They generally don't have a lot of flavor, but are light and tender. The black popcorn, our favorite, pops smaller and has more of a nutty flavor to them. Hot off the stove with a little salt and it can't be beat. The black jewel popcorn doesn't seem to pop as easily, is a little larger than the black, but without the flavor. The black jewel popcorn does have a very satisfying crunch though. The red is similar to the black. It pops a little bigger and has a bit of that nutty flavor to it.
There are other kinds that we haven't tried, but that's probably just a matter of time. There's blue, rainbow (which is just kernels that have been died), mushroom cap (which pops with that rounded shape and is used for carmel corn) and rice popcorn (small rice-sized kernels with a very thin shell). Of those varieties, I'm the most interested in trying the rice popcorn. And there's probably more of a variety that I'm not aware of.
I will sometimes mix colors in the pan so then you get some more flavor and crunchiness variety in the bowl. Most often we just put some popcorn salt on there and eat it that way. Brandi's dad doesn't usually put anything on his. Sometimes we'll put a little butter on there. I like experiementing with different flavors and putting them into the mix in different combinations. A little garlic powder in the oil when popping with give the corn a kind of roasted garlic flavor. Rosemary works particularly well in the oil for adding flavor. Garlic powder, in moderation, after it's popped it quite good.
At peak consumption, the entire family can go through about a pound of kernels a week. Logan's a big fan of popcorn, so we don't ever have to ask him twice if he wants any. We don't go through that much every week, we do get a little tired of it from time to time, so the supply should last us clear to next Christmas. Although I'm sure we'll be stopping at the roadside stands in Wisconsin when we go to The Farm this summer to pick up some more specialty popcorn.
So if you're ever hanging out and want something cruchy to munch on, I'm sure I can whip something up.