fashion, popcorn

When you think of Summer do you think of popcorn?

Drive-Ins, Summer movie dates, pool parties..

It’s not the first thing, mind you, but I think of it.

Oh, let’s be real, I think of popcorn just as much in the winter.  I’m a complete kernel fiend but it was a so-so (desperate) segue into the post.

BTW, Do you think it’s easy to find a photo combining fashion with popcorn?!  NUH-UH Girlfriend.  Was so excited when I snapped the above window in NY!

But  I’m thinking about popcorn pretty much every day, now that I’m on my gluten-free trial period (I hate the word DIET).

In fact it was one of the very first things I looked up before deciding whether or not this G-F choice would even be doable for me.

Because It’s absolutely, positively, your chances are zero, IMPOSSIBLE to get me to go to the movies and not eat popcorn.

If I’ve been to Bouchon for lunch and The French Laundry for dinner and you say let’s go to the movies I will at least get a medium, butter 1/2 way down.

No Sharesies.

Butter 1:2 way down trick

Here’s an insider’s trick for the cinema: establish two straws at different levels of the bag and shoot the “butter” down the straws.

Don’t judge.


24 carat good news?



Now I know there are a million & one different ways to doctor popcorn. Whether you like it sweet or savoury, the possibilities are truly endless.

Basically, when it was suggested to God He create the perfect vehicle to deliver every possible flavour, He created popcorn.

I like both sweet & savoury, though I’m partial to salty for sure.

When I first moved to London, not all theatres even sold popcorn and if they did it was only sugared, which horrified me, but after my boyfriend put an end to bringing my own (spoilsport) I grew to sort of like the sweet stuff. Amazing how the human body adapts under pressure.


But enough about ancient history and uptight old beaus who care about car smells.

I have this great tip for popping corn that I’d like to share with you.

popcorn maker

First, I would highly recommend dumping your microwave popcorn. I hear it’s very unhealthy and possibly linked to Alzheimer’s disease. Just saying. I certainly have no idea if this is a valid accusation, but what I do know to be true is that freshly popped corn is way more delicious and only takes a few minutes extra to make, so why not make the switch?

Another benefit to popping stove top style is you may choose healthier oils such as olive, or coconut, for example. Who knows what Redenbacher really puts in that reservoir of goo at the bottom of the bag?

Pre-popped popcorn stores really well for at least a week. Make it when you have time, store in the same type of container you would keep cereal in and add the fixins’ when the movie starts.

Which is how we get to the popping tip below…

We were staying with dear old friends in Lake Tahoe earlier this year and I commented on how incredibly good their popcorn was (as we were watching an incredibly bad movie)

I was digging for every last ‘Old Maid’ (what’s your euphemism for un-popped kernels? I admit my old British one is so politically incorrect :-()

My friend said it was all in their friend Khalil’s “Top Secret Tip” which she gave me permission to share here;


Slow  roast  the  kernels  first!!!

I know. omg. Shhhhhh. Promise not to tell any other blogs…especially that Pioneer Lady.

popcorn tricksWhat looks tastier-These?

slow roast popcornOr these?

So, the secret’s out of the bag. Do with it what you will.

It does take some time and yes, skills to achieve just the right deep golden colour before cranking the heat up and commencing a popping.

On my stove it takes about 15-20 minutes but it is old and the gas control is either “Rainy Campfire on Survivor!” or “Industrial Kitchen Bake Off”

Don’t be too hard on yourself if you have one or two “Incidents”

Who amongst us hasn’t thrown a ‘seriously burnt popcorn’ microwave away?? (our score is 2)


I’m thinking of spreading a bag of kernels on an oiled cookie sheet and slow roasting them in the oven, as I do with steel cut oatmeal, to see if I get the same results.

Popcorn kernels may also be pre-toasted and saved to pop later, but I’ve found they don’t save for very long, maybe 3 or 4 days.

Then for some reason, husbands can’t get them to pop anymore and they burn.

They burn badly.

And your “Ray Donovan” Sunday evening viewing will be scarred.

As if you’re not being scarred enough just watching that show.

Truffle sea salt

A few of my personal fav’s; “Olive Oil & Sea Salt” butter from “Land O’ Lakes” (new, at least to me) , ghee, celery salt, Sriracha, Old Bay Seasoning, parmesan cheese, truffle salt…you know the drill.

stove top popcorn maker

I totally love the popcorn maker I asked for last Christmas after reading about the perils of micro-waved popcorn.

I’ve never looked back.

Screen Shot 2013-06-17 at 12.36.46 PM


Charlotte Olympia leather bag.

Thanks to L & E & especially Khalil!



Ciao Orville Baby. It was fun while it lasted.




  1. I absolutely love popcorn. I had no idea microwaved popcorn was a health hazard. I’ve put the stove top popcorn popper on my wish list. Thanks for the tip on slow roasting the kernels first.

  2. Yes, no one but Slim could make the segue from popcorn to purse in one fell swoop!
    We eat a LOT of popcorn and I make ours at home and bring it to the show in…what we call…my popcorn purse! 2 gallon size, ziplock bags with Red Rooster popcorn and 2 waters fit perfectly, zipper on top of the contraband and we’re in! We ‘pop’ ours in a pot like yours in olive oil. (little does the Mr. know, there is salt, too) Tomorrow, I will go with coconut oil and roasting. Sounds Yummy.
    Doing gluten-free, too, started this week on a dr. suggestion.

  3. Unless you have coeliac disease the salt added to your popcorn will be worse for your health than the lack of gluten! I use a $15 electric pop corn popper (which I have had for about 15 years) which requires no added fat at all. Quick and healthy snack all around.

    • Cuisinart makes a small compact popcorn popper…no oil…Salt and add a little drizzle of butter. I have started not adding the husband must have a little butter. Am to try the Land of Lakes butter/olive oil on..that is a great product for cooking chicken or fish in a sauté pan.
      lynn ziglar

  4. A few weeks ago I posted about homemade popcorn. If you like a bit of spice, cook the kernels in chili olive oil. Sooo good. I, too, add a smidgen of truffle salt. Oh, and sometimes I cook the kernels in a combo of chili olive oil and vanilla bean olive oil–then spray with Trader Joe’s coconut oil and salt away.

  5. Slim, ( hope it’s okay to be that familiar ), you are hilarious!! Who knew a blog about popcorn could be so entertaining ! From now on, you rank up there with Gail Collins and Bill Bryson, for fun reading!
    Thanks! Sally Leonard ( a fan from Texas )

  6. OK, we’ll one of my fave questions at a dinner party is, “If you were stranded on a desert island, & had only one food to choose, what would it be?” (No cheaties with a multi level food group – more fun & thought provoking to rule on just one type of food.) Well, mine has always been CORN as you can do so many darn good things with it – raw, roasted, boiled, steamed, creamed, make tortillas & bread, etc etc – but beyond all – popped! Thanks for a most enjoyable post, as usual, fun, entertaining & educational (2 straws!) . Only wish our summer movie fare was as good as this blog……

  7. So many different ways to do the popcorn now. For something sweet, try the coconut oil with the Trader Joes “cinnamon/sugar” grinder. You can find it in the spice area.

  8. I heard the same rumors about micro popcorn. I stopped buying it about 4 years ago simply because I didn’t have a micro. Lately I’ve been popping it on the stove top in a fry pan and it’s turned out perfect! It takes me back to childhood. Great post, Slim. I will try your recipe next time.

    • Woo Hoo! We are microwave free too – nearly 6 years.

      We pop in the largest heavy saucepan with a lid (held up a bit to let out the steam). No stirring or shaking. I may try to roast the kernels first. Truffle Butter, or naked. 🙂

  9. Slim Love your site and your taste. But not in popcorn! Please don’t buy Orville anymore as their parent company contributed to protest labeling of GMO products. Check out EWG website. Thanks peg

  10. I couldn’t survive without popcorn. Or let’s say I could survive anything WITH popcorn. I spray Bragg’s Amino Acids on mine sometimes. OK, not so gourmet but savoury and I like it. England is just catching on with popcorn and you can find good flavoured popcorn here and there but I still pop at home, nearly every night. I don’t like the idea of genetically modified corn but nearly all corn is GM these days. If you are a regular popcorn eater make sure it is organic.

  11. Now you have me craving and I would make great movie buddies but I need a bucket because I love the stuff and there is no movie worth seeing if I cannot have my popcorn too! Not a fan of sweet but kettlecorn I do make an exception for:) Happy popping.

  12. Thanks for spreading the word about microwave popcorn. Scary stuff. And thanks for sharing the roasting secret; I will try it. I have been throwing popcorn kernels in a microwave safe bowl with a little oil, covered with plastic wrap, and then microwaving it. Worked for me until now! You have ruined it for me. I am off to Amazon to look for popcorn poppers.

  13. Yikes, I had on idea that microwave popcorn is so taboo. My kids snack on it all the time. We buy Newman’s natural. I wonder if Paul’s is less toxic than Orville’s. Must research. Cute post.

  14. Hi Slim, how great I cannot wait to make this slow roasted and popped corn!!
    Now where did you get the popcorn popper? Please do tell!

    2013 Designers Series

    • It’s a CHEF’s Stainless steel Popcorn Maker, available on Amazon, though I don’t know if that is the best price out there.

  15. I use the 1/4 cup of organic popcorn in a brown lunch bag, fold down the top and nuke it for 1:50. Perfect every time. My fav part of popcorn has always been the “Old maids”.

  16. Slim, Great post. I too make my corn on the stove, but use my large Le Creuset. Works pretty good. Yesterday at Whole Foods they were also serving corn with the coconut oil and it was terrific.

    Now, not to put a damper on things, but isn’t the GMO thing bothering you at all? As a lover of corn and someone who reads labels, it’;s really been bothering me not being able to find non-GMO popcorn. Knowing the pesticides are engineered in regular corn sold in the U.S. really bothers me. I want my popcorn at the movies, but I don’t want pesticides in it. We all have to get aware of this. If it’s not organic or says non-GMO, you are ingesting pesticides plain and simple. Bums me out.


      • Yikes! Terrible, but I do not doubt it. Someday we will find out what all this bug killer is doing to us. In Europe that is not a worry as GMOs are banned. Their government wanted GMOs proven safe before use. Our government decided to take the okay until proven unsafe route. Gee nice being guinea pigs. Monsanto (a chemical company) now is now the largest provider of corn seed to farmers in the U.S.

  17. You are a riot, Slim. I needed this little push as I’ve been wanting a popcorn maker (and an ice-cream maker for that matter) for awhile now. Huy Fong’s Sriracha (WTH?) – here we come! I will look for this in Durham, NC, where my family is headed for the day today.
    Keep us posted on your gluten-free results. Courtney

  18. Here again…if the multitude of ingredients on the wrapper are multi-multi-syllabic, hard to prounounce, and scary sounding, chances are very good the product is something that should be avoided — even when it’s extolled as light & healthy. I got an air popper for Christmas & love experimenting with add-ons. Hadn’t heard of olive oil & sea salt butter, but will definitely check it out!

  19. Oh no, never microwave. I pop popcorn (sometimes it’s “popcorn for dinner” when husband is out of town – shhhh) in a regular ol’ pot on the gas stove. I keep trying to put enough kernels in to make the lid pop off! Love popcorn and THANK YOU for the slow roasting tip! For those on Weight Watchers, popcorn is filling with low points too. Bonus. I like Cajun Seasoning from Penzey’s Spices sprinkled heavily on White Cat brand popcorn.

  20. On my way to Charlotte Olympia for the bag. A must have…..praying they still have. Thanks for everything else. Will try to pop per instructions, sans butter. Light spray with olive oil then sprinkle with seasoning works here.

  21. I must have my popcorn buttered half way down too. What a fab idea to use straws!! The local, little theater here on Vancouver Island uses real butter. Outstanding stuff. My theater in SF uses faux, oily crud, frequently cold, but I inhale it anyway. Can’t watch a movie without it. Ever.

    • Four very large bowls of popcorn later…
      I’m begging you not to do a post on chocolate, or I’ll be in big trouble.
      The toasting isn’t working for me, but I’ll keep trying 🙂

  22. OOOO! I think that you are going to hate me……….I’m almost gluten free (many years of fighting temptations) but now I’m attempting to go grain-free……….so hard. But I do feel tons better when I follow this “regime”… I can eat Trader Joe’s “Ezekial Tortillas” as the grains are sprouted and don’t have the same effect on my belly. Also try to keep the pop corn to non-GMO brands.

  23. On the GMO issue, where does everyone find corn not genetically modified?? Monsanto has so invaded the corn market…… I have given it up not being able to locate a non GMO bran.

  24. I’m so sorry to be a party popper (I mean pooper) but i am in Laguna Beach and will not waste one precious second (or hour, at least?) slow roasting any G.D. of G.F. kernels. I will take my health hazards as they present themselves and either suffer through the plebeian Orville movie theater substitute at the movies, or if the mood strikes, use my (extremely embarrassing and very unpolitically correct) um…cough, excuse me…(wish I could use teeny tiny font)…microwave. Oh God – there! I’ve said it! I’ve admitted for all you health conscious, gourmet poppers to see. Please, please forgive my ignorant, white trash, Reddenbacher ways. I’m ashamed of myself. Truly.

  25. A great post: chuckles; discourse on GMO’s, salt, corn and grains; and many ideas about making popcorn. Having been forced by diverticulitis to avoid popcorn for a decade, I am finally free (after surgical removal of the affected portion of my colon) to try it again, and I appreciate all the above ideas. Julie Brody, I understand how tedious food consciousness can be, but having learned very directly that what I eat has a huge effect on my health, I know that it is worthwhile to be careful about what I put in my mouth! Thanks again, Slim!!

  26. At the risk of having you not love me, before we hardly even have a chance to know each other, I have to admit that I was never bitten by the popcorn bug…
    Weird, sacrilege, peculiar, I know.
    I can sit next to my completely popcorn obsessed husband, movie after movie, and hardly be tempted by a handful.
    Now, that being said, I’ve never met a truffle oil that I didn’t love.
    Which brings me to my point…
    During the SB Film Festival, I will run next door to the Metro 4 theatre and smuggle in my favorite bottle of $10 black truffle oil…
    You know where this is going…
    Truffle oil, meet my new friend, theatre popcorn :))
    The moment that the oil meets the warm popcorn, immediately unlocks the sensuous, woody aroma of the truffles. The meeting is quickly met by most people in the theatre eviously looking around for the source, and asking their friends and neighbors if they too smell truffles.
    It will be our little secret….

    Thank you for your brilliantly witty blog.

  27. Never liked the pre-packaged microwave popcorn. I buy the cheap organic Jolly Time. I’ve tested this against more expensive “boutique” corn and like JT better. I have an air-popper which requires no butter or oil. After popping I sprinkle on granulated cinnamon, granulated garlic and finely ground parmesan cheese. Oh yum. Slim, your posts always make me chuckle.

  28. Old Bay and popcorn is the BEST! Of course, in Maryland, we use Old Bay on everything. Try it on Cheetos!. When I lived in Wales, I almost cried with joy the day I found microwave popcorn. The girl at the check out was mystified by it though.

  29. Funny…I just read your blog while eating “”Popcornopolis” Caramel Corn from COSTCO. “Mmmm!” franki

    • Don’t even get me started on caramel popcorn. Two of my favourite things. I WILL eat your entire bag.

      • Hah! “They” told us the 3-pack would last 6 months…I went back and told them they were wrong…6 DAYS! 🙂

  30. Love popcorn too, but don’t like GMO’s. Comments are correct, Monsanto corn basically taking over the world so to speak. Wish more people cared about this issue and contacted Congress.

  31. ….wait, I can’t remember, can you refresh my memory why I shouldn’t eat my microwave organic GMO free popcorn?…….on another delightful note, and back to your previous post of GF, i wouldn’t mind jelly shots on those abs of those fabulous five, they can just sit around my house/pool, kitchen or hang out in my bed/bathe, as that for sure would give me the incentive to NOT reach for those amazing baguette flour carbs and be “rhondaesque” (how did I ever run the bleachers at SB city college daily?….ugh I want my body back dang it!!!!!!!!!!

  32. Such a timely post, as I have just started popping myself! Honestly it would have never occurred to me to roast the kernels beforehand. This will be my next experiment, even if I am mildly terrified that I will set something on fire trying. Thanks for the excellent tips! xx

  33. I once went on a popcorn & hummus diet. sounds crazy, i know — and i don’t know where i originally heard about it, but BOY! did it work!! i would make the popcorn and either dip it in the hummus or actually mix them together. i did it for almost 3 weeks. anyway, it only heightened my love of what the indians called maize!

  34. I just read an article about this yesterday and was thinking about having to stovetop pop again. You make it look beautiful and easy. Old fashioned popcorn and a movie for us tonight…

  35. I am so glad you admitted the love for movie popcorn WITH butter!!! However I am mystified that you don’t think iT is not healthy:):) Just the aroma of it makes me crave it. Thanks for the tip on roasting.

  36. Hi Slim!
    My first time reading your blog and I am hooked because you’re funny and you love popcorn! I use the whirly pop I like to add butter and gobs of parmesan cheese or just salt and butter. But stop the presses have you ver tried peanut-butter popcorn balls?? Oh. EM. GEE! The texture…chewy and lucious! The recipe is from the old red and white checked cook book. A shower gift 36 years ago. Is it Better Home? I’ll have to go look. Thanks for the laughs Doll!

Would love to hear from you!