Friday, February 18, 2011

Funky Food Friday: Popcorn poppers

This article from the Minneapolis StarTribune got me in a popcorn state of mind. Aw, who am I kidding -- I'm always in a popcorn state of mind.

Today it's all about the microwave bags, but back in the '70s our scientists were working night and day to figure out a way to pop the stuff without having to stand in front of the stove and burn hands -- and popcorn -- while wildly shaking a pot. (Sure, Jiffy Pop made it easier to get your crunchy, buttery fix, but you still had to stand there and move it.)

And Great Orville Redenbacher's ghost, they succeeded. The awesome Hamilton Beach Butter-Up Popper -- and its ilk -- made it so easy to pop movie-theater popcorn at home, even Joe Namath could do it. The little robot arm stirred the popcorn, so all you had to do was plop a stick of butter on the top, then sit back and hold a football while your corn popped. Check out the vintage TV commercial below.

We didn't have this specific one, but ours was close -- I do remember it had a yellow plastic dome, which made the popping corn look all the more buttery.

Too bad the scientists kept on working after they hit the pinnacle of popcorn perfection, and came up with the air popper. Sure, it was much healthier, but it spewed forth popcorn-shaped chunks of cardboard. Bleah.


Mike said...

My neighbors had the yellow dome one also. I thought it was pretty cool to have the butter drip onto the popcorn. I don't remember if it tasted all that good.

I think Joe Namath may have had a few pain killers before that commercial.

Anonymous said...

I loved our yellow dome popper! And the top doubled as a bowl.

Dimestore Lipstick said...

They still make the "Stir Crazy", and we bought one last year at Target. Oh, we love that thing! Got it for 30 bucks, and the thing rocks. Works every bit as well as the ones from the seventies, and makes delicious corn.

Brian said...

We had a popcorn popper in the '70s -- my dad seemed to like it more than anyone, and my mom always complained about how hard it was to clean. When my wife and I got married in the late '80s, we got a popper as a wedding gift... right about the time they were becoming obsolete. I think we gave it to Goodwill.

A couple of years ago, my daughter decided she wanted to make Jiffy Pop popcorn the old fashioned way. I always thought Jiffy Pop was really cool, but doing it now, it just seemed like a colossal pain in the butt.

Jennaelee said...

We also have the yellow dome popcorn maker and from what I can remember it was fun to watch the popcorn popping and then enjoying it while we watched a movie, so it is really brings back old memories.