Oct 12, 2009

Popcorn, The One True Mennonite Way

Mr. Dream Kitchen's family of origin is Swiss-German Mennonite, going way way back, on both sides. You know those three-way mirrors they have in dressing rooms, and how if you angle the sides close in, and stand a few inches from the center, you can see yourself multiplied an almost infinite number of times? It's like that. There were some Amish too, way back when, and maybe some Amish Mennonite just to add yet more diversity. Thank goodness Mr. Dream Kitchen married Ms. Dream Kitchen to invigorate the gene pool by adding Irish, Scotch-Irish, English, and French. Maybe the next generation will mingle with Italians and Greeks! That would just be crazy.

Anyway, Mr. Dream Kitchen grew up eating popcorn and playing games every Sunday night, as a nice counterpoint to the church ritual in the morning. Occasionally they would watch Disney on TV instead of playing games. I believe that his family is genetically predisposed to not be hungry enough for real food on Sunday nights. And probably that pot roast or ham with scalloped potatoes served after church, along with Jell-O salad and pie, kind of helped as well.

We have carried on this popcorn tradition, without the big Sunday meal earlier in the day. We have waffles, from scratch (of course), sausage, and fruit every Sunday after church. In the evening we augment the popcorn with a big bowl of apple slices. This is the only time we eat in the living room, which is where we watch our Sunday night family movie. So it's a continuation of the (insert 14-letter Swiss-German name here) tradition but revamped.

Now. About the popcorn itself; let's get down to it. It is from Yoder Popcorn in Topeka, Indiana. We either go there ourselves because my inlaws live near there, or we order it. (For the woefully ignorant I must explain that the Yoders are Mennonite. Almost anyone named Yoder has some Mennonite back there in the three-way mirror.) Anyway, Mr. Dream Kitchen prefers Tiny Tender, but the boys like Yoder Yellow. I could go either way. We use Yoder's flavored coconut oil, too. Gasp. Yes, it's fat fat fat, but coconut oil is actually good for you, in small quantities. So you ingest a tablespoon a week, no big deal. And it tastes fabulous. We cook it in a Stir-Crazy, but when it busts, and it will, we're going to return to the old hand-cranked on the stove.

Careful that you don't let the fabulousness of this popcorn tradition blind you to the spiritual message I have for you, my wayward brothers and sisters! Mennonites choose the narrow way when it comes to popcorn, and everyone else should follow and do likewise. When the end times arrive, you don't want to found to be in any of the following compromising positions regarding popcorn:

-Microwaving it (Yes, Yoder sells microwave popcorn, but only to the damned)
-Microwaving it at the office and stinking up the entire floor. It is a noxious stench.
-Using that soulless invention, the air popper. What is the point?
-Buying your popcorn already popped. Please. I'm praying for you.


Crissie said...

Funny how we had this tradition (in Belgium) but I never connected it to our Mennoniteness. I feel as though I've been in a remedial Mennonite culture class these last few years of life on the East Coast.

Domestic Goddess said...

German Mennonite on one side (still have a few cousins that are mennonite) and Catholic on the other. Therefore, popcorn. YES POPCORN. Made the old-fashioned way, on the stove, in oil. And then we dump on ample amounts of salt and even melt a little butter on top. Greasy goodness, for the win!

Our Sunday is usually a big egg omelet or egg sandwiches or something. Saturday is pancakes.

MemeGRL said...

Never thought of using the coconut oil I have for an esoteric recipe with popcorn but I'll bet it would kick up the yum factor considerably.
And I miss the Sunday dinner a lot. We're Italian so for us it was always spaghetti, meatballs, gravy, salad, but no later than two, always together with lots of aunts and uncles and grandparents and cousins and whoever was around. We didn't do popcorn later but that sounds like a great plan!

Velva said...

This was a really cool blog post! Amen to the Heinz 57 variety!
I really love popcorn and this was great made the good old fashioned way.

Jill said...

I used to eat microwave popcorn all the time. The 94% fat free kind was a "guilt-free" tasty treat and I'd devour whole bags by myself. Now, I can't seem to find any microwaveable popcorn that is vegan! I guess I'll have to join the bandwagon and go old-style. We do have a mini movie-theatre type popper thing that we don't use anymore because it was hell to clean...does that count?

Momish said...

I had no idea popcorn went WAY back! I suppose I am damned since I microwave (not that I wasn't damned already for the many other things I do ;)

It was great meeting you today! It was a great time!

Anjali said...

Your blog keeps getting kicked off my reader. Ugh.

Anyway, just finished reading Mennonite in a Little Black Dress. Great memoir.