ACT I: Mr. and Mrs. Lost Art attend a farmer’s market, where they buy a medium sized bag of DELICIOUS kettle corn for $4.00. Mrs. Lost Art immediately decides she will make her own kettle corn at home, which will give her an inexpensive substitute, and will taste better, obviously.
ACT II: Mrs. Lost Art purchases organic kernels for $1.50. She hurriedly runs home, and heats 1/4c of vegetable oil and 3 of the kernels in a large stainless steel pot on the stove, set to medium-high. With baited breath, she waits for the 3 kernels to pop. Once they do, she adds 1/4 cup sugar (mistake number one) and 1/2cup of popcorn kernels. She gives them a good stir. She socks on the lid, and gently shakes the pot, without removing it from the heat (mistake number 2) and giggles like a school girl when the popcorn begins to pop against the clear glass lid. She anxiously waits for all the kernels to pop (mistake number 3). Once the popping has slowed, Mrs. Lost Art, removes the pan from the heat, and yanks off the lid in mouth-watering anticipation, ready to sprinkle the salt, and
Her kitchen is immediately filled with the too familiar scent of burnt popcorn, and smoke. Lots of it.
ACT III: After flinging all the windows and doors open, throwing the malodorous kernels outside and turning on the fans, she irritatedly scrubs her stainless steel pot for a good 15 mins. (Removing burnt kettle corn is a grand task, even for her Bar Keeper’s Friend.) But, after semi-successfully removing the stinking grime, Mrs. Lost Art bravely decides to try it again. This time she heats the oil, adds the kernels first then the sugar. She waits for the popping to begin (no giddy laughter is heard). She removes the pot every 3 seconds, and shakes vigorously until securely placed under garments begin to shift. She then returns the pot to the stove for 3 seconds. She repeats this until the popping is 2-3 seconds apart. She removes it from the heat, and continues to shake until the popping slows.
Slowly, and solemnly she removes the lid, and prepares for the *poof*.
But ALAS! There is no smoke! It’s not burnt, and actually smells appetizing! She quickly lightly sprinkles the popcorn with salt, gives it another hearty shake, and transfers it to an appropriately sized bowl.
Mrs. Lost Art is happy, but will probably be eating kettle corn from the farmer’s market from now on.