Whirleypop sweet heat popcorn


My father makes the best popcorn. Even though I haven't tasted it since I was too short to watch the kernels pop, his technique was simple, legendary perfection. He'd gather crisco, salt, popcorn and a medium saucepan with a glass lid over high heat. He marked a perimeter that we couldn't pass so we didn't get spattered by hot oil, but at the time he was like a wizard guarding his potion. Back and forth, sizzle. Back and forth, pop. Pop. Pop, pop, pop until the entire kitchen smelled like an aging movie theater. It was a wide-eyed treat in every way.

As simple as the recipe is and as many times and I've tried, sadly, I did not inherit his popcorn wizardry. There must be a magic ingredient, and I suspect it will remain locked within my childhood memories.

I did however buy a Whirleypop last year. I had no idea these old crank popcorn making contraptions were still around, let alone still in production. It arrived of shiny aluminum, complete with a wooden handled crank and a million possibilities.

Frankly, I was sick of popcorn before I was out of ideas. I've recovered just in time for fall.

Over the last eight months, I've had fun tossing in this and that with awesome and sometimes awful results. Here's one of my favorites. I call it sweet heat, kind of like kettle corn with a spicy kick. Addictive is an understatement.

Sweet Heat Popcorn

1 TBSP oil, I like peanut but vegetable or canola will do

2 TBSP sugar

2 TSP cajun seasoning

1/4 cup unpopped popcorn

Add cajun seasoning to a large glass bowl that has a well fitting lid. Set aside.

Add the oil to the pan and turn up heat to medium high. Once hot, add popcorn and sugar. Cover and shake back and forth over burner (or if you have a Whirleypop, crank the handle until popping is finished) until kernels have popped. Be careful not to burn it, better to have left over kernels than burned popcorn.

Pour hot popcorn into your large glass bowl and attach the lid. Immediately shake, shake, shake.

Hope you like it!