A stainless steel bowl of popcorn with herby seasoning in front of an out-of-focus television screen with the text "Prince of Space" displayed on it.

One of my birthday gifts to myself was to try a fancy version of something I ate regularly. One of those fancy things was popcorn. (The other was Rancho Gordo beans, and they're too expensive to eat all the time, but they'll be in rotation.)

I haven't been able, mentally, to sit through a movie since about July of 2020. Around Thanksgiving 2021 I figured out that if I bribed/distracted myself with popcorn, eaten with chopsticks to make it last, I was able to do it. (Knitting works too, but I haven't been able to knit without pain for more than 15 minutes or so.) Orville Redenbacher kernels were fine, but the popcorn seemed small compared to the gourmet stuff I had picked up from Target's Random Christmas Display a few years back. I ordered a varitey pack of heirloom kernels, and we've been having regular movie nights this summer. One 4oz sample makes enough popcorn for 2 people. I pop it in 2 TBS of avocado oil in a stockpot on our electric coil stove, and that's been working pretty well.

More to come as I eat more popcorn! Here's what we've had so far:

MST3k: Prince of Space and Pink Blossom Popcorn

Prince of Space is one of my favorite MST3k episodes! I chose Pink Blossom because cherry blossom flowers are pink, and this is a Japanese movie. The popcorn was big, mid-way between soft & crunchy, and even a little sweet. This is my favorite of the ones we've tried so far! I did my usual dill/garlic/salt/pepper mix on it, but I think the slight sweetness would do well with something like a salted caramel drizzle, too.

MST3k: Pumaman and Goldenrod Popcorn

A terrible movie centering around a man who can't fly very well and Don Pleasence using a golden mask. There aren't any golden rods, but the golden mask was a good enough excuse for Goldenrod popcorn. The popcorn was big and fluffy, but not particularly memorable otherwise.

Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness and Harvest Blend Mix Popcorn

This popcorn was a mix of 3 kernel types: Ruby Red, Shaman Blue, and Goldenrod, to match the magic colors used by the main characters. (America came from a field with golden flowers, so that's how it ties in for her.) The popcorn varieties all pop up big, and one of them was especially tasty, but I'm not sure which one it was. The unpopped kernels are reddish, blueish, and golden, and do make a very pretty display at any rate.

Everything Everywhere All at Once and Rainbow Mix Popcorn

We watched this movie the same weekend we watched Doctor Strange-- this was by FAR the better movie, and the better popcorn mix! I was not able to get everything bagels or seasoning in time to watch the movie before we needed to get it back to the library, but I figured Rainbow Mix would suffice. It's a blend of all the different varietals, and is very fun to eat! Big popcorn, little popcorn, soft popcorn, crunchy popcorn, sweet popcorn, corny popcorn, different popcorn shapes-- it's all together in one bowl. This is my second favorite of what we've had so far.

MST3k: Gamera vs Jiger and Baby White Popcorn

Picked because the plot involves an alien monster baby and Gamera fades to white at some point. The popcorn is a "hull-less" variety, meaning it has a thinner skin less likely to get stuck in teeth, tonsils, etc. The popcorn is small when popped, but soft and tender with a good toasted corny flavor. What I really enjoyed here were the half-popped kernels-- the thinner hull meant they were easier to eat, and their flavor was more intense. (Plus the seasoning stuck to them really well!)