Popcorn. Yes or No?

I had no idea that popcorn has been around as long as the following entry says–

“Archaeologists discovered that people have known about popcorn for thousands of years. In Mexico, for example, remnants of popcorn have been found that date circa 3600 BC. Fossil evidence from Peru suggests that corn was popped as early as 4700 BC.” Wikipedia

Kernels popped on stovetop, in a mixture of coconut and olive oil. Lightly salted but unbuttered

Popcorn. Yes or No?

Making Kettle Korn at Fleatique

People at Work series. Sunday morning at Fleatique-Tarentum PA, 

A former colleague, Jen, called yesterday evening to see if I wanted to go to Fleatique and I’d never been.  Jen’s  been going since her daughter was in a stroller and she’s now headed to High School in the fall.

Meet Dustin Hall. Two Korny Kettle Korn. 

You’ll find him at Festivals, Fund Raisers, Arts and Craft Shows, Car Shows, Bazaars and Charity Events.  He gets the kettles from a place in Ohio and he told me they are not old as I thought.  It’s hot work.  His son and daughter help him at his booth.IMG_0564







IMG_4934Thanks Dustin for allowing me to photograph the making of the kettle korn today.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Let There Be Light

I like the title of the challenge in this time of year when the days are growing shorter.  We’re asked to show the light source in our photos.

Just today I saw a box with a HAPPY LIGHT for sale, to ward off the season’s darkness and the impact it can have on your mood.

At school I teach about the different sources of light, manmade and natural.  There are so many different types of light.

Here are some examples of photos showing a variety of light sources.


backyard moonlightMoonlight in Ohio Backyard






Bonfire in Virginia


St. Patrick Candles



Candles at St. Patrick’s Cathedral



St. Rocco Fireworks


Fireworks at Saint Rocco’s Festival   Pittsburgh PA


Pocorn neon

Popcorn Neon at Kennywood Amusement Park


Screen Shot 2013-11-29 at 10.29.19 PM


Birthday candles- Laura covering the boys mouth so they don’t help blow them out!



angel lightErika’s Angel Lava Lamp last Christmas




wedding lanternsWedding Lanterns Somerset PA




sparklersJack July Fourth with Sparklers

Popped on the Stovetop

My DIL bought Non-GMO Organic popcorn in the bulk section of Whole Foods for $2 a pound.

The family hasn’t eaten popcorn on family movie night for more than a year.  Since my mom hailed from Illinois we had popcorn when I was growing up- apples and milk on Sunday nights.  At Christmas my parents gave bags of strawberry popcorn kernels grown in Durand, Illinois and it was so tender and good.

I know popcorn isn’t the snack food of choice for many and isn’t eaten or popular in some places.

My sister missed the popcorn gene and doesn’t care for it and I don’t remember my dad eating it except when my mom coated it with molasses syrup cooked up until it spun a thread.  (not very often)  I know I don’t care for microwave popcorn.  Have to make it on the stovetop.

Tonight while visiting the family,  I made the first batch for the grandkids, opening the brown paper bag and finding a variety of colors and sizes of popcorn kernels.

It was so inviting. My phone was handy.

Tried to catch it popping but didn’t get past the second kernel exploding. I used a larger pan than I would at my own home, more like a pasta pot.

Organic Popcorn




A single kernel bursts opensingle kernel popped




the second kernel burst. then it was get that lid on quick!

second kernel popped





Look at the variety of colors. No butter on it to make it that yellow. Just plain.

popcorn popped


Maura age 4 1/2 photographed  Grandma, using the phone as I took the popcorn off the stove.

photographed by Maura age 4


What I used to cook the popcorn.  A generous tablespoon melted on medium high heat.  About 3/4 c of popcorn.  I stirred the kernels with a wooden spatula so it wouldn’t burn.


Organic Coconut Oil



It was a fun time and the house smelled fragrant.  Only one out of four grandchildren wanted salt on it!  I thought that was interesting.

With what snack do you like to treat yourself??





Found Shopping List

Sunday afternoon I drove across the Monongahela River to the Waterfront at Homestead, PA and did a little grocery shopping.

When I wheeled my cart to load the car, I saw this little list on the pavement of the parking lot.

I used to photograph found lists, little wrinkled slips of paper, write poems about them. Some lists abandoned in a cart-  seemed like poems when I found them.

I’d think about the people who wrote them. Sometimes they’d written the oddest mix of items.

I have a friend who keeps a magnetized shopping list pad on her fridge and when she uses something up, she writes it down immediately so she can replenish the larder.  I’m not that disciplined.  I’ve written a list and then left it at home but it can help when trying to remember what I’d written down.

There are even tablets of preprinted lists and you just check the boxes of what you need to get at the store. That’s not my style of list, either.  When I entertain I’m more likely to write a menu AND a shopping list.  Cross things off as I put them in the cart.

What is your “list style”?

What's Cooking Tonight?
What’s Cooking Tonight?

3 Year Old Salts Her Popcorn

You have to be vigilant. Pay attention, non-stop. We were all in the same room, together.

No one saw her with the salt shaker. Gone wild.

But I had to photograph it when I noticed it in the morning as we cleaned up after movie night.  Hers was the pink bowl. The morning light through the back door caught the colors.

This just in-  I had dinner in Arkansas and looks like good luck will be with me in 2012 as I am chowing down on some Black Eyed Peas.  “Cardboard me” showed up in Greg and Katherine’s kitchen. Check it out on their blog here