How Do You Like Your Pop Corn?


The Oscars have come and gone for another year, but popcorn is still with us.

How do you like your popcorn? I like mine with butter.

However it seems buttered popcorn is passé these days.

Popcorn it seems has gone upscale.  Gourmet popcorn was named one of the top five food trends by this year’s Specialty Food Trade show.

Gourmet?  Trendy? Oh dear!

According to NPR:

There’s popcorn covered in chocolate, infused with bourbon, seasoned with curry. Flavor of the month at Popcornopolis in Los Angeles? Strawberries and cream.

And if you want to make your own fancy popcorn, there are seasonings: chili, lime, dill pickle. [Emphasis mine.]

 Dill pickle? DILL PICKLE?? Dill pickle???

Dill pickle flavored popcorn? Give me a break! If I want a dill pickle I’ll get one from a jar! I don’t want one with my popcorn.

Popcorn is nothing new. Archeologists found ears of corn estimated to be 5000 years old in what is now the state of New Mexico.  It was Native Americans who first shared popcorn with the first European settlers to theNew World. The rest as they say is history.

Today most of the world’s popcorn is grown right here in America.

Popcorn took off during the Great Depression at movie theaters. But it was World War II that made popcorn a huge success. Sugar rations made candy extremely expensive. Popcorn was less expensive and thus a star was born!

By the 1950’s American were popping their own in their home kitchens. When I was growing up my dad often popped corn on Friday night for television viewing. Those were the days when you had to heat the oil, place the corn kernels in a pan, and actually pop it yourself. No popcorn in bags and placed in the microwave.

According to NPR Americans eat 16 billon quarts of popcorn a year. That is 52 quarts per person. I am getting someone’s share of that popcorn!

But I am still not going to eat dill pickle popcorn!! I have my standards you know.



Featured Recipe:   Fish Fillets with Lemon Caper Sauce

NOTE: During Lent I am going to feature more fish and meatless meals. I start today with this delicious fish dish.

This recipe is very versatile. It is also super fast and easy. This is also  a very elegant meal. You can make it with a wide variety of fish such as flounder, tilapia, trout, or any mild fish.

I made mine with tilapia. Some people think that tilapia is not a safe or clean fish. If you get your fish at a reputable store there should be no problem at all.

According to Ali’sClean(er)PlateClub, tilapia is the 5th most consumed fish in America today. Environmentalist encourage Americans to eat tilapia as tilapia are lower in contaminants than other fish.

The Healthy Fish Guide put out by the state of Washington’s Department of Health (There was no similar easy to read chart on any federal government web site. Yeah!!!  A shoutout to Washington for a colorful easy to read guide.) states that tilapia is safe to eat 2-3 days a week if it is from the United States or Central and South America.

The tilapia I used for this recipe was the best I have ever tasted. First of all I got it at Weilands, one of three stores here in Columbus I trust to buy fresh fish. This was Peruvian Blue Tilapia. I had never eaten this kind of tilapia before, but it was recommended by the fish experts at Weilands. The fish is certified organic and was raised with no antibiotics, hormones, or preservatives.

It was superb! But no matter where you get your fish, or what kind of fish, fresh or frozen, this is one fantastic recipe.

I found the recipe in the newspaper, most likely the Columbus Dispatch, but I am not positive. But the recipe is from Desperation Dinners/United Media.

Here is what you will need for 4 people:

¼ cup flour

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

3 tablespoons butter, divided

4 thin fish fillets about 6 ounces each (flounder, tilapia, trout fresh or frozen)

1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and coarsely chopped*

1 lemon

Here is what you do:

Pat the excess moisture off the fish.

On a plate add the salt and pepper to the flour and mix well.

Dredge the fish in the flour and shake off excess.

NOTE: Actual directions said add flour to a plastic bag and add fish and shake. I find that breaks the fish up, so I dredge the fish.

Melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat in a skillet large enough to hold fish.

Cook fillets until lightly browned on both side, about 3-4 minutes each side.

While the fillets are cooking rinse and chop the capers.

NOTE: The actual recipe says to chop the capers. I do not, preferring to keep them whole. I think they look prettier on the fish whole.

Cut the lemon in half. Squeeze the juice from one half of the lemon. Cut the other into slices for garnish later on.

Get the juice, the capers, and the butter ready because you will have to move quickly to make the sauce

When the fish is done place the fillets on a platter and keep warm.

Turn off the stove. Pour the lemon juice into the skillet and then add the capers.

I could not take pictures of the next step in this process. I needed both hands to complete this step.

Take the skillet off the stove, and add the remaining butter. Swirl the skillet/butter in the pan until it melts.

Immediately pour butter sauce over the fish. (I also poured some over the asparagus I served this dish with.)

Garnish the fish with a lemon slice or two and serve at once.

NOTE: If you look at the picture of the completed dish you will not see the lemon slices. I forgot to put the lemon slices on the fish before I took the picture.

So please, everyone, close your eyes and picture the fish with slices of lemon. Thank you.

Sometimes I am a total birdbrain. But in my own defense, the fish  just looked and smelled so delicious I could not control myself. I dove right in an ate it all.

And delicious it was. As I said, this tilapia was the best I have ever eaten. So good. So delicious. So delectable. So scrumptious!!!!!

And the cantaloupe I served with it was one of the best I have ever eaten. So sweet and juicy. And I ate it with nothing on it, not even salt.

Same for the tomato salad and the asparagus. Eveything turned out perfect. [Well, if you forget about the lemon slices.]

This was a perfect meal!!!!! Every once in a while something I cook is just perfect. Everything comes together perfectly. This was one of those rare times. I savored the moment. And devoured the food!!!!

Today was not at all like Monday when the new recipe was a clossal flop!

NOTE:  I cut each fillet in half to make four servings. By doing this, and by serving the fish with three vegetables/fruits, this meal is very filling and therefore very affordable.

Bon appétit!!!


¼ cup flour                             $0.12

3 tablespoons butter                $0.68

4 thin fish fillets                       $8.35             

1 tablespoon capers                 $0.38

1 lemon                                  $0.59

Salt and pepper to taste

Total cost for 4 people = $10.12
Cost per person = $2.53 

Quote of the Day

I believe that if ever I had to practice cannibalism, I might manage if there were enough tarragon around.   

James Beard


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