I have always loved popcorn. Growing up, it was a ritual in our house reserved for my father’s popping expertise. While he was particularly fond of the salty half-popped kernels in the bottom of the bowl, I have always been a fan of it in any form: pan-popped, Jiffy-popped, air-popped (my least favorite). I even took a movie theater job in high school just to eat all the butter-drenched popcorn I could shove in my mouth while watching Revenge of the Nerds. You get the picture, right? So with my daughter it was a given she was going to learn the pleasure of popping corn, although we do step it up a bit from my Orville Redenbacher days. Today we use a Whirley-Pop, which is a great stovetop device with a hand crank that spins the popcorn to perfection. We even have a song for the Whirley-Pop that we sing while we turn the handle, waiting for that first pop. We also search out organic and heirloom varieties of popcorns (Native Americans have been popping corn for centuries and it’s documented that it was even brought to the first Thanksgiving dinner) and these better quality popping corns really make a difference in flavor and texture. My friend Lisa also gave me a collection of salts (flavored with truffle or from different regions of the world), which we use to change the normal flavor profile of plain salted popcorn. You don’t always need a movie night to make it a ritual. I make it all the time and still can’t help myself from cracking the lid open just a little bit to watch the exploding kernels.