Stir Crazy Popcorn Popper

My wife never asks for much for Christmas, but this year she actually had something on her list. She wanted a Stir Crazy popcorn popper. I know, I know, if I buy it, I will be breaking the most important rule of Christmas as it pertains to wives – Never, Ever buy your wife an appliance. Ever. (Same goes for Anniversaries and Valentine’s Day too, for those of you in either the "I know nothing about women" or the "married but surprisingly celibate" categories) But you have to understand, in our family, this is a rare thing, to ask her what she wants for Christmas and get an answer. So, life-rules be damned, she is getting one. I may have sidestepped the rule anyhow because according to the tag, it came from our 3 year old son. I am pretty sure that logic will hold up in a court of law.

Let’s backup. So, she tells me she wants a popcorn popper and my reply is the same as 95% of people that actually know it is 2008. (It was at the time, stay with me) I say, "We have one, it’s called a microwave." She starts to explain why she wants this and all of its benefits when I realize that I am now asking her to justify the first present she has ever actually admitted to wanting. Yeah, I’m a moron. So I shut up and decide to just get it.

I take the kiddies out and we buy it, wrap it, and throw it under the tree. My 3 year old even keeps it a secret for several weeks. Astounding. Sure enough, Christmas morning she opens it and is thrilled. Thirty bucks was never so well spent.

Later that day, we fire it up. It is basically a heating unit with a spinning wire and a large, plastic, see-through dome as a cover. There are some steam vents on top, but the base of the unit stays cool to the touch which is essential for little ones like mine. My wife throws in 2 tablespoons of butter, a cap-full of oil, and 1 cup of popcorn. Then the magic happened. My kids and wife and I watched that little spinning wire move those kernels around for a few minutes and when those things started a-poppin’, my kids were enthralled. Giggling and clapping a-plenty, and that was just my wife. The spinner kept the un-popped stuff on the bottom and moving while the bowl filled up rather quickly with the popcorn. After it finished, I put the little cap on the steam vents and flipped the whole thing over. Vuala, the lid is the bowl.

Clean-up was no worse than any other popcorn bowl, there just happened to be two parts. As for taste, my wife loves it. She claims it is much better than the microwave stuff plus you have some control over the salty lard in which it’s dredged. I liked the taste fine, but I like the microwave stuff too. I also give it props because that spinny thing massages the melted, oily goodness all over the popcorn as it pops. It is damn near erotic. Plus, it leaves virtually no "old maids". Grannies, un-popped kernels, seeds, tooth-breakers, whatever you want to call them, are almost eliminated. We also had no stank, burnt crap either just because the "popcorn" button on your microwave happened to be calibrated in Denver Co. at mile-high stadium. Atmospheric pressure must come into the equation somewhere, I’m sure, because that button is not right for where I live.

I was skeptical at first thinking this popper was redundant and would never be used. I have to say we have made many, many batches over the last couple of weeks and my kids have yet to tire of the taste or the before snack show. Step back in time a couple of years and give this a try. You’ve wasted thirty bucks on worse things.


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