Microwave popcorn is fun, easy, tasty, and pretty harmless as far as junk food goes. But it’s also not inexpensive, especially if you’re not buying supermarket brands, and you still run the unpleasant risks of coming across the odd bag with rancid oil or stale kernels.
A much cheaper way to quick and tasty snacking is to combine the ease of microwave popcorn with the methods of old-school popcorn — the kind that got made in pots and hairdryer-like poppers.
Here we have one mason jar of popcorn (the bag of corn cost about $1 at the Otherwise Shady Market, in the dried-beans-and-grains aisle) and one brown lunch bag.
One eighth cup of popcorn, since this was a late snack and not one of those times when it’s popcorn for dinner. (Don’t mind my drying dishes over on the right.) Fold the top over a few times, then stick it in the microwave like you would the pre-packaged stuff — it’ll take more or less time depending on how much you’ve got, so just listen.
Top view again, so you can’t see how much this is, but it was a goodly amount for a snack. You can salt/butter/flavor to your heart’s desire, or you can eat it plain and remember what popcorn actually tastes like when not coated in partially hydrogenated soybean oil.