I have a lot of stories from when I was living in Berkeley. There is one in particular that my dad loves to tell and since I have nothing better to write today, I am going to share it with you.
I lived in a house with 60 girls, and we had an industrial sized kitchen. We had a ton of stuff, like 5-gallon tubs of flour and sugar and salt and Costco sized things of spices and basically all the other essentials you would need for cooking, but on a much larger scale. We also had a 3-gallon tub of popcorn. The kitchen manager and I were sitting in the dining room one night talking about why we have so much popcorn, since no one ever uses it. One of the other girls says that it would probably get used more often if someone actually knew how to make popcorn on the stove top. If ever there was a moment that a cartoon light bulb would appear above my head and go off, this was it.
I remembered that my dad used to make popcorn for us when I was younger, so I pulled out my cell and called him up.
“Dad, how do you make popcorn?”
“You put it in the microwave and push the popcorn button.”
“Dad, I know how to make microwave popcorn, but how do I make it on the stove? Like in a pan?”
Pause. “You mean that in a house full of Berkeley students, there is not one among you that knows how to make popcorn on the stove top?”
“Yes, Dad. We are a bunch of idiots. If you won’t tell me then I’ll just go get my computer and look it up on the Internet, but I was just trying to show you that there are times when I still need to ask my Daddy for help.”
“Ok…put a few kernels in a pot, pour the oil up to the top of the few you put in, then put in one layer of kernels on the bottom. Turn on the heat, then shake the pot to keep them moving so they won’t burn. “
“Thanks, Daddy. I’ll call you and let you know how it goes.”
I walk into the kitchen, along with about 5 other girls, grab one of our big saucepans, and follow my dad’s directions. I’m standing around with my audience, watching the oil get hot and then…POP! A kernel pops and makes that fluffy delicious thing we call popcorn. Only, it popped out of the pan. Then, more kernels began to pop out of the pan. Along with hot oil. Now, there are five girls running and screaming in the kitchen because there is popcorn flying everywhere. One of them grabs a lid while I turn off the heat and move the pan to hopefully stop the popping.
After putting a lid on the pan and cleaning up all the popcorn on the floor, I call my dad again.
“Hey Dad. There was a very important part of the popcorn-making-process that you left out.”
“I forgot to tell you put a lid on it didn’t I?”
“Yeah. Thanks a lot, Dad.” I hang up the phone with my Dad’s uncontrollable laughter loud enough for everyone to hear.