Let's Get It Poppin'

Did you know October is National Pop Corn Poppin' Month?

The thing I like about Microwave Pop Corn is that each variety bought at the supermarket has a different popping time to get the perfect burnt flavor. That's right, I love burnt popcorn.

When I worked at the corporate office of Staples, we had this huge cafeteria with rows of microwaves and just around 3pm you could smell popcorn wafting throughout the corridors as people took a short break from office supplies to have an afternoon snack.

The problem was far too many people got to chatting with co-workers they might have bumped into in the halls and forgot all about their popcorn in the microwaves. Eventually popcorn got burnt and people started bitching about the horrid smell. I would always secretly be delighted because I love burnt popcorn.

We recently bought a new microwave and I haven't perfected the 'burn time' because of the popcorn button. It's too tempting to just hit the programmed button to pop a bag and walk away to do something else. But unfortunately the new microwave is far too efficient and I just can't seem to get back the right amount of time to pop the corn until it's properly burned. I've wasted too many bags of popcorn trying to get the timing just right and I hate to admit this, but I've given up. Eventually I'll come around again and do some more experimenting, but for now I'm staying away.

Burnt popcorn has also turned against me because Spencer burned a bag so badly that the inside of our new microwave is ruined. He pops bag of cheap microwave popcorn for the backyard birds and with the old microwave you simply popped the bags for like 3-4 minutes. But he forgot, hit the four minutes and I'm surprised the bag didn't catch on fire! The inside is so stained and smells so badly that our brand-new microwave looks like we've had it for two years and never cleaned the inside of it.

I went online to find tips and tricks to remove both the burnt popcorn stain and the awful smell because I figured there's got to be some way to clean this beast. I tried putting white vinegar in a little glass dish and boiling the water to remove the smell. It only took the edge off. I put fresh coffee in a dish and let it set inside the microwave overnight and it helped even more, but I'm afraid to say the smell still remains.

As far as cleaning off the brown stains, I tried a Mr. Clean magic eraser and it barely made a dent in the color. One website suggested using Acetone nail polish remover so I put a little nail polish remover on a cotton ball and scrubbed a section. Some of the brown color transferred to the cotton, but I still have a ways to go. I'm sure I would have gotten better results using actual Acetone rather than my dainty little bottle of nail polish remover. Kim-follow directions, will ya?

So when you're celebrating National Pop Corn Poppin' month, be considerate of your co-workers because for most people, burnt popcorn turns their stomach and use the button on your microwave for the best results.

Don't be a rogue popcorn popper like me and Spencer. You'll pay for it in ways you've never imagined.

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