popperTonight I became a part of my memories of my grandfather.

After my mother’s death, when I was cleaning out her house, I found an old cast aluminum skillet with a glass lid.

When I saw it, I smiled.  Seeing it brought back many nearly forgotten childhood memories of my grandfather using this skillet to make popcorn on the stove.

Like I did with my grandmother when she made zimt kuchen, I watched my grandfather when he made popcorn.

I never made popcorn while I was in college.   I didn’t have a pan to make popcorn and it was nearly free at the university–I think a huge bag of popcorn was 10 cents.

Anyway, when I brought this popcorn popper home, I stopped at the store and bought some popping corn.  But I never got around to making popcorn until tonight.

My wife mentioned she was going to the store to get some ‘microwave popcorn’ and I asked her to wait while I tried an experiment.  I got the pan out and did what I remembered my grandfather doing when he made the popcorn

  • Put a couple of tablespoons of oil in the pan and heat it on medium heat.
  • When the oil gets so hot that it looks shiny, add a single kernel of popcorn.
  • Wait for the kernel to pop.  When it pops, wait about 30 more seconds.
  • Put a hand full of popcorn into the pan, put the glass lid on and rapidly move the pan around on the stove so that the kernels move within the pan.
  • When the popping slows to 1 or 2 pops per second, remove the pan from the heat and immediately pour the popcorn into a large bowl.
  • Add butter and salt to the popcorn and use your hands to stir the popcorn around so that it gets coated.

My memory must have been good or popcorn is easy to make this way.  I had only a tiny number of un popped kernels and none of the popcorn was scorched.

Thank you, grandfather, for the memories.



Not long ago, I discovered that my 96 year old mother still had the slide photographs taken by my late grandfather.  These slides were all loaded into square tubular “magazines” and I very much wanted to look at the slides.  I was somewhat disheartened when I thought about moving many thousand slides over to a less obsolete slide projector system.

When I was working in mom’s garage, I noticed an old Argus slide projector and remembered that my grandfather used it with those square magazines.  I brought the projector home, cleaned it inside and out and lubricated the cooling fan motor.  It now works very well and, yes, it uses those square magazines.

I  brought a set of slides home so I could test the projector and the images are intriguing.  It looks like the pictures are those of my childhood’s backyard, except these pictures are of the place before the house was built.

Tomorrow I will take the projector and a screen over to my mom’s house and the two of us will start looking at slides.  My mom is very excited about this and I am too.