Monday, October 24, 2011

the prince charming of snacks

Kettle corn is one of my all-time favorite snacks.  I eat Orville Reddenbacher's delightful snack size bags of it on a daily basis, but I'd never had the legit stuff. When I went to the fair with my best friend a couple weeks ago, I was determined to change this. Since I loved the grocery store variety, I had high hopes for the real thing and went into the fair determined to get my hands on some.
The kettle corn stands all had someone standing out front, with a bag of kettle corn and a scoop, handing out samples. I stepped right up to the first stand, stuck my hand out, and the girl dumped a scoop of warm kernels into my hand. I plucked up a kernel and popped it in my mouth. The heavens opened up, angels began to sing, a synchronized dance broke out behind me. This kettle corn was the best freaking thing I'd ever eaten. I immediately shoved the rest of the handful into my mouth like a crazed lunatic. It was so good. I wanted to climb behind the counter and start shoveling that stuff into my face as fast as I possibly could and not stop until I keeled over and died.

But I displayed some restraint, and we agreed to get bags of kettle corn to take home with us, rather than gorging ourselves on popcorn. Fine. We got sandwiches, stood in front of the Fried Everything stand and contemplated whether or not our stomachs could handle a fried Oreo (no) and how one would even go about frying Kool-Aid (still a mystery). Then finally it was time to go, we got our candy apples (another staple) and went to the kettle corn stand, where we paid and were presented with our glorious bags of warm popcorn. How we resisted eating all of it on the car ride home is beyond me.

I got home, and immediately sat down with my bag of kettle corn. It was a long, sleeve-like bag and I was cradling it like a baby. My beloved kettle corn baby. I ate a fourth of it before I even knew what was happening. I was like a wild animal, I could not get the stuff into my mouth fast enough*. It was so. Freaking. GOOD. Salty, and sweet, and crunchy and everything one could want in a snack.

Suddenly, a panicked text came in from the best friend: "Dad ate HALF my bag already!" I shuddered. I wasn't sharing mine with anybody, hell no. "I can't stop eating it! It's so good!" I replied. Then realized how crazy I was being and put the twist tie back on the bag and went about my business. I watched TV, sans kettle corn. I brushed my teeth, washed my face, got into bed.

But I needed a fix! I didn't give a damn that my teeth were brushed and I was already in bed. I grabbed my kettle corn baby, now much smaller than it was when I got it, and pulled it into bed with me. I sat there, in bed, ten o'clock at night, and I ate the rest of that popcorn. As I was eating it, realizing how completely insane I was being, another text came in: "I think they put crack in this kettle corn. I can't stop eating it! I only have one handful left!" I looked down at the empty bag in my hand. "I'm in bed eating it!" I replied, "I just finished the whole damn thing! I'm already having withdrawals!"

My love affair with real kettle corn was short and fast, but it was worth every morsel. Now the best and I are planning on perfecting an at-home version of our favorite salty sweet treat, but I think we're both a bit hesitant to start on that quest. We recognize that we have a problem, should we really start producing something we're so addicted to? I mean, commandment number four: Never get high on your own supply. But man, I just don't think I can live without that stuff any longer. Sorry Orville, we're breaking up. I have found my Prince Charming of snacks.

*Yeah, yeah, "That's what she said."


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