Think back to a time where kids were trusted to be home for a few hours by themselves.
It wasn’t frowned upon catching the bus home from school, walking 100 metres up the road and letting ourselves into the house with a key of our own like it is today. I’m not sure if kids have suddenly turned into massive ratbags and can’t be trusted or whether parents don’t give them the space to prove themselves, but not too long ago there were kids all over Australia dumping their school bags and making the miracle parent- free snack that is microwave popcorn.
Granted, we were extremely responsible kids. I remember being eight years old and coming down with a stomach bug during the school day. After power-chucking in the classroom rose garden, my teacher let me spend the afternoon camped out in the sick bay due to the unfortunate situation of having parents who worked away from town. When the bell rang, my two sisters bundled me up, put me on the school bus and took me home to bed to rest.
On the days we they weren’t playing nurse, we loved nothing more to unwrap a sachet of microwave popcorn and huddle around the microwave waiting for those final few pops signalling that our afternoon tea was almost ready to devour. My eldest sister was always tasked with ensuring that the bag wasn’t going to cause any steam burns that would be sure to get her in trouble with mum, and we would devour that delicious buttery bag of popcorn.
It’s been years since I’ve touched the stuff for reasons I can’t quite seem to understand. A few months ago, in a desperate grocery situation in our house I came up with the idea to make cheesy pizza popcorn to watch with a movie. So stupidly easy, it hardly warrants a recipe. Play with other savoury spices and even pop the corn in a brown paper bag in the microwave if you crave the childhood nostalgia.
Cheesy pizza popcorn
1/4 cup coconut oil
2/3 cup popcorn kernels
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp paprika
Sea salt flakes (to taste)
Handful of fresh parsley
Generous grating of parmesan cheese
1. Heat coconut oil in a large heavy based saucepan with a lid over medium high heat
2. Test if oil is hot enough by dropping a few kernels in and waiting for them to pop
3. Remove the test popcorn and add remaining kernels, cover and shake the saucepan
4. Listen for popping and carefully shake the pan until popping slows down and take off the heat
5. Allow to cool slightly with the lid off and add spices, the parsley and the cheese, stirring to coat