It was such a regular dish for me, it became a running joke among my friends (that, and the fact I never had any food in the house). It wasn’t because I was trying to lose weight though, it’s just that was my life. Busy and stressed, working long hours, no time, energy or inclination to make a proper meal.
That dinner was my comfort food. Those addictive little salty crackly texture explosions. The perfect quick fix for collapsing in front of the tv, mindlessly watching whatever was on and recuperating. Trying to get over whatever challenges a day (and sometimes part of the night) at the office had thrown at me. Or the perfect accompaniment to doing more work once I got home. Eating with one hand, typing with the other. You didn’t even need cutlery.
And it was kind of like cooking… I mean I made it in a saucepan. And I made it so well I called it one of my specialist skills. I had that combination of hot oil, bit of air, regular shaking, down.
The fact that it had no nutritional value didn’t bother me. I didn’t know at the time that corn was one of the most genetically modified foods on the planet (thanks Monsanto!) and if I did, perhaps that may have put me off. But as it was, it was a staple for me, packets in my cupboard, those golden raw seeds of potential that ensured I would never go hungry, no matter how tired I was.
But all that has changed now. [cue cheesy voice] I’m on a journey. No, scratch that, I’m on a MISSION. It starts with me. I’m a regular juicer. I have a fridge with loads of fresh organic fruit and veg (got to love a Riverford veg box). I study at the Institute of Integrative Nutrition which is blowing my mind with its incredible, holistic, individual approach to nutrition and health. I’ve made a commitment to regular exercise. And I cook. I find pleasure in taking the time to make healthy, nutritious meals. And I feel the best I’ve ever felt in my life.
But popcorn is still a symbol for me. It isn’t something I constantly crave and it definitely isn’t an option as a full meal anymore. I still have some in my cupboard though (organic only these days darling, got to try and avoid those GMOs) and I actually had some the other evening. But I made some in my smallest saucepan. And it was a snack, that I had a couple of hours after I’d eaten my dinner of homemade vegetable tagine. As an accompaniment to the film I was watching.
And yes, I’d like to get to a place where I don’t have it in my cupboard at all and it’s an occasional option, not a staple. But I rarely eat it now and that’s a sign that things really have changed.
So the MISSION starts with me. But I want it to touch you. And however and whichever way that ultimately manifests itself, I’d love to share the experience.