I cook like Olivia Pope.

Yes, you read that right.

I am a single woman. I live alone. And, while I love to cook, sometimes it’s just too much. With just me in the house, some nights the production of dinner-making is taking up time that could be spent … well … on just about anything else. So, that’s what I’m saying. I get her, Olivia Pope. Popcorn and wine is not a lie.

More often, for me, it’s popcorn and herbal tea. Sometimes popcorn and ginger ale. But you get the idea.

I’ve gone through many popper styles — electric, air, microwave. But the best is made on the stove.

I used to have this old-school beauty:

This is the Wabash Valley Farms™ Original Whirley Pop™ Stovetop Popcorn Popper (they clearly needed to use the word “pop” at least one more time). I loved it. And I used it so much, I wore it out. Now I just use an old stock pot. It’s not as fun as turning the crank, but it definitely gets the job done.

It gets the job done because it’s popcorn, and it’s really not that serious … except that, maybe it is. If you fire up the Google, you will, in fact, get 47,900,000 hits for “how to make popcorn.” Really. Nearly 48 million hits. But sadly, only 3,400,000 returns for “how to make caramel popcorn.” Why so few? How are we living, people? Surely, caramel corn should play a larger role in our lives. And the results tumble down from there. Only 1,880,000 for kettle corn.

So yes, all of this is quite silly. But it’s also reminding me of popcorn balls (7,040,000 hits!), specifically, the popcorn balls my grandmother used to make. She didn’t make them often, so they were an extra especial treat. And they seemed like magic. No one else ever had them, and I never actually saw how she made them, so they just seemed to become … there’d be a big bowl of popcorn, and then <snap of fingers> there’d be popcorn balls! She was a kitchen magician.

And now I have my pick of recipes, and I might have to give them a try.

Um …

But not tonight. If I can’t work up the gumption to boil some pasta and throw on some bottled sauce, am I really going to take on the decadent extravagance of popcorn balls?! I think not.

I am more likely to go on the hunt for the Brooklyn Popcorn truck!


It’s the Slice of Life Story Challenge — posting a little bit of something every day in March!

Go check out the hundreds of slicers over at Two Writing Teachers!

11 thoughts on “I cook like Olivia Pope.

  1. vendija723

    When my sister’s kids left home, she declared that she could have wine and cheese and crackers for dinner whenever she damn well felt like it. When I was living alone, I ate a lot of baked potatoes. And I don’t know if I’ve had a popcorn ball since the mid-1970s, but now I really want one!


  2. I love popcorn. Used to do microwave popcorn until I had to cut down on salt. Now I do Orville Redenbacher’s in an ordinary saucepan on the stove, and I use peanut oil, which adds a nice flavor. Coconut oil does not work nearly as well, alas. Often make popcorn to take to the movies, to avoid that salt problem. Have never tried caramel popcorn or popcorn balls — although I love Cracker Jack’s. Hmmm, may have to reconsider…


    1. I make mine with peanut oil, too! I’m pretty sure we used corn oil when I was a kid, and I only switched to peanut in the last couple of years … but I have no idea why. Hmm …

      I’ve never made caramel popcorn, but someone made some for me a couple Christmases ago, and I was one happy camper while it lasted! 🙂


  3. YAY!!! Me too! Popcorn and vodka with a splash of cran. Lots of different poppers and know I have one of those square copper pans and you can pop popcorn in it. I haven’t tried yet. NICE!!!!


  4. Oh, the culinary sins that have occurred in my diet due to I can’t be so bothered in my kitchen. You and Olivia are popcorn and wine whispering in my ears tonight. Can’t wait to see the post on you making popcorn balls – because you know you’re going to try your hand at it before the year is out. 😉


  5. Olivia’s taste in wine–thumbs up! Olivia’s taste in men–sketchy at best!! And popcorn for dinner is the best. My MIL taught me to eat a butterfinger candy bar with my popcorn for an extra treat. Try it–it’s delicious!


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