Did you know we grown popcorn here at Family Tree Farm and you can pick your own?
We like to make our homegrown popcorn on the stove top. Shell 1/2 Cup of Popcorn (approximately 2 to 3 ears). Place a 3 quart pan on the stove top set at med/high heat. Put approximately 3 to 4 Tbs oil - Canola, Coconut, Grape Seed, Flavored Oils or just plain Vegetable oil into your pan.
Place a few test kernels in and put the lid on - when they start to pop - place the balance of the 1/2 Cup in, put the lid back on and start moving the pan around on top of the burner.
When the popping slows - take it off the burner and let it continue to pop. When it stops popping, (use caution - the popcorn is very hot at this point) place the popcorn in a bowl and add whatever flavors you want. Enjoy!
Folks have told us they pop our popcorn in an air popper too.
Store any remaining popcorn in an air-tight container.
If picked fresh, your popcorn will need to dry before it will pop.
Many ask how to get the kernels off the cob - Start at the large end of the cob and use your fingers to pull the kernels off into a pan. Two or three ears will make a nice bowl of popcorn.
Popcorn is a type of maze, or corn. and is a member of the grass family. Popcorn is a whole grain and is made up of three components: the germ, endosperm, and the pericarp (hull). Of the four most common types of corn (sweet, dent (field) flint (Indian) and popcorn - only popcorn pops!
Each kernel of popcorn contains a small drop of water stored inside a circle of soft starch. Popcorn needs approximately 14% moisture to pop. The soft starch is surrounded by the kernel's hard outer surface.
As the kernel heats up, the water begins to expand around 212 degrees and water turns into steam to change the starch inside each kernel to super hot! The kernel continues to heat to about 347 degrees. The pressure inside the grain will reach 135 pounds per sq. inch (WOW) before finally bursting the hull open.
As it explodes, steam inside the kernel is released. The soft starch inside the popcorn inflates and spills out, cools immediately forming the odd shape we all know and love. A kernel will swell 40 to 50 times its original size.
A pottery popcorn popper dating back to pre-Inca cultures in Peru (300 AD) was found in a funeral urn depicting a Maize god with popcorn decorated headdress. Popcorn was grown in the Americas and provided pleasurable eating for the Native Americans as well.