Fun fact for National Popcorn Day: Orville Redenbacher, whose name is often synonymous with popcorn, started growing his own popping corn when he was 12. And now, nearly 100 years later, I have a container of Orville Redenbacher popping corn in my cabinet, along with an air popper with his name on it.
Did he know popcorn would be his legacy? It is apparent that it was his big passion. Not only was he a farmer, but he was an agricultural scientist who, according to his obituary in the New York Times, “who experimented with hybrids for years before he came up with the first significant genetic improvement in popcorn in more than 5,000 years.”
“Until Mr. Redenbacher and his partner, Charlie Bowman, achieved their breakthrough in 1965, popcorn was essentially the same product the Iroquois Indians had introduced to the Pilgrims at the first Thanksgiving more than three centuries earlier,” the obituary continues. “And for that matter, the Iroquois variety was virtually unchanged from popcorn archeologists have traced back 5,600 years.”
Mr. Redenbacher did his own commercials in the 1980s, so he was a familiar face – and name – during my childhood.
It’s fortunate that everyone has their own passions, especially when they follow them and bring their unique contribution to the world. Thank you, Mr. Redenbacher, for your passion for popcorn.
Our Medley Moment
This holiday was easy to celebrate – we popped popcorn!
We did go a little further with it than if it wasn’t a special day, though. We added some marshmallow cream and chocolate chips and turned it into dessert. (We based it on this recipe, but made some revisions.) What the recipe didn’t mention is that you should put the marshmallow fluff in a large bowl – I didn’t realize that marshmallow fluff expands when heated so I had to keep turning off the microwave and stirring it so it wouldn’t rise above and over the side of the bowl I used. It got a little sticky, but the end result was delicious. (We did half chocolate and half without chocolate because one of my kids isn’t a huge fan of chocolate.)