Miss MacGyver Pops Corn

Eight weeks into motherhood I met Miss MacGyver.

She had been mothering twice as long and that made her an expert.  We became instant friends and bonded over the joys of post-pregnancy hair loss, never-ending sleepless nights, baby weight, breastfeeding and surviving life after a career.

I have Alexander Graham Bell to thank for our flourishing friendship.  Motherhood is Those early days of motherhood are isolating and lonely with no sleep, nursing around the clock, exhaustion that only a new mother understands and the abrupt absence of work friends.

Miss MacGyver was always a phone call away and I dare say that our young’uns have been raised in the presence of the other mother glued to an ear.

Miss MacGyver can make a dinner for four from two beans and a mushroom.  The Mister never comes home to leftovers.  And I’m sure The Mister thinks I’m certified crazy because every time we all get together I remind him of how great his wife is and how lucky he is to be married to such a wonder woman.

And Miss MacGyver knows how to date kid-style.  Recently my girls and I went to her home for an amazing afternoon play date.  We The young’uns made homemade pizzas and while that was baking, Miss MacGyver pulled watercolors out of her ear for the young’uns to paint a special picture.

Her timing couldn’t have been better.  The last stroke of color was on the paper when the bell rang for the pizza to come out of the oven.  Just as we were setting the watercolor art aside to dry and wiping up the last of the paint, the artists had their hot and steamy pizza art ready to munch.

After lunch, as we cleared away the last of the pizza bites, Miss MacGyver whipped out an entire play-doh set complete with the play-doh factory and mentioned out loud that this was store-bought play-doh (oh, the horror!!!).

For the first time in almost 5 years, play dates are becoming more doable because our youngest kids are getting a little older with more flexible schedules.  But I still cling to the phone for sanity.  After all, who else in my life would still love me after hearing me laugh, cry and sit through my blabbin’ on about all the scary stuff.

All in the same phone call.

Only Miss MacGyver is woman enough to brave this territory!

It was during one of these random afternoon phone chats when some kids were sleeping, some kids were bouncing off the walls, some kids were mesmerized by a movie and some kids were sticking fingers into light sockets that I began hearing a popping sound.  Ummm, Miss MacGyver, what are you doing over there?

“Oh, I’m just popping some corn.  On the stovetop.”

Of course you are.  You’re not like us mere mortal mothers who think the only way to pop corn is in the microwave.

At some point in my life I recall seeing some sort of special stovetop popcorn contraption and just assumed that popping corn must be so complicated that a microwave is a requirement.

Why else would everyone pop corn in a microwave?

“Just google ‘Daddy’s Popcorn’ and you’ll see exactly how to make popcorn and it is super easy.”

So I did look it up, and I did pop corn and it was super easy.

Here is the original recipe for “Daddy’s Popcorn” published on allrecipes.com.

There’s more than one way to pop a corn.

Here’s how I do it.

Which is actually the way Miss MacGyver does it.

Total Time To Popped Goodness

Get your gear ready first cuz once the corn starts poppin’, things move quickly.

Popping corn takes about 3 minutes.

Maybe a little less.

But this will be the 3 minutes that a 2-year-old’s hair catches on fire or a 4-year-old gets all four limbs tangled in a long sleeve shirt because…you know…anytime is a good time for a dress rehearsal.

And the landscaper will “drop by” to look at the broken sprinkler.

Even though he was supposed to show up yesterday.

No, the odds are not in your favor that this 3 minutes will be uneventful.

So stick the “be right back” post-it on the door and get the art project going.

That should keep the young’uns distracted for 4 1/2 minutes.


6 minutes if they’re thirsty and realize that ice water makes 2 pieces of paper stick together.

Ingredients For Popped Goodness

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 Tablespoons margarine
  • 1/2 cup unpopped popping corn
  • Salt and other seasoning
  • I’m a salty girl so I mix garlic powder and salt.  For the sweeties in your life, you might try sugar.
  • Or get really crazy and mix salt AND sugar!
  • One paper bag cut in half

How To Pop A Corn

High heat.

In a 6-quart soup pot, throw in oil, margarine and popping corn.

Mix around so that the corn and fats are mixed together.

When fats starts to sizzle and the corn is just about to pop, put the lid on the pot.

Stand by during the popping but resist the urge to remove the lid.

Trust me on this.

Just like microwave popcorn, when the popping fades and there’s only one or two pops, turn off the heat and remove the pot from the hot burner.

Now remove the lid.

Expect condensation on the lid.

I hold a towel in one hand and remove the lid at a tilt so that the moisture drains onto the towel instead of onto the popped corn.

Pour popped corn into the paper bag and season to taste.

*Note: a little season goes a long way with popcorn.

Hungry little hands can take it from here.

They know what to do.

Grab the phone, and run for cover to the nearest closet and call the Rockstar Mother in your life.

You’ve got about 7 minutes to talk about face scrubbers and Edward Cullen.


  1. Erika says:

    Love this post, and adore the last line…

  2. I have never made popcorn on the stove before but I LOVE me some popcorn. I’m definitely going to try this now.


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