This fall, just like every fall, I went on a camping trip. It always seems like the right thing to do. The summer heat is finally gone and the air is crisp. Every year I go I always forget the true meaning of fall, but am always reminded, usually at about 3 A.M. when it is 40 degrees in my tent. Fall is the gateway to winter. Winter means I need to start waking up early to scrape the ice off my car. Winter means I need to start carrying a shovel in my trunk, insist the shovel is a snow precaution, and convince everyone I am not a serial killer. We tend to forget this winter battle during the fall season, blinded by pumpkin spice and the changing colors of the leaves. The battle is coming, people. Though the battle is always won, the war —the war on winter— is never over.
On night three of my camping trip, I decided a change needed to be made. To help me combat the chill in the air and the sorrow for the upcoming winter in my heart, I decided to get the supplies to make a warm snack verses the traditional camping snacks, such as trail mix and granola bars. This snack is popcorn, delicious warm popcorn that desensitized my soul to the fact that my least favorite season is sneaking up on me.
Lemon Pepper Popcorn
4 tablespoons lemon pepper seasoning
2 teaspoons popcorn salt
1/4 cups unpopped popcorn kernels
1 tablespoon oil
You’ll need a corn popper to do this in. See the picture for what it looks like. You can get one of these at just about any store with a camping section, even at Walmart and Meijer. You’ll also need one fire; it can be a large fire or small fire, as long as it is uncomfortably hot.
First, take the corn popper and pour the oil in the bottom of it. My corn popper only takes about 1 tablespoon, but depending on the one you get, yours could take more or less. Just be sure to cover the bottom of the corn popper in the oil. I prefer to use vegetable oil but you could really use any type.
Now pour your unpopped corn into the popper. Roll the corn around a bit to get it all nice and covered in oil. After this, sprinkle half your salt on the unpopped corn and 1/2 a tablespoon of the lemon pepper seasoning on it. Once again, roll the corn around to get it coated in the seasonings. The reason to do this is to get the flavor in the popcorn as it’s popping; some of the seasonings will burn, giving the popcorn a bit of a smoky flavor to it.
After you’ve done all of this, shut your corn popper. While holding onto the handle tightly, shake the corn popper over the hot fire. Keep the popper moving almost constantly. You don’t want the kernels to start burning. Once you hear the popping start to slow down and your corn popper is full of delicious popcorn, remove from fire.
Slowly and carefully take the lid off. If the lid seems a little stuck, pour some of your popcorn out into a bowl or eat it straight from the burning hot popper. I did the second. Once the lid is removed, shake the rest of your seasonings over the popcorn and enjoy your warm fall snack.
Post and photos by Kylie Torres.