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Stuff you may not care about!

  1. Oct 19, 2005 #1
    I am so excited.

    See, I garden. I grow veggies and we're in the middle of "harvest" right now. Well, a few years ago we grew popcorn. It's a pain of a crop, because you have to let the corn dry on the stalk, which means 5 months in the ground instead of 2 and a half, and you don't get huge quantities of corn off the stalk.

    Anyway, a few years ago when I grew it, the ears were very pretty and I sent them off as decorations to my various numerous sisters etc (we're weird at Christnmastime). I also put one ear in my seed box in case I decided to grow it again some day. Turns out I grew it again this year.

    I had never tried to pop it - and this year I finally did. Boy was I disappointed. The kernels barely popped, but boy did they taste good even so. Still, it was a major bummer that they didn't pop.

    Being a good experimentalist, this year I decided to try popping a few kernels from each ear, and find the ear that pops best, and save the rest of that ear for future growing seasons.

    Well, I mean like *none* of the ears popped, except one. I tried about 20 different ears and had one that popped well (so that ear is now in my seed box.)

    I left the rest of the ears (musta had about 80 ears of popcorn that didn't pop) and didn't know what I'd do with them.... Maybe make a wreath or something.

    I tried popping some more ears today, which is like a month later since our last popping experiment. Only this time I used canola oil instead of corn oil, and the ears have been drying in the sun for longer at this point.

    Every ear popped! Woohoo! <Patty breaks into song> We got popcorn, we got popcorn, we got popcorn who could ask for anything more?

    Aren't you happy for us?

    The moral of this story is: If you grow Cutie Pops popcorn, let it dry out *forever* and pop it in canola oil on the stove top.

    I've included a picture of three types of corn we grew this year, and one type (Strawberry popcorn) that I picked up at the store in case I decide to grow *that* next year. I bought it back in the dark days, the days when I thought our cutie pops popcorn didn't pop.


    (Cool, we can post images in GD now! Thanks!)
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2005
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 19, 2005 #2


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    I am so thrilled for you that I can barely contain myself.:tongue:
  4. Oct 19, 2005 #3


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    That sounds fun Patty, though there was a flaw in your seed plan. As you can tell from the variety of colors of the kernels, each kernel on a cob is individually fertilized, so unless you were meticulous about hand pollinating your cobs of corn and wrapping them so no other pollen could get to them, just because a few kernels on a cob popped doesn't mean the rest of the kernels would be good seed stock for popping.

    I doubt the oil made much of a difference for popping; I pop pocorn with canola or regular vegetable oil or margerine or whatever I have (margerine burns easily though). It was probably just the extra drying time. You could try some again in corn oil if you want to be sure of that.

    I always thought it would be fun to grow popcorn too...I would love to pop it right on the cob...that seems really fun, just for dramatic effect (I wonder if it stays stuck to the cob or if it flies off if you do that?) The corn is really pretty too...looks like it makes a good fall decoration.
  5. Oct 19, 2005 #4
    I would, but It'd be breaking my solemn vow on pain of a thousand deaths before ever cooking with canola oil.
  6. Oct 19, 2005 #5


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    and I was warned about pointless threads???
  7. Oct 19, 2005 #6
    Naturally I thought of that, MB, but didn't think I'd see this level of genetic acumen in GD!! :surprised (Of course, I am not surprised that you said this. I just didn't want to get into details like that, particularly during my post-pop-glee.)

    I expected that I would have to find the "best popping ear" for several seasons before having a reliably producing popping crop. I am fairly sure this is how crops have been traditionally selected in the past, even for wind-pollinated transposon-riddled species like corn.

    Of course, having discovered the canola trick, I now realize that the "good" ear I originally found may have been more poppable in general than the other ears - but that the other ears have the "popability" gene too.

    With store bought corn, yes, we also find that you can pop it in anything. Presumably that was selected for during Orville's development of a superior popping corn. Also the size of the popped kernel is much bigger in store bought brands.

    But Moonbear, you have *got* to taste this heirloom popcorn. Do you remember the first time you had a home grown tomato? How much better it was than mass produced store bought? This popcorn - well it's like that. Out of this world. It tastes cornier. It pops poppier. It crunches crunchier. I'm telling you, I can't go back.

    So, whatever is sacrificed in poppability (inability to pop it in any old oil any old time) is more than made up for in taste and I am delighted to have found a protocol that (so far) works reliably!

    We have popped it on the cob in the past (with store-bought popcorn cobs from the pulmpkin patch.) We put it in a paper bag and nuke it. Some kernels pop off, others stay attached to the cob. haven't tried it in oil.


    Agrarianly yours,
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2005
  8. Oct 19, 2005 #7
    Oh: I expect that the flash point of canols is higher, so the oil is hotter than corn oil. I could be wrong. I know peanut oil has the highest flash point of common oils.

    Anyway, that's why I thought I might have seen a difference. I *should* try these ears in corn oil again. You're right. Maybe the extended drying time was more of a factor.
  9. Oct 19, 2005 #8


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    We've always been able to use the tags in GD.
  10. Oct 19, 2005 #9


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    I like tomatos
  11. Oct 19, 2005 #10
    Wonder why I had trouble inserting images before.
  12. Oct 19, 2005 #11
    Mmmmm... that sounds really good.
    I've never had home grown popcorn before.
  13. Oct 19, 2005 #12


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    In all fairness Patty, someone must've mentioned this before, but those "popcorns" look more like adult toys :biggrin:
  14. Oct 19, 2005 #13
    LOL. No, no one has mentioned that before.
  15. Oct 19, 2005 #14


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    I've had popcorn on the cob, not sure how fresh it was though. Nothing compares to home grown. I remember the first time I grew cauliflower, I didn't even recognize the taste, it was like butter, it was to die for. :!!) :!!) I can't eat cauliflower from stores anymore.

    Ok pattylou, we'll all pm you our addresses and you can send us some popcorn. :tongue2:
  16. Oct 19, 2005 #15


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    Vegetables that ripen on the vine taste sooo different from what we buy in stores, especially tomatoes.

    Pattylou may become another Orvibible Racklinbacker with her popcorn.
  17. Oct 19, 2005 #16
    I have never been able to grow pop corn and sweet corn with in a acer of each other with out the wind/bugs cross pollinating them. Which made my sweet corn tuffer hulled and my pop corn less popable.
  18. Oct 20, 2005 #17
    I staggered plantings of each variety, so no two blocks were tasseling at the same time (or even within weeks of each other.) It's one of the beauties of California's long growing season.

    Incidentally, the heirlooms also seem to pollinate well enough in double rows, as opposed to the blocks that are recommended for maximum pollination. I expect recent sweet corn varieties are more finicky than less-sweet heirlooms, with regard to pollination.
  19. Oct 20, 2005 #18
    Yes i envy your growing season! Plus I have to donate at least half my corn to squirrls! This year they got all my sun flowers...which now I'm sure they paided off the dog to get premium, yet no frills access.
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