If we shovel corn flakes and grits into our mouths regularly at breakfast time, why not popcorn? Yes, popcorn and milk is a thing, it’s very good, and you should try it. Historical clues suggest that popcorn and milk sprinkled with sugar was the first version of what we know consider cold breakfast cereal. There also exists the passage from Laura Ingalls WIlder’s Farmer Boy (and inspiration for many a third grade science experiment) all about filling one glass with popcorn and other with milk, then placing each piece of popcorn into the milk without overflowing a drop. While I’ll leave the glass of popcorny milk for someone else to chug, there’s something satisfying about popcorn and milk eaten cereal-style.
I like to channel my inner homesteader and make popcorn in a pot, but the microwave is also a magic box, so you should feel free to pop with super-fast electricity. To make pot popcorn (no, not that kind of pot popcorn), heat 2 tablespoons coconut, peanut, or canola oil in a large stockpot over medium heat, swirling the oil around to coat the bottom. After the pan has been on the heat for 3-5 minutes, toss a popcorn kernel or two into the pot. When the kernel pops, dump in a ⅓ cup of popcorn kernels. Place a splatter screen or a lid on the pot and shake it as the kernels pop, leaving the pot on the heat. If using a lid, lift it after every shake to let out steam.
When most of the kernels have popped, pour the popcorn into a large bowl or cool pot. Toss the popcorn with 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt.
Fill a cereal bowl with popcorn and pour on about ¼ cup whole milk. Do not fear the sogginess as you eat. Sogginess is a fact of life, and it’s actually pretty good in this dish.
OK, so we’ve established that popcorn and plain ol’ cow’s milk is good. I’d now like to enter into the record a few other popcorn and milk equations.
Caramel popcorn + unsweetened vanilla milk
Chocolate-drizzled popcorn + coconut almond milk
Well-salted popcorn + chocolate soy milk
Peanut butter popcorn + chocolate cashew milk
Kettle corn + unsweetened hazelnut milk
Cheese popcorn and I’m sorry everyone, cheese popcorn is just not good in milk. It is, however, pretty good in scrambled eggs. Hm. I think I’ve said too much.