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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Stewart

A New Normal

I’m celebrating the opening night of football by making my famously homemade popcorn on the stove. We’re a Chiefs family… As in Kansas City Chiefs. My husband is KC anything because well, he’s from KC and went to KU. The Royals, The Chiefs, and of course, The Jayhawks. I’ve never been a football person because I suppose I never really understood the game. Or perhaps I took naps during the game instead of watching them. But this year… this year is different. When the game came on, I got emotional. I got excited. There is this beautiful execution of “togetherness” that comes out in football. Community, team, family, all the things I feel the World has been lacking lately. The rest of us are watching… listening in… and valuing this perfect presence of hope. That things may go back to normal one day. Even if it’s a different kind of normal. So I tune in hugging my bowl of popcorn and my glass of wine pretending that we are living in a hopeful kind of normal. A peaceful kind of normal. A happy kind of normal. So thank you football. For giving me that today.

My popcorn has always been, in an odd way, a source of comfort for me throughout the years. Whenever I was feeling alone, impatient, unsuccessful, unloved… I would go home after a long day and eat popcorn. Sometimes even at 2am. In Chicago, In Los Angeles, and in Austin. I braved through some crazy hardships with my bowl of popcorn as silly as that sounds. In addition to sharing it with some of the most incredible people. So with that… I want to give you this easy and ever so delicious recipe so that it comforts you like it did me.


By. Me





Get yourself a pan. A medium size pot with a lid. Pour about 2-3 TBSP of oil in the bottom of the pan and put about 3 kernels at the bottom until you see the kernels start to bubble. That means the oil is hot. Pour your remaining amount of desired kernels in the pot. Make sure each kernel is immersed with oil. #notadrykernel Put the lid on and let it pop. Once you hear it slow down pull the pot off the burner. This is essential because you’ll have enough oil in the bottom to coat the kernels in the bowl. Once it’s done popping grab your bowl and toss it in there and sprinkle your popcorn with your desired amount of salt. You’re welcome to put some butter on, but typically you don’t need it. The oil speaks for itself. NOW EAT!!!

Thank you #farmersalmanac for this beautiful image of corn and popcorn.

I’m not going to start bragging here about my popcorn… but maybe I should. It’s like one of those things that everywhere I’ve lived and every person I’ve made it for… well, it has changed their life. You would think it’s a fairly simple recipe… popcorn. But this is the real deal and most of the time it’s so delicious you don’t even need butter. It’s up there with the Tom Brady’s and Patrick Mahomes of this World…. Trust me on this.

I think I’m going to brave it through your judgement on what song I’m going to pair this recipe with… but it has to happen. For some reason this song came into my mind when I was thinking about popcorn and people and hope and love and being together on a dance floor. You may think I’m crazy but when I think of this song I think of a clogging dance long long ago that I did with a tuxedo shirt and cummberbund (how many times did I look up the spelling of this one) and bow tie. If only I had a video… alas, here it is. C & C Music Factory’s song Gonna Make You Sweat takes me home. 7th Grade Dare Dance and all… when the whispers of your friends were the only thing that mattered. And dancing was quite possibly the most fun thing you could do. Popcorn and Music and friends and dancing and hugging and all the things that we humans do to be loved and feel loved. And what better item to pair it with than popcorn.

As I cozy up next to the TV with my popcorn and completely odd yet incredible song in my head, I can’t help but feel the feelings of comfort again. Even the familiar sights and sounds of a football game underway can help us brave through the challenges we are faced right now. Popcorn gives me a beautiful reminder of all the things we miss… and all the things that will come again. All the things that will take us to a new normal. A new normal that was better than the old normal. So I’ll sit here and snuggle up watching Mahomes dance on the football field and let myself turn my “worry into wonder” and stuff my face.

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