Farm - The Saint Report
Events and Popcorn History
23rd annual Marion (Ohio)
Popcorn Festival will be held the first weekend after Labor Day.
Of course, there is a Miss Popcorn, a Miss Teeny Pop, and just to
get the little tykes started right, a competition for Wee Pops: "Categories
for formalwear, sportswear, and swimwear with a popcorn theme were
divided into three age groups: 6 - 17 months, 18 - 34 months, and
35 - 48 months." I haven't seen the lineup for this year (2003),
but last year The Platters were there to entertain and some guy with
a mullet, Joe Diffie.
o' the day include, but are not limited to, Saint Donatian, Saint
Laetus et. al., Saint Eleutherius, Saint Chainoaldus, and Saint
birthday: Jane Curtin (1947, Cambridge, Mass.). Other famous people
share her birthday, but not on the Saint Report.
On September 6, the Valparaiso
(Indiana) Popcorn Fest gets underway. Since Marion has tied up
the title of Miss Popcorn, they had to settle for Popcorn Queen. And
instead of having Wee Pops, they have a simple Cutest Baby contest.
You can be a loser at a very early age in the Midwest, apparently.
No famous entertainment at this one, but a lot of food. I never heard
of an all-you-can-eat pepper steak dinner before.
Ok, now on to
the more academic side of popcorn:
popcorn for Miles and Pricilla: About 25 years ago, I read
a cute children's book by Tomie
dePaola called The Popcorn Book. In it, Mr. dePaola contended
that the first Thanksgiving included popcorn. LIES! ALL LIES! According
site that is the last word on the first Thanksgiving, this was
a myth started by, of all people, Jane Austen.
and the Birth of the Microwave Oven: This has been taken
directly from http://www.gallawa.com/microtech/history.html:
of today's great inventions, the microwave oven was a by-product
of another technology. It was during a radar-related research project
around 1946 that Dr. Percy Spencer, a self-taught engineer with
the Raytheon Corporation, noticed something very unusual. He was
testing a new vacuum tube called a magnetron (we are searching for
a picture of an actual 1946 magnetron), when he discovered that
the candy bar in his pocket had melted.
Dr. Spencer, so he tried another experiment. This time he placed
some popcorn kernels near the tube and, perhaps standing a little
farther away, he watched with an inventive sparkle in his eye as
the popcorn sputtered, cracked and popped all over his lab.
The next morning,
Scientist Spencer decided to put the magnetron tube near an egg.
Spencer was joined by a curious colleague, and they both watched
as the egg began to tremor and quake. The rapid temperature rise
within the egg was causing tremendous internal pressure. Evidently
the curious colleague moved in for a closer look just as the egg
exploded and splattered hot yoke all over his amazed face. The face
of Spencer lit up with a logical scientific conclusion: the melted
candy bar, the popcorn, and now the exploding egg, were all attributable
to exposure to low-density microwave energy. Thus, if an egg can
be cooked that quickly, why not other foods? Experimentation began...
fashioned a metal box with an opening into which he fed microwave
power. The energy entering the box was unable to escape, thereby
creating a higher density electromagnetic field. When food was placed
in the box and microwave energy fed in, the temperature of the food
rose very rapidly. Dr. Spencer had invented what was to revolutionize
cooking, and form the basis of a multimillion dollar industry, the
This story made
me feel faint. If the microwaves were doing that to the egg, what
the heck were they doing to the scientists????? Oh well. I have an
affordable machine that can make me a good dinner in 5 minutes. Who
cares about Percy?
I don't remember exactly what The Popcorn Book said by about
the oldest known popcorn, but I found this on line and it seems accurate:
ears of popcorn that have been found by archaeologists were found
in a bat cave in west central New Mexico by Herbert W. Dick during
his 1948 & 1950 expeditions. Ranging from smaller than a penny to
about 2", the oldest bat cave ears of corn have been carbon dated
to be about 5,600 years old, upsetting the old theory of popcorn
originating in Peru about 1,000 B.C."
For more interesting
facts, I suggest popcorn.org,
whom I am going to have to educate regarding the first Thanksgiving:
I am afraid
you are wrong about popcorn being served at the first Thanksgiving.
Please take a look at this site:
You don't want
all the good information on your site questioned by perpetuating
What do you want
to bet they send me a bunch of coupons and stuff and leave the site
exactly the way it is?
never answered at all. There are those who prefer a good story to
the truth, bless 'em.
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