Thursday, September 5, 2019
New Is Not Always Better
These days all you have to do to make coffee, listen to music or buy anything is push a button. On a machine. Life's become easier and cheaper -- but not better.
The first sacrifice of this ease is quality. Compressed digital music files are vastly inferior to vinyl recordings whose warmth and fullness is palpable. Coffee-pods made a year ago lack the freshness of newly-ground beans. And the real motivation behind most of these "improvements" is to make products cheaper and thus more profitable.
But things are lost. Not only quality but something equally important -- romance. Personal involvement. When you work to make something, you appreciate it more. Brewing coffee from scratch, putting a record on a turntable is effort that involves you in the process of creation, a joy unappreciated until it's lost.
Why all this nostalgia from an old guy? Because I just discovered a pleasure of my youth is still available -- Jiffy Pop!
You can still make popcorn by shaking a Jiffy Pop container on the stove or over a fire. Instead of pushing a button on the microwave, you actively shake the container until it magically grows and grows and becomes a dome of delicious food. The process is fun for kids and, I just discovered, fun for adults.
I assumed Jiffy Pop must have disappeared decades ago but, no, it's still here. You can buy it in supermarkets for about $2 a container. I bought some last week and am re-living my youth.
Have you ever eaten Jiffy Pop?
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I'm old enough to remember when Jiffy Pop was the new and convenient way to make popcorn; a bit akin to what coffee pods are for making coffee today! Prior to Jiffy Pop, one would have to put some vegetable oil in the bottom of a pot, pour in some popcorn kernels (not too much!), place the lid on the pot, and shake the pot over the stove. More than mere romance, there was some danger involved, as shaking a pot containing oil over a hot burner could start a fire. My mom bought the Jiffy Pop for that very reason, since she knew that my little brother and I would make popcorn when she wasn't home.ReplyDelete
I use an air popper these days, but Jiffy Pop is great fun to make over a campfire. Anything can be romantic around the campfire, though. ;-)
I didn't know this. Fascinating. Thanks for contributing.Delete
I'm even more old school than you...I make my own popcorn by buying the kernels and then shaking them in a pan on the stove. It makes the best popcorn.ReplyDelete
When I was a kid we made Jiffy Pop because it was the safer method.
Yup, that's more authentic. Making stuff from scratch is the real deal.Delete
I have eaten it, but am admittedly a little afraid to make it myself! The best popcorn in my opinion is the kettle corn (made in real cast iron) that I get once a year from a Christmas festival, but there is something beautiful in the nostalgia of Jiffy pop.ReplyDelete
Speaking of music from older formats, i still dream of having a record player or console style player again. As a lid i inherited my mom's suitcase style record player (tiny!) And would listen to vinyl detective "audio books" that I've still yet to figure out what they were.
We later had a console style record player and radio combination. The warmth of the sound - even from the modern radio it picked up - was so wholly different from the tinny modern speakers we use now. Even the modified bass and subwoofers you can get still don't quit reach that particular ephemeral quality.
Somethings were truly done well in the past (i keep oogling old VW beetles in my hunt for a car. I can't drive a stick and the old automatics remain out of my goal budget. Still great cars!!)
My lack of baking skills has led to numerous taste tests of premade on the market, and yet... Nothing holds up to an old Southern lady's homemade biscuits. Made again and again over her lifetime until just right.
What a great comment! Thank you. My first car was a 1964 VW Beetle. Loved driving it.Delete
Reading your description and looking at the photo...I could almost smell the unique aroma of the Jiffy Pop breaking through the foil. As a kid it was very cool to watch the foil top expand.ReplyDelete
Back in the day we loved our vinyl records and in terms of sound we would adjust the dials on the receiver as the music played through the speaker system. Back then, when it came to speakers...size did matter.
I haven't actually had Jiffy Pop before. I've definitely seen it! I'd give it a try though. We pop our popcorn in a pot on the stove mostly, so we're a little old fashioned with it too. But we do add bacon to it, so I guess that's not so old fashioned after all, ha!ReplyDelete
Vinyl Records have made a huge comeback, the Young people really appreciate the sound and also the Album Cover Art. At our Antique Mall they sell a lot of Records now. And Yes, at Jiffy Pop for Years and should buy some for a Nostalgic Rush some Evening.ReplyDelete
We used to use an electric frying pan to make popcorn when I was a kid. Jiffy Pop was too upscale (expensive) for us when I was young and my family was much poorer.ReplyDelete
Would you believe CASSETTES are making a comeback??
Life is always full of surprises. :)Delete
I've not tried Jiffy Pop but I assume it is an American thing! I am sad about things progressing and actually a lot we have lost. This 'advancement' and convenience that you bemoan is responsible for so much of our plastic pollution and Climate Change. Sad! Glad you found something you loved!xReplyDelete