I have never been one to call myself cheap. Thrifty, frugal, economical, maybe but not cheap.
But that doesn't mean I don't like cheap things.
One of the things we have really been trying to do is find cheap snacks. It seems like there are two kinds of snacks.
Type A) Expensive, fattening and delicious.
Type B) Cheap, nutritious, and unsatisfying.
Maybe that's an exaggeration, but not a very big one.
But one thing that Diann and I both like is popcorn. Now, you can go buy those bags of microwave popcorn, if you want, and I admit, they are quick and easy if you are desperate, but nothing beats the taste of real fresh popped corn.
We have a popcorn popper. It's a really nice one. It looks kind of like this:
It has a 12 oz kettle and is capable of popping about 250 oz. of corn an hour. For those of us who aren't math whizzes, I got out a pencil and paper and figured it out. That's about 15 lbs of unpopped corn. For reference, when you go to the movies and order a large popcorn, you are getting about 3 oz. so our popper can make somewhere around 80 large theatre sized popcorns an hour. (I bought this back in the mid 90's, and it was a thrifty deal when I got it, but that's a different story for a different day.)
So, we don't use it much at home. It's great for family reunions, neighborhood parties, or church and PTA carnivals, but for home we needed something a little smaller.
We have been looking, and to buy a new popcorn popper we couldn't find anything less than about $30, so we have been putting off buying one. We have been checking thrift stores, trying to find a used one, but all we could find were those air-pop poppers, and we weren't quite willing to sacrifice the flavor of "real" popcorn yet.
So Diann has been making popcorn the old fashioned way, in a 6 qt pot, on top of the stove. I've never made popcorn this way, and have no idea how to do it, so every time I wanted popcorn, I had to give Diann some subtle hints, like leaving the pot on the stove along with the canister of popcorn, a bottle of oil, and maybe a couple of empty bowls. (yeah I know, subtle isn't one of my strong points.)
The worst part of this deal is that since Diann made the popcorn, it was only logical that I should clean up. Burnt on oil is really hard to scrub out of the bottom of a stainless steel pot.
Well, the other night, at the thrift store, I found this treasure:
And what made it more of a treasure was the price. I paid $3.99.
Just for reference the same model popper, numbered 099 (mine is number 040) was listed on E-bay at the time I wrote this for $89.36.
It was made by the Robeson Cutlery Company at the Perry NY facility. There isn't a manufacture date on it, but it says "PAT PEND". Since some research on the company shows that they applied for the patent on this particular popper on January 17, 1966, and the patent was granted on October 12 1971, so I surmised that it was made between those dates.
A little bit of history on Robeson Cutlery:
Millard F. Robeson founded the company which bore his name in 1879 as a cutlery jobbing firm, operating from his home in Elmira, NY. Selling knives was, at first, a side-line but business grew. Robeson’s first storage area was his dresser drawers but, as additional space was needed, it overflowed into the closet and underneath the bed. Upon returning from a business trip and finding his cutlery inventory moved to the porch, he agreed with Mrs. Robeson that larger facilities were needed. They first came in the form of a new room added to the house, next a new building adjacent to the home, and finally a move to the New York town of Camillus.Read more.
...in the 1960’s Robeson soon found itself and its products out of place in a world of big companies, foreign competition, and demand for more basic, non-premium cutlery... ...In 1971, Ontario Knife Co., Franklinville, NY, bought what was left of Robeson cutlery business. The Perry cutlery facilities closed in 1972 with the Robeson line being discontinued in 1977. Read more.
We tried it out tonight.
Now all we need are a couple of good movies to watch.
I will be linking this post to a couple of different blog parties: