Originally Posted by Ruth
I was at Sam's the other day and was tempted to put a 50-lb bag of popcorn kernels into my shopping cart.
The expiration date said April 2011. That's less than 5 months away. I'm sure we won't have it eaten then, or even come close. Especially since I already have a few lb's in storage
Anyone have any ideas on how long I could keep the popcorn even after the expiration date? I'm thinking if it would still be good another year or so from now, it would be worth it to me.
To me, popcorn is as much a staple as beans and rice.
As mentioned in previous posts, as popcorn ages it loses moisture and a larger percentage of kernels will not pop. However; unpopped popcorn can be ground into corn meal for use in cornbread; polenta or processed with food lime for hominy. Depending on the price, this would be a good addition to your LT food storage.
* 3 cups dry corn kernels - (coop, health food store, etc.), organic is best CAUTION: make sure you're buying edible corn NOT seed corn, which is treated with poisonous fungicides. Popcorn fits this criteria.
* 6 cups water
* 2 heaping tsp. pickling lime (try your local supermarket in during canning season)
If you can find a farmer who's growing organic field corn, you may be able purchase some at a very reasonable price. You'll have to remove the thoroughly dried kernels from the cob, but it's an easy job - just rub them off. Think twice before using non-organic corn. Most of it is genetically modified to include a pesticide (Bt toxin).
To proceed, put the corn in a cast iron, stainless steel, or Corningware pot (Don't use aluminum - it will corrode and contaminate the corn.), add the water and lime, stir to mix in the lime, and boil for about an hour, or until the skins begin to slip off the kernels when rubbed. Turn off the heat and let cool. You can allow it to rest for up to 24 hours. I often let it sit for only an hour before grinding.
Pour the cooked kernels into a large dishpan and run cool water over them. "Smoosh" them between your fingers to loosen and remove the husks, then rinse, allowing the husks to float away in the rinse water. and smoosh some more, until the water is clear. This will take about 5 min. Drain in a colander.
Now, you can grind the kernels to make tortillas, tamales, or grits, or leave them whole to cook more thoroughly, either alone (great served hot, with butter), or as an ingredient in soups, stews, etc. The grinding can be done in a grain mill; food processor or with a traditional metate, (stone mortar and pestle)... in a pinch you can use a meat grinder or blender