I was looking for an alternative that was less expensive. But it also needed to be something that was shelf-stable, (meaning it can sit out at room temperature without breeding bacteria) easy to prepare, and easy to serve. And in a perfect world, it would accommodate the dietary needs of people who are vegan, gluten-free, can't eat much salt, and can't eat much sugar. Even better if it was something that wasn't alien to the palate of the typical American. And I found my solution in air-popped popcorn.
I'd noticed a few venues serving popcorn. Most had the fancy stands you see at carnivals with the old-fashioned lettering and red and white striped boxes. After reminding myself that my studio is not a restaurant, (my menu mantra) I looked into other possibilities and came across these lovely little air-poppers from Cuisinart. And did I mention that they come in a lot of fun colors, too?
|I have the blue one!|
And so that was how my open studio popcorn bar came to be. In an ongoing effort to be eco-friendly, I serve the popcorn in reusable cups. Of course, I wanted something colorful and fun. As an added bonus, these cups are also durable, since I got them from the kids' section in Ikea.
I have a nice assortment of seasonings so that everyone can have whatever flavor they like. And I'm serving an assortment of flavors of pop (which I know everyone outside the Midwest calls soda) to go with it. Of course, my concern for aesthetics (blame design school) forbids me from using ordinary cans and bottles, so I stock my cooler with beautiful glass bottled drinks. Most of them are made with cane sugar instead of high fructose corn syrup, too. There's a nice variety to choose from. I like to provide my guests with something a little out of the ordinary.
Yet even though these drinks cost a little more than Coke or Pepsi products, I am still spending a lot less than I did when I was getting gourmet cupcakes and pretty veggie trays. Now I see why it's been a staple of movie theaters all these years. Sadly, I know that popcorn isn't for everyone, like toddlers who might choke on it, or people with certain digestive issues. But for just about everyone else, it's a pretty good option. And the aroma draws people to my studio, which is always a plus.