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  • Writer's pictureJonna Meidal

Popcorn Pans & Kitchen Fires

I’ve had the same popcorn pan since I was in college. It’s greasy, filmy, and has now started catching on fire.

Every time this happens I simply blow it out (sometimes vehemently) and turn a blind eye…because there’s no way in kernels I’m gonna trade it in – I just love it so!

THAT SAID, I happen to like being alive, and I have no interest in bandaging third degree burns just so I can eat salty snacks, so one year, I reluctantly asked for a new pan for Christmas.


Now, for some CRAZY reason I thought a cast iron pan would be an upgrade…..What in kernels was I thinking??!!!???!! 

I don’t have enough muscles in my entire BODY to lift up a cast iron pan at the precise speed and frequency necessary to ensure optimum pop-age. I don’t have leather-bound hands either (which inecessary if you want to operate it when hot), so I now needed TWO oven mitts just to use it –– one for the lid and one for the handle.

This is where the problem begins…

One weekend in February, my husband went ice fishing with some friends, which meant chick flick + popcorn = . Not even two handfuls in, however, I started smelling smoke……..but promptly did nothing about it because I would rather shove my face full of salt than investigate fires.

But then…sniff…….sniff sniff.

“Yep…that’s definitely smoke.” I got up to see where it was coming from but was surprised to see nothing suspicious in the kitchen. I padded back to my movie, the taste of salt still lingering on my tongue, but as I sat down, the smell just got worse.

I got up again – omitting the biggest SIGH in couch potato history – but was quickly reprimanded when I got back to the kitchen because this time, I could definitely smell where the smoke was coming from.

I opened up my bottom cupboard doors and …. out poured BACKDRAFT!


You guys, smoke the size of Texas attacked my eyes and lungs so intensely I could hardly see or breathe!!

“AHHHHHH!” I screamed, trying to “shoo” it away. And then for some strange reason (probably because God loves me) I thought to open up the drawer above the cupboards…and that’s when I saw the culprit: those two dang potholders … RAGING ON FIRE!

“AHHHHHHH!” I screamed again, the adrenaline coursing through my body as I frantically ripped the drawer off its track and ran outside. I heaved its contents like a javelin and watched the snow extinguish the oven mitts (and three dish towels + heaps of candy) on my front yard.

Exasperated, I started to cry. I just felt so betrayed! My beloved snack had tried to kill me!

Shaking from shock and denial (and because I had no shoes on), I started to go inside. But right as I was about to lock the door, everything on my yard lit up on fire again!!! I’m not kidding – I literally had to STOP DROP AND ROLL that stuff just to get it out.

pic of stop drop and roll

To say I was traumatized is an understatement. I could hardly sleep that night because the smoke-smell haunted my nostrils. Plus, my husband wasn’t even there to comfort me so all I had was salty shame!


Sometimes change feels like that: you try something new – like a diet or budget plan – and you think it’ll be fine but it’s not. It feels “clunky” and HARD so you just go right back to your old popcorn pan (like I did). This never solves the problem, though. It just puts a bandaid over a festering wound, only to work temporarily.

But today is the day for CHANGE people!!!!

Today, in front of all of my friends and family (and randos who read my blog), I vow to use my new (and safe) popcorn pan until it starts catching on fire in 20 years. And just for extra accountability, I will even break it in over Facebook LIVE and Instagram later tonight so you, too, can learn the magic behind “the pan”.


In conclusion, don’t let change burn your house down. Tell a friend that you need help and remember to give yourself grace. It takes at least 66 days to acquire a new habit so don’t expect to LOVE your “new pan” right away. Be patient, get support, and keep eating popcorn along the way.


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