(Alex Munsell, via Unsplash.com and used under Creative Commons zero)

"Are you heading home to cook a delicious dinner for yourself now?" I asked a friend when we had finished volunteering for an afternoon event.

"No, I'm not cooking today. I have a few leftovers in the refrigerator that won't stay that way too much longer. But I just might make some popcorn. Do you ever get a taste for popcorn? And I don't mean the microwave-pouch variety, but I mean the popcorn you make in a kettle," she says.

"Absolutely! There's nothing like popcorn in a kettle. Very tasty," I respond.

She continued, "I have my own way of making popcorn, and I start from scratch. Once it's popped I add a flavorful seasoning and not just salt. I like taco seasoning, cheese seasoning, ranch dressing seasoning, kettle-corn seasoning and butter seasoning. Why, sometimes I shake on parmesan cheese. It just depends on what I have a taste for at that moment. It takes a little longer to make popcorn from scratch, but you just can't beat the freshness," she opined.

"I couldn't agree more," I affirmed. "Those flavors sound delicious; maybe I should try that."

She went on, "I make sure my popcorn is healthy and natural. So many foods are loaded with chemicals. Did you know that?"

"I figured it out," I said. "Somebody told me I'm well-preserved. That would be thanks to all the chemicals in food, no? Better living through chemistry and all that."

[Nancy Linenkugel is a Sylvania Franciscan sister and chair of the department of Health Services Administration at Xavier University, Cincinnati.]

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