Ever since Ina Garten hit the road to promote her latest cookbook, Cook Like a Pro, I've officially become a Gartenhead. I've been listening to every single one of her sound bites, digesting every feature and article, and following her book tour so voraciously that I feel like, at this point, I can finish her sentences. Her go-to kitchen tool? A zester. One recipe she can't master? Boston cream pie. Her favorite thing to cook for Jeffrey? Roast chicken. The most important ingredient? Salt. Best cheese ever? Parmesan.
Basically what I'm saying is, if ever Ina is unable to make a speaking engagement due to a prior conflict, I am happy to substitute because A: I'm fluent in Ina, and B: I, too, love Jeffrey.
But last night I went to watch Ina in conversation with the New York Times' Frank Bruni at the 92nd St Y in New York City and finally was faced with a question about the Barefoot Contessa that I did not already know how to answer: Does Ina Garten pop her own popcorn?
If I had to guess, I would say, yes, absolutely Ina Garten pops her own popcorn. Ina, in fact, has a small corn field in her East Hampton garden, from which she harvests fresh ears of corn. And when she's not cutting the kernels off the cob over a handy dish towel to make fresh corn salad, she dries the rest and pops them when she and Jeffrey decide to have a cozy movie night in. (This is strictly conjecture.)
And guess what? My guess is wrong.
Ina loves store-bought, microwave popcorn. Newman's Own, Movie Theater Butter to be exact. "Because butter makes everything better — and more butter is better."
Ina, she's just like us! Except for one little thing: In true Ina fashion, our queen likes to put even more butter on her buttered microwave popcorn. And not just any butter — Urbani White Truffle Butter. Hey, she's got great taste!