Popcorn cobs are one of the best reasons to own a microwave. Ears of corn are air dried, kernels and all, then vacuum packed to keep a bit of moisture in. The cobs come with a paper or see-through cellophane sack. Place the cob in the sack, turn on the microwave, and a couple of minutes later you’ve got a bag of popcorn with a few popped kernels still on the cob. Tie five cobs together with a bit of raffia for a conversation-starter of a hostess gift.
Farmer’s Popcorn Cobs are available for $2.50 an ear at Periwinkle (3815 Livingston St., NW; 202-364-3076) or online at sunflowerfoodcompany.com. Big Red Popcorn, which comes with a clear bag so you can watch the corn pop, is available at bigredpopcorn.com.