Top of the Pops

When I was 7, I drew a picture of my dog Sandy in my schoolbook. I labeled her “dog” only I misspelled it so it read “dod”. (Could happen – d for g, if you flip it, reverse it, and dock its tail).

The boy sitting next to me* looked over at my proud rendition of Sandy and said incredulously “is that a picture of your DAD??” (misreading the word “dod”).

I can’t remember why I started with this story, but it was meant to bring us to the fact that it’s nearly Father’s Day, time to celebrate the people who brought up such awesome individuals as ourselves.


This is a super-easy recipe, more like instructions for assembly. It should come with allen keys and be written in wonky Chinglish.

Here goes:

gift wrapped

here's two i prepared earlier

poppa didn't raise no fool

  1. Bake cake. Buy it. Whatevs. You’re going to want to cut cubes from it. I baked vanilla mini-loaves and then trimmed off the tops and cut them in two (cunning plan – the trimmed bits need to go somewhere. Waste not, want not).
  2. Prepare cupcake cases – measure carefully, slightly larger than your cake-cubes. It’s easiest to make five identical squares on a Word doc, then smoodge them together in a cross shape, add colour/etc. to look like a popcorn box, and print. It’s not hard. 7-year olds do this stuff on those art & craft shows all the time, with their little blunt-nosed scissors and adult supervision. It took me only three attempts before I almost got it right. Then I went all-out and dug up my fancy scrapbooking scissors to make a scalloped top edge (neener neener neener, my cupcake case is better than yoo-ours, says my inner 7 year-old).
  3. I wrapped my cake-cubes in regular cupcake cases first, since the “popcorn boxes” I made were not exactly designed to be food-grade (as in, someone handled the paper with grubby paws, then it went through a printer, and then I stuck it in my gym-bag, etc.). I flattened the cases with a rolling pin so that they could be more easily folded round the cake. Pop the pre-wrapped cubes into your handmade popcorn boxes.
  4. Prepare popcorn**, or use store-bought. If you’re going to use store-bought then make it the caramel coated kind. Get a really large bag, party-size preferably. Same cunning plan as employed for the cake trimmings applies.
  5. Melt white chocolate and then cool to room temperature. Add the popcorn and stir to coat, then spoon it onto the top of your cake-cubes so that it completely hides the cake. Heap it up a bit to look more awesome. Chocolate-coated popcorn is something Maria in The Sound of Music should have included in her song about Favourite Things.
  6. Present your adorable little box of Pop-corn to your Pop and prepare to declared the Favourite amongst your siblings.

up close

* I FB-stalked him last week. He’s a dad himself now! With limited quantities of hair.

**If you live in a higher-grade country where corn comes in different varieties, get mushroom corn kernels. They have way less of that kernel-y stuff that stubbornly sticks between your teeth. If you’re in Deepest Darkest like me, good ol’ mieliepitte followed by dental floss will have to do.