Sunday, November 2

We interrupt coverage of our Retreat for Snacktime!!!

I have been craving a real, old-fashioned popcorn ball for the past week. The ones that are available in the grocery store look okay but there is nothing like the taste of a real popcorn ball! So on Friday, I picked up the proper ingredients and announced to my husband that I was going to make them on Sunday afternoon. I was even thinking about them in church this morning! And here they are..............the real thing.

I'll share the recipe because it is good everytime. I told Steve I was sure I hadn't made them in several years and he's like - "oh, it can't be that long". But it has! When I was popping the popcorn - real popcorn not the microwave stuff - I realized that the last time I popped real popcorn was when I had a metal lid and now I have glass lids for my pans so it was fun to see the corn pop! Sorry if this sounds like it doesn't take much to entertain was fun to watch the kernels pop and it momentarily crossed my mind to wonder what would happen if I removed the lid and let the popcorn pop all over the place. That's proof that there is always a little bit of the kid in most of us. :-) Here's the recipe........I don't know where it came from as it's been the one I've used for more than 30 years, written in pencil with a large water spot on the recipe card. :)

Old-Fashioned Popcorn Balls
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup water
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup light corn syrup or honey
(I have always used light corn syrup)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 tsp. vanilla
4 quarts warm popped corn
(pop the corn first and keep warm in a 200 degree oven)
Tape a piece of parchment paper (wax side up) to your counter
to place the finished popcorn balls.
Cooking instructions:
Combine sugar, water, salt, corn syrup, and butter in a 2 quart heavy saucepan.
Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
Continue cooking (without stirring) at a low boil until mixture reaches the
hard ball stage of 268 degrees (trust me, use a candy thermometer for this as if the mixture is not quite cooked long enough - see my popcorn balls that are falling apart and that's because my syrup mixture is not quite sticky enough but you don't want it to cook to long or you'll have hard rock candy and that's not what you're looking for here!).
Add the vanilla and mix.
Pour hot candy mixture over the freshly popped corn and mix well.
Wet your hands in cold water to shape the balls and place on the waxed parchment paper.
You may have to wet your hands frequently
until all the balls are shaped.
These are really delicious. Oh, and if you want to add food coloring,
do that right after the vanilla.
And now, since I am in recipe mode, SuddenlySandra asked if I was going to share the recipe for the cookies I mentioned in a post last week. This isn't really a recipe, but if it was given a name it would be called "Cheater Cookies", you know like a cheater quilt that is almost like a quilt but not quite.
I wanted cookies and I wanted them fast so I took two cookie mixes from the cupboard - see the picture. :-) I put the dry ingredients in the bowl, then added the oil, margarine and egg called for on the package and mixed it all really well. Then I mixed in about 3/4 cup chopped pecans. The next ingredient was a mix of chips. I used about 1/3 of each package pictured. Mixed it all together and baked them up and they are really, really good. They freeze well and I think I will get some more mixes so I can create other varieties of my "Cheater Cookies"!! :-)
That's the end of our Snack break. I'll be back in a little bit with more about our retreat. I like writing about it because it went by so fast that if I didn't have photos, I'm not sure I'd remember half of what we did!!


Mary Grace McNamara said...

Oh Sandi, now I'm HUNGRY! Thanks a lot! ;)


Nihal said...

Oh Sandi..
I just wanted to fly in MN and give you a TeddyBear Hug for your so lovely comment about my most recent post...! Why am I not a little birdie:(
Believe me, I'd not like you to take any trouble Sandi. I already felt a big magnetism btw our zones and that's what I'm so grateful, so...!
Oh article in your MN Star Tribune?! Wow, how much I'm thrilled you don't know.
You could scan and then send to me as an attached mail instead of mailing Sandi? Ohh you see I'm very tech-girl:)
Now. Late evening here, and need to run finishing my daily work..
See you next,

Anonymous said...


sparkle jars said...

Thank you for the popcorn ball recipe...a special childhood memory for me. We always went to the house on the corner first because she made popcorn balls! :-)

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