Monday, October 19, 2009

Popcorn Balls of Glory

It really isn't Fall until we make popcorn balls. Why is that? I'm not sure. Probably because there isn't any other indicator here in Arizona that Fall is really here. It's still blinkin' hot out side and the trees don't change color. So, in open rebellion against the evil hot summer staying way past it's welcome...we ushered in the Fall. Somehow it made me feel better, though I doubt it will change the weather. I called Gena and we decided to have a kid popcorn ball extravaganza. Eight children. Eight. I don't have eight on my own. God made my body capable of two. I'd be mental. comments.The day finally arrived and so did we. It was nice to visit since we moved so far away and I was in complete Gena withdrawal!
Check this out...
In the leafy tree tops the birds say, " Good morning"...but at my friend Gena's the Nightmare Before Christmas tree was in full glory...
Little Man thought it was gross.
Face wanted to make one at home.
I opted for just taking a picture and giving away a great idea for morbid as it looks.

And now, the popcorn begins.

You will need 12 cups of popcorn. Microwave is fine. We used the natural butter. can use natural air popped love. Whatever.
Popcorn balls:
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup honey or dark corn syrup
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup butter
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp vanilla
Put sugar, syrup, butter, water and salt in a large heavy sauce pan (2 quart). Cook over medium heat...
Hold the vanilla in reserve until the end of cooking. I also use something totally un-natural for the color and flavor. In no way am I even starting to believe that somehow the addition of this stuff made this sugar goo anywhere near the range of "healthy"...let alone helping the immune system. Sorry. I think it added great flavor though.
Cherry pomegranate. Mmmm.
Now the sugar syrup will cook really nicely and bubble. Keep kiddos at bay for this part.
Note: you will need a candy thermometer. friend Gena had a candy thermometer at her house. Our friend J was there too. Now mind you she doesn't cook...much. Not without a can of cream of mushroom soup in the house anyway. So...she asked, "Is that like a rectal thermometer?" No, my dear friends, it is nothing like a rectal thermometer. Yikes. Which would be wrong on sooooo many levels to have that in the kitchen. So wrong. Sick and wrong. Behold the candy thermometer. It's the one with the clip on it to hold it to the pan...

See...pan holding. Uh-hem.
I love vanilla...but usually after dinner. It seemed a little early to be hitting the bottle. However baby was kicking it back old school. Don't you just want to snuggle this little nugget of cutie pie?
Okay...cooked to 250 Fahrenheit on the candy thermometer scale. Be sure it isn't touching the bottom of the pan or you will get a false reading. Now add the vanilla and the uh-hem...Crystal light...or food coloring...or nothing at all for the natural peeeeps.
Drizzle over the popcorn in a very dramatic way. This may involve some Mamba music and the use of your hips. However, may I also suggest having a little Elvis playing in the background.

Oh go ahead be practical. Just pour it over the popcorn without any fan fair. Boring people. I preferred to go, "boom-ba-ba-boom" and sing a funny song to make my kids laugh.
It cools down enough for little hands to stir the popcorn, however, if you are in any way sceptical, then by all means don't let the kiddos touch the spoon. We had 8 kids wash and sanitize their hands (yes...the two step cleaning method). Then we buttered them up really well and let them make popcorn balls.
It took a little squeezing to get them to stay together. Next time I double the gooey stuff. Though I really loved the lightly sweet popcorn balls. Maybe I won't double it next time.
Since Mamba music and hip dancing wasn't dramatic enough, we decided to make a popcorn ball topiary of glory. Wooden skewer in the middle. Piles of cherry pomegranate popcorn balls. Ahhh. It was pretty for about 4 minutes. Then the kids ate them all. All. Life is good...especially after the sugar buzz wears off.

There you go.


TARA said...

Rectal thermometer...tee hee!

Anonymous said...

I love the pic of K! She was so funny. Thanks for having me it was a lot of fun.
P.S. It was a can of Cream of Chicken! Geeze get it right! :)