Thursday, February 10, 2011

Farmhouse Cooking.....Carmel Popcorn- Our Snow Day Tradition

carmel popcorn by the fire

   Sitting by the fire with your warm flannels on- our perfect end to a blustery cold day. With grand rarity our region of the south had snow flurries and twenty degree weather yesterday. As is our family tradition, I made a big bowl of yummy, sticky goodness: carmel popcorn.
   Needing only a few on-hand ingredients, carmel popcorn is really fun to make with kids of any age (adults love it, too). Gathering in the farm kitchen, each one has their task. The younger farmkids pop the popcorn and take care to pick out any hulls. The older farmgirl and I mix and stir the gooey carmel. With all hands on deck, the carmel and the corn are tossed together and spread on greased baking sheets to cool- if you can resist them long enough.

Farmhouse Carmel Popcorn

1 1/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 cups popped corn

   In a saucepan stir together the sugar, syrup and butter. Over medium heat, bring to a boil and keep it there for three minutes. As you remove the carmel from the heat stir in the vanilla before drizzling over the popped corn (you will want the biggest bowl you have to mix the two or do it in batches). Once your corn is sufficiently coated with carmel (work quickly) turn it onto a lightly greased baking sheet and spread it out a bit to cool. Left-overs can be stored in an air tight container or plastic bag.

   Let me share a mother always made carmel corn but added two cups of roasted peanuts and called them Cracker Jacks. My grandmothers made them using white sugar; we shaped those into popcorn balls known also as Snowballs. Being a coffee nut, myself, we made them one year with a teaspoon of coffee granules and they were wonderful!
   No matter what you stir in or what you call them, carmel popped corn is a delicious treat made even more special when shared with loved ones. So gather your family together, pop some corn, and make some memories tonight.


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