Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Things Are Popping Here


I remember going to my grandmother's house when I was growing up. She lived close to us so we were there often. She always had at least three desserts in her kitchen, sometimes more. There was always ice cream (often Neapolitan), cookies (Lorna Doone, Cameo or Pecan Sandies) and a pie or cake. That's not counting the lemon drops in the candy jar on the table in her den. I loved it.

Well, if that's the measure for grandmotherly success, then I'm a failure. In our attempt to make better food choices here, you don't find sweets or snacks here all the time. Poor Big Sister has searched the pantry for something to munch on and found nothing in a package.

I have not given up sweet things or snack things, but figure if I have to actually MAKE one of them, then I must really want it. I just took the "convenience" out of the equation. Want a cookie? Then, bake cookies. Want cake? I'd better start softening the butter. Popcorn? Get out the big pot. No more microwave bags here.

Well, yesterday I really did want something to snack on. And I remembered the kettle corn we bought at the huge mid-western craft fair last fall. Sweet salty crunchy goodness. So good and a new treat to me. I had looked up a recipe when we got home but never tried it. It was a dreary, rainy day yesterday and I was hungry. Thought a three-ingredient (four, if you count the salt) recipe would be just right.

KETTLE CORN

1/4 oil
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
1/4 cup sugar
salt

In a large heavy saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add popcorn. When the oil sizzles,  add sugar and give it a quick stir, then cover with lid. Once corn starts popping, pick the pan up carefully and give it a quick shake every few seconds until popping slows down, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately pour popcorn into serving bowl. Sprinkle with salt and serve.

Be sure to pour the pop corn out of the hot pan immediately or the popped corn will stick to the sugar syrup in the bottom of the pan. I may have had my pan too hot because I had a bit of a mess in the bottom of the pan.


My first thought was, "Oh no! I ruined my pan." 
This was after I had scraped out as much as I could.


But a quick soak in hot soapy water and all was good. 
So don't panic if your pan looks like mine.

My homemade version was not quite as good as the bag we bought at the fair, but it was good enough to try again. I think maybe I should turn the heat down a little. And I put the sugar in first this time—probably a mistake. I'll keep practicing. And we'll enjoy all the practice batches until I get it right.


 

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