Yesterday was my grandmother’s 97th birthday dinner and at the last minute I decided to make party favors. Last minute meant going shopping for materials after 3pm for a 6:30pm dinner. I was thinking I might need to resort to buying candy. The farmer’s market already closed or I could have bought kettle corn. Who doesn’t like the sweet and salty flavor of kettle corn? My grandma sure does. There are few English words my grandma knows and one of them is popcorn. I became disappointed that I didn’t think of the kettle corn idea earlier, but then I thought why not try to make kettle corn. I already had all the ingredients at home so all I needed were the bags. $1.99 for twenty-five clear bags at Michael’s.
I reviewed a few recipes online and decided to just go for it one batch at a time.
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 tsp salt
Add vegetable oil and 3 popcorn kernels in a large non-stick pot over medium-high heat. Cover the pot with a tight lid. Once you have heard the three kernels pop, remove the 3 pieces of popcorn.
The oil is at the correct temperature so pour the rest of the kernels and sugar into the pot. Place the lid back on and shake the pot a few times forward and backward to get the oil, kernels, and sugar to blend. When the kernels begin popping, shake the pot every few seconds. When the popping slows down between 2-3 seconds apart, remove from heat and pour into a large bowl quickly. Sprinkle salt over the popped corn.
Mix the popcorn and try to separate any clumps. After cooling off for a few minutes, it’s ready to eat or in my case put into bags. I ended up making four batches in order to fill the twenty-five bags. A simple and inexpensive party favor that came out pretty cute. Friends and family were able to enjoy the snack, pre-dinner and were surprised it was home made and wanted the recipe. Some even thought it tasted better than the Farmer’s Market!
I have a couple of secrets. The first is letting the popcorn cool off a bit before serving. It starts out soft and needs a few minutes to harden. If you eat it right away or put it in the bag too early, it won’t be crispy like it should be. The other secret is using Pop Secret Jumbo Popping Corn.