I have such wonderful memories of Halloween. Just one look at an old Halloween cutout decoration makes me warm & fuzzy inside. We had such little entertainment available to us back in the day. I think the beautiful harvest moon & the fall weather also helps color all of my trick-or-treat memories "happy" as well. I grew up in a big old 200+ year old house and our Halloweens were filled with great treats & fun with the neighborhood kids. It's one of my very favorite times of the year. Of course I have great memories of my own children & their fun Halloween escapades.
Nowadays I'm combining 2 of my favorite things: being a Doda & enjoying Halloween! I'm so very happy that my grandsons now live back in Louisiana (where they belong).
Who wouldn't be overjoyed with being Doda to Captain America & Spiderman? Each one of these little boys own 1/2 of my heart!
|Eddie & Noah aka: Captain America & Spiderman|
I always loved it when my momma sent things to school that I was able to pass out to the kids in my class. I always tried to be a room mother or helper at school with my boys & now I get to do things like this for my grandsons! Being a grandmother is such a joy!
This year, I decided to make some homemade, from scratch, caramel popcorn balls. I started out with cooking popcorn the old fashioned way..no microwave-nuked-kernels for my grandsons. Honestly, it had been so long since I didn't opt for the push-button popcorn packages that I couldn't remember how to pop popcorn on the stove top. I found this awesome "no fail" Perfect Popcorn recipe & it worked out beautifully. This recipe was borrowed from http://www.simply recipes.com Check out their website for some other great stuff.
*3 TB canola or peanut oil (high smoke point oil)
*1/3 cup high quality popcorn kernels
*1 3 quart covered saucepan
*2 TB or more (to taste) real butter
* salt to taste
1. Heat oil in 3 qt saucepan on MEDIUM high heat.
2. Put 3 or 4 kernels into the oil & cover the pan.
3. When the kernels pop, add the rest of the 1/3 cup of popcorn kernels in an even layer. Add salt to taste at this point. It will infuse into the popcorn as it pops. Cover, REMOVE FROM HEAT, and count 30 seconds. (This method heats the oil to the correct temperature, then waiting 30 seconds brings all of the other kernels to a near-popping temperature so that when put back on the heat, they all pop about the same time.
4. Return the pan to the heat. The popcorn should begin popping soon, and all at once. Once the popping begins in earnest, gently shake the pan by moving it back & forth over the burner. Try to keep the lid slightly ajar to let the steam escape. This will make a crispier popcorn product. Once the popping slows to several seconds between pops, remove the pan from the heat, remove lid & immediately dump popcorn into a wide mouthed bown. HARDLY any unpopped kernels will be left with this method.
5. If you are adding butter, you can melt into pan while it's still hot & pour over popped corn.
This recipe is AH-MAZING! In fact, I don't think I'll ever buy microwave popcorn again.
Next step is to make a batch of my BASIC CARAMEL SAUCE. This recipe I've had for years & is great on ANYTHING! I use it with apple pies for a delish finish.
BASIC CARAMEL SAUCE:
*4 TB butter (I used salted but either is fine)
*1 CUP packed light brown sugar
*1/2 CUP corn syrup (lite)
*7 OUNCE sweetened condensed milk (this is 1/2 can)
*2 TSP pure vanilla extract
1. Combine butter, sugar & corn syrup in small, heavy, saucepan over MEDIUM heat & cook, stirring occasionally. Once butter has melted bring it to a boil. Add condensed milk & continue to boil for 5 minutes. Continuing to stir to prevent scorching. Remove from heat & stir in the vanilla extract. Stir until smooth.
|BASIC CARAMEL SAUCE|
TO PUT TOGETHER THE POPCORN BALLS:
I poured the sauce over approximately 10 cups of popped corn. Stir GENTLY until covered & once it's cool enough to touch, butter your hands & roll into balls (whatever size you desire). Place the balls on a buttered sheet of wax paper until cooled. This is what it will look like once it's stirred together well. The freshness of these scratch methods really come thru... they are simply delicious, if I say so myself (which I just did)!
Since I was making them for my grandsons friends I decided to make them a bit smaller than usual & inserted small sticks.
I put them in some cute Halloween cupcake liners & small plastic bags. Here is the end result. They are gonna be so excited to pass out to all their classmates tomorrow! I'm also so very thankful to have a beautiful daughter-in-law who lets me be a Super Doda to my heart's content!!
I'm looking forward to donning my Witchie-Poo costume tomorrow night during the harvest moon & going over to pass out candy at my son & daughter-in-law's house while they bring the kids trick-or-treating.
I hope you all have a wonderful time & enjoy this fun holiday!
Take good care,