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  • Popcorn Balls

    I wrote this up for my sister, so I thought I'd post it here as well:

    Sorry for the loose description, but this is how my mom showed me 40 years ago:

    Boil (very low boil, but a definite boil) a bunch of syrup (we used whatever was around for pancakes, cheap/generic is fine) with a little butter (margarine is fine) until you can drip a little into icewater and mold a ball out of it that stays together.
    Spread a bunch of newspaper on the table (or waxpaper if that's too "ick")
    Spread out tons of dry (ie: unbuttered, unsalted, unseasoned), previously-popped (can be yesterday, but not stale) popcorn on newspaper
    Drizzle boiled syrup all over popcorn
    Butter hands **very** liberally with frequent reapplication (or you can get burned, but butter prevents it)
    Roll popcorn/syrup mixture into balls and let cool (delicious warm, but they won't hold together as balls until cool)

    If you misjudge one or another of the ingredients, eat it all and start over readjusting quantities.
    Excess popcorn can be strung with needle and thread and put out for birds.
    Learn by teaching
    Take responsibility for learning

  • #2
    "but this is how my mom showed me 40 years ago"

    My illusions are shattered I thought you were only 25 Doug!

    How much is a 'bunch' 10gallons, 20?

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    • #3
      Yes, approx. 10-20 gallons
      Learn by teaching
      Take responsibility for learning

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      • #4
        Boy, this sure brings back memories. My mother was known in the neighborhood for giving out homemade popcorn balls for Halloween. She used to keep a huge plastic garbage can specifically for making them (Never used for garbage of course) and she would fill it to the top with popcorn and that was the quantity she had to make for all the people who came to get them. That ended of course when the tainted candy scare came though. She used the little carmel squares melted down and thinned with milk I believe but I'm not positive on that. Anyway, I can remember our job was to open each little square of carmel in the many bags she used then stir the pot as they melted. Of course our payment was that we got to eat the few chocolate carmels that were mixed in the bags. As a kid, I would have prefered carmel with a little popcorn mixed in rather than popcorn with a little carmel. I used to try getting her to put lots more carmel then the recipe called for. Anyway, thanks for the trip down memory lane.
        DJ

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        • #5
          Handing out homemade candy on halloween, there's a whole other trip down nostalgia lane (not memory lane, since I was of the first generation warned not to accept homemade candy)
          Learn by teaching
          Take responsibility for learning

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          • #6
            I'm not that old. I grew up in a town not too far removed from Mayberry where everyone knows everyone else so I guess the candy scare didn't reach us as quickly as in the big city but I do remember having to inspect our candy for razorblades or pins etc due to the Urban Legions of the time. The poisons didn't come around til much later. When we hit the streets begging for goodies, we usually didn't come home until our second pillow case was full of candy. Now you're lucky to get a baggie full fighting the crowds of spooks at the malls. Ahhh the joys of the Baby Boomer life.
            DJ

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            • #7
              Hey Dj...Dub

              Pour some hot melted chocolate on the popcorn....mmm

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              • #8
                God that sounds good don't it? Funny how chocolate can fit in just about anywhere. I got to get out of this recipe forum, it's killing me.
                DJ

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                • #9
                  I guess all of the above would be OK, BUT I think the only way to fix popcorn is to butter it lightly, salt to taste, then garlic powder (again to taste). I prefer a vintage Dr. Pepper (on ice), and a comfortable couch.

                  Like heaven on earth

                  Mike

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                  • #10
                    When I lived in San Francisco, there was a movie theater (the Embarcadero) that had shakers of garlic parmesan cheese for patrons to sprinkle on their popcorn. Mmm-mmm! (obviously, not a big theater for first dates)
                    Learn by teaching
                    Take responsibility for learning

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                    • #11
                      Cinemas in Scotland and 'Butterkist', oh my!!! such marvellous memories! Your recipe Doug sounded SO familiar that I knew you had to also, and unconsciously, be describing BUTTERKIST....

                      I did a search and low and behold....

                      http://www.cadburyschweppes.com/EN/B...butterkist.htm

                      There were two cinemas and one theatre in the street where I lived in Edinburgh, at least one outing a week at night to one cinema, and on Saturday mornings (all kids movies ...usually Roy Rogers, Lone Ranger, cartoons) at the other cinema. Happy times!

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                      • #12
                        Neve

                        What memories you bring back!!

                        I was raised on a dairy farm, when we did the evening milking we used to listen to the radio, all those neat shows and the Lone Ranger was one of them. I knew from the radio show what he looked like, so the first time I saw him on the screen, I was really disappointed

                        THAT was not my Lone Ranger!

                        The power if imagination.......

                        Mike

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                        • #13
                          ....and not a very happy memory by the sounds of it Mike! I saw Roy Rogers in Edinburgh, brought his horse to the hotel window. A very very strange appearance to my eyes (I was 8) but cheered along with the rest of the hundreds of people who were there also anyway.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Popcorn Balls

                            my attempt at popcorn balls was some years ago now. I chose to try making caramel ones (the recipe looked amazing). It was for Christmas & I was having about 5 guest over. What a mistake. It was soooo messy & impossible to work with. I've never tried again since. I don't know if I ever will, but I sure do like to eat them. Yum Yum.
                            Nancy

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                            • #15
                              Re: Popcorn Balls

                              Messy generally means either the caramel wasn't cooked enough (too thin) or not enough butter was used on the hands (can't stress enough how important that is).

                              It's a little messy, sure, but that's also part of the fun.
                              Learn by teaching
                              Take responsibility for learning

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