Monday, October 24, 2011

Popcorn Balls

I was looking through my mom's cookbook that she had pulled together years ago. It was like walking through the history of my family. She had uncovered recipes from many generations of our family and put them in one book. In a smaller way, it was a quick spin through  the years that I was able to spend with her. She wrote her love on my life in so many ways. Now as a mom myself, I can see even more of the love that she gave unselfishly to my brother, sister and I. It showed in so many little ways. I have a memory of her making popcorn balls for one of our school Halloween parties when we were young. I am going to make these this week for my boys, remembering how loved I felt when my mom made them for me, and praying that my boys will feel the love I have for them.

Popcorn Balls

8 cups popped corn
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
Food coloring, if desired
Combine sugar, corn syrup, water and salt and bring to a boil. Cook to soft ball stage * and then add butter, vanilla, and if desired, food coloring. Pour over corn, stirring with two forks. Butter hands and make into balls. Place on waxed paper.

*Soft-Ball Stage occurs at 235-245 degrees. This stage can be determined by dropping a spoonful of hot syrup into a bowl of very cold water. In the water, use your fingers to gather the cooled syrup into a ball. If it has reached soft-ball stage, the syrup easily forms a ball while in the cold water, but flattens once removed from the water.

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