Isn’t it weird the way our palate works out?

We have gone for months without making popcorn, and then we have it several nights in a short span of time.

At my house, I do it on the stove top — 3 tablespoons of oil to 1/3 cup kernels. While it’s getting hot, I melt butter in the microwave in a small container. After buttering the friend’s portion, that container holds my popcorn. The friend gets the remainder. Almost always, we need a second batch.

He likes lots of butter and a normal amount of regular salt.

I use just the butter coating the inside of the small container in which it was melted, and seasoned salt with the orange lid. Unless, of course, I’m having a sweet attack, when I dump in raisins, any kind of baking chips, or this time of year — a handful of candy corn.

At his house, he uses one of those fangled jobs as seen on TV, with a stirrer and the lid that becomes the bowl. Way too much technology for me, as someone we love who lives in Wisconsin frequently says.

So as Halloween approaches, you can make treats and not blow your November food budget before the month starts.

These are both fun to make as you wait for the doorbell to ring.

Three-in-One Popcorn Crunch

4 quarts (16 cups) popped popcorn

2 cups dry roasted peanuts

1¹⁄³ cups sugar

1¹⁄³ cups packed brown sugar

1 cup dark corn syrup

½ cup water

½ cup butter (no substitutes)

½ teaspoon salt

1½ cups candy corn

Place popcorn and peanuts in large buttered heatproof containers or bowls; set aside. In a large heavy saucepan, combine the sugars, corn syrup, water, butter and salt. Cook over medium heat until a candy thermometer reads 285 degrees (soft-crack stage), stirring occasionally.

Pour over popcorn mixture; stir gently to coat. Stir in candy corn. Drop into bite-size pieces onto waxed paper. Cool completely. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 6 quarts.

(Recipe courtesy of “Holiday & Celebrations Cookbook 2001,” Taste of Home)

Buffalo Popcorn

4 tablespoons yellow popcorn kernels (8 to 10 cups popped popcorn)

2 tablespoons butter

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1 tablespoon Buffalo wing sauce

Salt to taste

Pop the popcorn kernels using whatever method you prefer.

Preheat oven to 275 degrees.

Melt the butter and Buffalo wing sauce in the microwave, 15 to 30 seconds.

In a large bowl, combine the popped popcorn and buffalo/butter mixture.

Using your hands, quickly toss the popcorn and sauce together until evenly coated.

Spread the popcorn in an even layer on a baking sheet.

Bake for 20 minutes. Stir once or twice while baking.

Remove from oven and lightly salt to taste.

Serve immediately while warm or transfer to an airtight container when cool and serve within 24 hours.

(Recipe from WonkyWonderful.com)

Follow community news editor Sally Ann Shurmur on Twitter @WYOSAS

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Sally Ann Shurmur arrived at the Star-Tribune to cover sports two weeks after graduating from the University of Wyoming and now serves as community news editor. She was raised in Laramie and is a passionate fan of Cowboys football, food and family.

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