I like Kettle Corn. (wow, big shocker, yet another food that I like!) We have a farmer's market once a week where we live, and I go sometimes with a friend of mine who always gets a big honkin bag of Kettle Corn to share. I have good friends. :)
I like how it's sort of stuck together a little when it's warm at first, then gets all crispy and crunchy with the sugar and the salt on the outside.
......whoa Nelly, I have a problem, and its name is "I like food way too much." This is why I run a bunch of miles, and still don't waste away to nothing........
I made this in the middle of the afternoon, during the boys' break for school, and they were totally thrilled to have a Kettle Corn snack in the middle of the day.
(it really is too bad there is no smell-o-vision feature on this blog. Kettle Corn smells sooooooooo good)
Here's what you need to make a batch: 1/2 cup popcorn kernels, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup canola oil, and salt:
Now, before you start cooking, lay some things out so they're ready for you. You want a large bowl and your shaker of salt out on the counter, and then by the pan on the stove you'll want to put the 1/2 cup of sugar, the popcorn kernels (make sure the bag is open, once the oil is hot you want to move quickly), and the lid for the pot. I use my copper-bottomed dutch oven, it's a fairly heavy pot and it has a lid. That's what you need:
Okie dokie, now you're ready to go!! Put 1/3 cup of canola oil in the pot, and throw in 2 or 3 of the popcorn kernels. Then put the pot over medium-high heat.
....hey, what's the difference between a pot and a pan? I have no idea what the answer is to that question. I should look it up.
Anyhow, so I was saying....
So, the two or three kernels you put in are going to pop when the oil is ready. I took the lid off the pan to take a picture of the popped kernel to show you, and then another one popped out and landed on my foot, which Nicholas thought was hilarious. (the oil was hot! I did a little popcorn dance- and it wasn't pretty) If you leave the lid on, you can hear them hit the lid and you know it is time to pour in the sugar and the popcorn kernels:
....Now at this point it's going to seem like it's taking the popcorn a long time to pop, and you can hear the sugar sizzling in the pan. DO NOT PANIC!! It will start popping any minute, and it will work out ok. So when the popcorn starts popping, shake the pan every so often, like maybe every 10 seconds give it several good shakes. What you're doing is distributing the sugar syrup over all of the popcorn. Now, keep doing this until the popping is almost stopped, and you only hear one pop every 10 seconds or so. If you stop too soon you will end up with a whole bunch of unpopped kernels that are stuck to the popped corn and you don't want that. Because then your kids will break their teeth, and you'll have to go to the dentist. And dental insurance is getting worse and worse and you will have to pay a ton of money. Then you'll be broke. JUST DON'T DO IT I TELL YOU!! (sorry, I was sleepy so I just had a bunch of caffeine. Maybe I overdid it.)
Ok, so now you'll have your popped corn in the pot (or the pan, whatever). Dump it in the bowl you laid out earlier, and lightly sprinkle it with salt, toss it, and give it another sprinkle. When it first comes out of the pan, the Kettle Corn will look all sticky and in one lump, but as it cools it will be crunchy, crispy, and separate:
(so I bribed them into let me take a picture of the Kettle Corn in their hands.......)
One tip- after you're done, soak the pan in HOT water right away, and in a little bit, it will clean up really easily! :)
So, while I'm trying to get all of my afternoon chores done and dinner going, Nicholas decides that he MUST do a craft! (do your kids do this? Please tell me I'm not the only one....) So he has this kit that you can make your own bouncy balls out of these crystal things. So we did that, and he chose a cool shape (they have a round mold and then one that has sides on it) for the ball. It turned out really pretty:
I really have to say that one of the things I love best about homeschooling is the fun, spontaneous stuff we do in the middle of the morning, or in the afternoon, because we're together and we have the time. Like making a bouncy ball with your kid. Or munching on a bowl of Kettle Corn together. Some of my best conversations with my teenager have been during these times. I am thankful. :)
Grilled Chicken (I may buy a roasted one from Costco depending on how the day goes)