We’ve been on winter break here for two weeks, and when I say winter, I am not kidding. It has snowed more during the last week than I remember it snowing all last winter. We are talking about 18+ inches. The temperatures are at a record low, enough to make the pipes freeze in our old house. We’ve been here over five years and that has never happened.
Needless to say, our return back to school was delayed one day due to the extreme cold. That may make us sound like wimps here in the Chicago area, but seriously — negative 45. Just let that sink in before you judge! I just got the call that we won’t be returning tomorrow either. Part of me is ecstatic. I love sleeping in and staying in my pajamas all day! The other part of me just wants to get things back to normal, because with three kids, six and under, we need our routine back or we are going to have a mutiny on our hands.
I have to get creative sometimes in order to keep everyone’s sanity. Today, we had mid-day movies with homemade kettle corn. Everyone propped themselves on beanbag chairs and pillows and we had our own make-shift home theatre. That kept the natives entertained for about an hour while the Mr. and I thawed our frozen plumbing and thanked our lucky stars that it worked.
Then, we too, got to settle down with some of that delicious, buttery popcorn with a slightly sweet glaze. How can you make this, too? It is seriously easier than you ever could imagine. For the price you would pay for two bags of this stuff, you can get a giant container of pop corn and oil and make about 10 times as much.
As a side note, I used to rely on microwave popcorn once upon a time. I was certain it was healthy — healthier than opening a bag of chips or eating chocolate (mmm…). Then I started reading about what is put in that microwave popcorn and the bag itself. I learned that it wasn’t the best thing for my family, and really all I had to do was heat a little oil and some kernels in a pot and make it the old-fashioned way. I wasn’t being lazy, I just didn’t really think about it before this point. We haven’t had microwave popcorn in our house for a long time. If you are unaware of what is in your microwave popcorn, you can read about some of the reasons why I avoid it here: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/dangers-of-microwave-popcorn.html
What you need to make your own Kettle Corn:
A large stock pot with a lid (preferably a clear glass lid)
Vegetable oil or coconut oil — enough to coat the bottom of your pan when it is melted
Popcorn kernels (approximately 1/2 Cup)
2 Tbs of butter, melted
1-2 tsp of powdered sugar (or more if you want it really sweet)
1/2 tsp of sea salt
Heat your oil (just enough to liberally cover the bottom of your pan…think 2-3 Tbs) over a medium high heat and put three kernels of corn in with it. Cover the pan and wait for those kernels to pop — then you know your oil is ready.
Pour in enough popcorn to cover the bottom of the pan, cover, and let ‘er rip! If you can, shake your pot or jostle it around so that the un-popped kernels are at the bottom. You will want to do this a few times during popping.
Once the frequency of popping decreases to a few pops every few seconds, take your pot off the heat, but don’t open it up yet. Keep shaking it and letting the remaining heat in your pot pop those last few kernels.
Pour your popped corn into one or two large bowls and start to prepare the sweet, buttery glaze.
Into your melted butter, add your powdered sugar and stir it until smooth. Drizzle the butter/sugar mixture evenly over your popcorn and use a couple large spoons to move your popcorn around and coat it all as much as possible.
Sprinkle on your salt at this point and serve it up! You can make this as sweet as you want — I just like a hint of sweetness rather than it being super sugary. You could add other flavors into this if you wanted, too — vanilla extract, cinnamon, almond, etc. Have fun and stay warm!
p.s. Make sure your kids have napkins when eating this — it can make little hands a bit messy.