Merry Christmas to you and all your kin!
No, I don't use the word "kin" in casual conversation but the song "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" does...and it also mentions figgy pudding....one recipe I don't have!
Today's recipe is a tried-and-true and it's one of the few I remember actually making along side Grandma, but for Halloween. I recall Grandma making her famous Popcorn Ball recipe twice a year -- Halloween and Christmas. When she lived in her mid century modern house, it was on a secluded street with very few trick-or-treaters so she would make the homemade popcorn balls, much to my dismay.
"But they are not store-bought!" I would exclaim -- at the dawn of the if-its-store-bought-it-must-be-safe era in the mid 1980s. But Grandma would just nod and smile and say that everyone on the block knew her and it was all right -- said in the same way she would bid at the local auction barn -- an all-knowing look and a nod.
The popcorn balls were placed precisely in a mahogany wood bowl by the front door each year for any neighborhood kids who would happen by. At Christmas that same bowl usually held Overnight Salad and I am pleased to have that bowl in my possession now. Though I did not get around to making them this year here is the newer, more modern version of Popcorn Balls courtesy of my Aunt Sue.
Grandma's Popcorn Balls -- Modern Version
3 bags of "natural" microwave popcorn (buttered versions won't work)
1 stick butter
1 cup Karo syrup
1 cup sugar
1 T apple cider vinegar
Pop corn and remove all virgins, up-popped kernels, divide between two 13x9 pans
Bring the other ingredients to a boil, once it begins to boil do not stir. Let it boil at medium high heat for exactly 10 minutes.
Pour syrup over the two pans of popcorn and stir rapidly to coat the popcorn. Form balls quickly. This process is best done with two people, one stirring, while the other begins forming the balls. Only a couple of minutes before the syrup sets up and the ball won't hold together. Work very quickly. Makes 12-14 large popcorn balls.
Merry Christmas all!