Ahhh, popcorn. So popular in my family that we had it for Sunday dinner sometimes. And no one complained, not even Mom.Variations: 1. Cook on stove, see EagleHasLanded's post for good ways to do it.2. Microwave with REAL popcorn: Use one of these: http://www.amazon.com/Nordic-Ware-60120-Microwaver-Popcorn/d...It works as well as an air popper, and you can add as little or as much fat as you want. For those who are going really low-calorie, you can use spray oil and then add flavor.3. Air popper: Yes, they still exist! Amazon sells a zillion of them. They don't appear to make the one that I have anymore, but that's not surprising since mine is circa 1986. That said, I never use it anymore -- the microwave popper is my preference.4. The ultimate air popper: A fire. I have had the opportunity to make popcorn over a fire several times in my life. It is delicious -- significantly different than other types and well worth it if you have the chance.Flavoring? Lots of options! For everyday popcorn, I usually use spray oil and salt. Sometimes a bit of Splenda if I am having sweet-tooth moment. Or pepper, if I want something a little spicy. Of course, the best thing On The Planet is caramel corn. Caramel CornFor that you need a double making of popcorn. Make the popcorn before you do the syrup, then put it into a big, shallow pan. Or a couple of big bowls. You're going to make a lot of caramel corn, here.Syrup1 c. brown sugar1/2 c. butter1/4 c. corn syrup or honey1/4 t. salt1 t. baking sodaPut the first four ingredients into a pan and heat on low. Use a pan that is at least double the size you think you need. You want to dissolve the sugar crystals before the butter is fully melted (similar to how you cream butter and sugar), so stir quite a bit at this stage and get things mixed. Then keep cooking until the mixture boils. Continue cooking until the mixture reaches the hard ball stage, which means that a bit dropped into ice water will stay together and is chewy, like a caramel.Turn off the heat and add the baking soda. As you stir it in, the caramel will bubble into a giant foamy mass. Pour some over the popcorn, stir, pour some more, stir some more. Work quickly; the caramel will harden to the point where it won't flow very quickly.NOTE: BE VERY CAREFUL. BOILING SUGAR BURNS ARE REALLY BAD. DO NOT TOUCH THE MIX AND SEND THE KIDS TO THE OTHER SIDE OF THE ROOM. Yes, I was a kid when I started making candy, and the burns hurt like heck. Looking back on it, I'm genuinely lucky I don't have permanent damage. The only burns I've had that hurt worse were from melted glass.I learned to make caramel corn when I was in 7th grade. This is the same recipe, though not quite the same prep instructions, that we used then. It's still a huge family favorite.ThyPeace, is now hungry for popcorn.
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