To celebrate my son getting his braces off and because we were headed to the San Francisco Giants game the next night, I decided to make Kettle Corn. My son was very excited by the idea as he’s been very good about not having popcorn for the past 13 months during braces (at least as far as I know). This also meant if I brought the kettle corn hopefully my kids wouldn’t ask for things like Cracker Jack’s and other ballpark food. (We were packing peanuts too).
Kettle corn is easy enough and I’ve made it dozens of time. It’s something that I think of making quickly too because I always have the ingredients. Except I didn’t realize my popcorn was old. Nor did I know what happens if the kernals are old. Well now I can tell you, they don’t pop up nice and fluffy – they kind of half popped and burned. Yucky and smelly. I checked my popcorn bag and the date was almost a year previous. Oops! Luckily I had enough time to go to the store and buy new kernals before the game. It was a hit with our family as well as some friends. (The Giants won too!)
Kettle Corn (adapted from Petit Appetit Eat, Drink and Be Merry)
Kettle corn is a perfect mix of salt, sugar, and crunch that kids and adults find addictive. Be careful and patient when popping on the stove, as moving the lid may cause hot popcorn to escape. Have children listen from a safe distance.
Makes about 7 (1-cup) servings
½ cup organic popcorn
¼ cup grapeseed oil
3 tablespoons evaporated cane juice
1 teaspoon coarse salt
Pop the kernels using a large 10-inch, heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid or a popcorn maker. If using the pot, coat the bottom of the pot with oil and heat over medium heat. Drop in 1 kernel of corn. Wait until it pops then add the remaining kernels. Sprinkle the sugar over the kernels. Cover and shake pan. Continue to shake pan until all the corn has popped, being careful not to burn, about 3 minutes. (You may want to slightly lift lid every minute or two, so steam can escape.)
Place the popped popcorn in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the salt. Toss gently to combine. Serve immediately or keep up to 2 days in an airtight container.