It is October. October starts my VERY favorite time of the year. As I said in the AWN newsletter for October, it starts the holiday trilogy of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. There is so much magic in this time of year for me. I think it’s because when I was a child my grandma loved the holidays as much as I do now. I don’t know how it skipped a generation but my mama was never as interested. Grandma and I shared that special bond. It was a time to decorate, craft, and share. I’m not entirely sure that both of my children share my same joy of all of the hustle and bustle but I do know that my oldest does. We were at the store a few days ago and she asked me for decorations for her room. “My room never gets decorated like the rest of the house does. I need some holiday décor.
One of our favorite things to do is share with our neighbors. In October we always do caramel corn. On our block, in several different states now, it is what we are known for. So much so, that when people have PCSd they’ve actually asked for the recipe to take with them. It’s nothing special, but it’s something we do for everyone and we dress it up Halloween style! We’ve done it different each year – from a decorated paper sack, a “hand” glove with candy corn fingernails, and even a plastic sack with a decorated top card stapled over it that included the recipe.
This is so much fun to do with my girls that I thought it would be fun to share the recipe on the blog and inspire you to do something fun with your family (and perhaps for your neighbors or coworkers) to kick off the season. You might even want to include it in our BOO! that we encourage everyone to do here at AWN. (Trust me it is SO FUN to see how far it makes it around post/neighborhood.)
If you decide to make this recipe, be sure to comment and tell me how it went. I’d love to know!
Crooks’ Caramel Corn
1 cup butter
2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 bags of microwave popcorn (I use PopSecret Homestyle)
Peanuts or Mixed Nuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Pop your popcorn as instructed on the microwave directions. Place popcorn – and nuts if you chose to add them – into two large bowls (very large so you can stir without it spilling). In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in brown sugar, corn syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Boil without stirring 4 minutes – this is important so pay attention. Remove from heat and stir in soda and vanilla. Pour in a thin stream over popcorn, stirring to coat. I always have someone there with me to help. One pours and one stirs because you have to stir quickly to get it all coated. Place in two large shallow baking dishes and bake in preheated oven (my favorite are my Pampered Chef bar pans), stirring every 15 minutes, for 1 hour. Set your timer! Remove from oven and let cool completely before breaking into pieces and bagging