I had to skip yesterday’s post. My deck needed staining, the church flag needed designing, subdivision needed managed, house needed cleaned, Freezer Meal workshops still underway, the kids needed … well… everything… and Monday and Tuesday are exercise days. Apparently, one company was willing to come out to stain and sand my 12×24′ deck for a mere $2,952.00. I think I went into the wrong business. If I could make $3000 in a couple days, then even after taxes, insurance and such I’m still doing purty good! My child was forced to watch TV for two hours while I finished painting, but hopefully her brain cells that didn’t quite make peak maturity were worth the $2852.00 I saved doing the job myself. And their brains grow the most at age 3… so I have a few more months before she gets there, right?
Bruce Feiler, the author of “The Secrets of Happy Families” actually has a great interview done by AJ Jacobs on Amazon. The conclusion of the interview reminded me a lot of an overall theme I found in positive psychology and pretty much everything else…. “TRY”. Try to be happier, try to make your family better, try, try, try (Thanks Pink!) and you pretty much are already ahead of the game. Funny how one little three letter word does a lot.
From the interview:
A.J.: You start off with Tolstoy’s famous maxim “All happy families are alike.” Do you agree?
Bruce: I didn’t at first, but now I do. Happy families have certain larger things in common: They adapt all the time. They talk. A lot. They go out and play. And they work at it. We try to improve at our jobs, our hobbies, even at being ourselves, yet somehow we forget to work on the one thing that most defines our well-being — our family. That’s my biggest takeaway. Want to have a happier family? Try.
I love kettle corn. It is often at every major event from carnivals to conventions or if you live here near Bass Pro Shops you can get it every single day. But seriously, it’s good stuff and actually freakishly easy to make at home. I know some popcorn companies sell it in microwave popcorn bags, but after the government ordered them to stop lining their bags with certain chemicals I just stopped buying them altogether. Plus, it actually reduces the efficacy of vaccines! Who knew? I was researching where I had read about the dangers of microwave popcorn and found that article.
If you want to do away with all microwave popcorn as I have, I highly encourage you buy the $8 Nordicware popcorn popping bowl. Cheap, easy to use and easy to clean. My friend Bryn told me about hers, and I’ve been in love with my bowl ever since. You don’t need oil either! Need another popcorn idea? Try Caramel Popcorn. Fall is almost here!
yields 8 servings
2 Tb. vegetable oil, canola oil, or I use grapeseed oil (and butter or bacon grapeseed oil for regular popcorn!)*
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
1/4 cup sugar (you could use up to 1/3 cup)
*Most recipes use about 1/4 cup oil but I have tried to reduce it as much as possible and 2 Tb. seems to work well
1. Take a large skillet – about 12″ – and pour in the oil. Heat over medium to medium-high heat. Add 3 popcorn kernels to the skillet. Have your lid handy.
2. After about 10 minutes, you may hear some popping! Woo hoo! Add your popcorn kernels and sugar. I stirred it around a bit with a spatula to keep the sugar from sticking in the very beginning. Put the lid on top. Shake the skillet back and forth to keep the sugar from burning. Continue to cook and shake once in a while until the popcorn stops popping. Not completely stops, but just like in the microwave – once the popcorn stops popping for 2-3 seconds in between.
3. Take the skillet off of the burner. Shake it around a little bit because you usually have a stray popcorn kernal go off. Just for 5-10 seconds tops. Not too long. Pour the popcorn into a great big bowl and salt immediately. I used regular salt.
4. Enjoy! Some of my popcorn was a little brown from the caramelization. It was still good!
Still the best $8 I’ve ever spent :). Was your pot difficult to clean after making this? I tried making kettle corn one time and ended up with quite a chore. I’m going to try your recipe….we love kettle corn and its a must have at the farmers market every Saturday.
Mary Ellen says
I used my nonstick 12″ skillet. That was a breeze. The lid was made of glass, so it needed to soak a bit and I used my plastic scraper. The lid took a little longer, but nothing big.. maybe 1-2 minutes. Whenever I have cooked sugar, I try to let things soak since the sugar is hydrophillic. I forgot to let it soak this time, but still not bad on the lid. Ooh, I also did a half recipe which may have had something to do with it.
we have a whirly pop & i love making kettle corn in it…. sugar, salt, and a little black pepper. fabulous! but i hate cleaning it afterwards because the sugar that’s leftover is sooo hard. but it is so good so it’s worth it 🙂
Oooohhhh…..black pepper! My husband would love that addition. I make him pepper/s&p popcorn all the time on the stove, but not kettle corn. Must try.
And also, thanks for your answer Mary Ellen!