Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Whether you celebrate quietly or have a pile of people around, I hope the holiday season is everything you want it to be. I also hope 2017 brings you some pleasant surprises and many reasons to smile.
The blog is breaking for the season and will be returning in January. Since my website redesign, the blog subscription process has been wonky so I’ll probably be switching to MailChimp for blog delivery in the New Year. You shouldn’t notice any difference but if there are disruptions, they’ll be minimal.
Meanwhile, here’s a little treat to kick off the holiday season: homemade poppycock. We’ve played around with recipes for years and after some trial and error, have settled on this as the best, no-fail poppycock recipe there is. You don’t need a candy thermometer (bonus!) but you do need to bake the mix in a low oven for an hour to make sure the syrup hardens. Personally, I’d rather do that than fret about candy temperatures. Grab a helper because you really need one person to pour the syrup over the popcorn and the other to stir. And before you get started, watch for bulk mixed nuts (sans peanuts) to go on sale. Unsalted nuts are better, but if you screw up and buy salted like I did this year just rinse and dry them before using in the recipe.
No Fail Poppycock
I cup/240 mL butter
1 cup/240 mL white sugar
1 cup/240 mL brown sugar
½ cup/120 mL white corn syrup
1 tsp/5 mL salt
1 tsp/5 mL vanilla
½ tsp/2.5 mL baking soda
5 quarts popped corn
3 cups/700 mL mixed nuts (we like almonds, pecans and cashews)
Pop corn and pour it into a large, greased container (we use our largest roasting pan). Mix in nuts. Set aside. Grease two large cookie sheets; set them aside. Preheat oven to 250.
In a large pot, bring butter, sugar, syrup and salt to a boil over medium heat. Boil for five minutes, stirring constantly to prevent the mixture from boiling over. Remove from heat, add vanilla and soda. Stir well. Pour over popcorn and nuts and mix carefully. We pour and mix in three or four stages to make sure the corn is well-coated. Spread the mix between the two cookie sheets. Bake at 250 for one hour, and stir three times at twenty minute intervals. Cool and store in airtight containers or put into freezer bags and freeze until ready for gift-giving. Yield: never enough.