Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Popcorn Balls

Popcorn Balls
Dorcas Annette Walker

October is National Popcorn Month so I thought I’d give Popcorn Ball recipes for you to enjoy. It wasn’t until I married into the Walker family that I became acquainted with real popcorn eaters. They eat it by the bag, uh, not those little bags the microwave popcorn comes in, but the ole fashion large brown grocery store bags. The first time I saw my husband’s parents filling up an entire brown bag, I thought that the rest of the clan was going to appear. Believe it or not that huge bag of popcorn was just for the four of us and yes it all was consumed. I told my husband later that now I understood why my father-in-law was so hyperactive. He was full of popcorn.

Popcorn was originally discovered by the Native Americans. Popcorn became popular as a snack food in the Great Depression. During World War II, sugar rations slowed down candy production causing Americans to eat more popcorn than before. Today popcorn is one of America’s favorite snacks with US consumption of popcorn at 73 quarts per person each year. One out of every ten Americans is a popcorn fanatic.

Popcorn is a type of corn, which explodes when heated as each kernel contains a tiny drop of water. The expansion of the water causes the corn to pop. Some strains of corn are now cultivated specifically for popping corn. Almost all the popcorn consumed throughout the world is grown in: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, and Ohio.

Popcorn facts: popcorn can pop up to three feet in the air, the English Corn Laws passed in 1436 were actually about wheat, Colonial housewives served popcorn with sugar and cream for breakfast- the first “puffed” breakfast cereal, January 19th is National Popcorn Day and April 7th is Carmel Popcorn Day, the peak season for popcorn sales is in the fall, and the world’s largest popcorn ball was 12 feet in diameter containing 2,000 pounds of popcorn, 40,000 pounds of sugar, 280 gallons of corn syrup, and 400 gallons of water. Now that’s what you call a popcorn ball!

Popcorn Ball combinations are endless making popcorn a guaranteed snack pleaser for any family as you can mix and match ingredients to please even the fussiest eater in your household. You can make healthy Popcorn Balls by using a variety of dried fruits, cocoanut, and other nuts or load your Popcorn Balls with any small colorful candies, white, chocolate, or butterscotch chips, and mini marshmallows. The sky is the limit. Also any flavor of popcorn can be used as well. Both recipes can make about a dozen popcorn balls.

Popcorn Balls

2 bags of popped pop corn
1 (10 oz) bag of regular marshmallows
1 stick of margarine
¼ c peanut butter (optional)

Microwave marshmallows, margarine, and peanut butter until melted. Add popped corn and any other ingredients. Shape into balls and let harden!

Ole Fashion Carmel Popcorn

2 bags of popped corn
1 stick of margarine
1 c brown sugar
½ c milk

In a small saucepan boil margarine, brown sugar, and milk for five minutes until thickened. Let sit for five minutes and then drizzle over popped corn!

Weekly tip: The best way to store popcorn is in a plastic or glass airtight container as even a 1% drop in moisture will affect the quality of your popped kernels. Avoid storing popcorn in the refrigerator!

Dorcas Annette Walker is a published author, columnist, speaker, freelance magazine writer, and photographer from Jamestown, Tennessee. Contact her at: For more recipes check out her Creative Tennessee Mountain Cookin blog at:

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