...sometimes even a single feather is enough to fly. (Robert Maclean)


maple popcorn

We have a thing about popcorn.
A thing called addiction, really.

We just call it "pop."

Frequent phrases heard around here are:
Will you make some pop tonight?
Mmmmn, I'm in the mood for some pop.  
Let's get our pop on.
We really should just call it crack, since it's that addictive.
Once you start, you just can't stop with the pop.

Sure, there are savory pops.

The simple pop, popped in olive oil and a touch of salt.
Or, jazzed up with a little nutritional yeast
or nori flakes for umami.

But, the "maple pop" is really where it's at.

So, without further ado,
if you want to get your own maple pop on,
here is how it's done:

First, make your pop, however you would make it:

Boots loves to use this Back to Basics stainless steel popper.
She used to make her pop in a big stock pot
but this is more fun and we can count on it for consistent, even pops.

Try not to add too many kernels, though, or you'll end up with some that didn't pop
 (like we did in this particular batch, you'll see at the end).

Get out a super duper big bowl, you'll need it to be extra big for mixing later:
 This is our "pop bowl."  It's legendary.  If anyone ever breaks it, well, God help them is all I can say.
I pray that it won't be me...

A little bit of background is that this bowl was thrown by a potter with one arm.  For reals.
I could have six arms and use my legs, too, and not be able to throw a bowl this big and amazing!

Then again, I never really managed to get centered on the pottery wheel...
I started to convince myself crooked pottery was really cool, but anyway, I digress.

This bowl's sole mission in life is to deliver the most amazing, delicious, addictive pop,
and I think it enjoys it's job.  Occasionally, it takes a side job holding salad at a big gathering,
but we're not here to talk about salad, are we?

Back to pop:

 Oh, if only I could transform ever so briefly into a teeny tiny person
so I could jump up and down and do swan dives inside a bowl of pop like this,
kind of like Chuck E Cheese's ball pit, but edible, and way better.

FYI:  It's really, really fun to try different varieties of popping corns.

We look for heirloom varieties when possible, and always non-GMO.
We don't want any freaky frankenpop!

I highly recommend any pops from Fireworks.
So flavorful!  The variety above is Savannah Gold.
Now that you have your pop in your big bowl, salt it to your taste, 
and then it's time to really get down to business:

In a saucepan, begin heating a stick of butter and about 2 cups total of sweeteners...
Boots eyeballs it, but says she generally prefers a ratio of 
"like 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1 1/2 cups maple syrup."
She balks when I ask for specifics.  People like specifics, I say...
But I get her point.   
Whether you go a little over or a little under, 
it's butter and brown sugar and maple syrup 
and together they will always do beautiful things.

Let all of that beautifulness come to a rolling boil.  
Check periodically with a thermometer -- you really only need to go to 275F.  
That's plenty.
When it gets that high, whisk in 1/2 tsp of baking soda:

It will froth up and spread further on your pop this way.

It's some kind of alchemy.

Now, get ready to make magic happen!
 Pour the sweet elixir all over your pop:

This is prime time to add peanuts or whatever nut you choose...
 and stir it up to spread that ooey gooey sweetness all around! 
(silicone spatulas are excellent for this)
Keep mixing it up, and voila!

oh yeah yeah yeah!!!!
It begins to harden and cool off fast.  You can eat it almost immediately.
Trust me, you will want to.


Sasha getting her pop on with us.

And me getting down to the bottom of my bowl.



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