Everyone has that thing they make. It might be simple, or it might be crazy, but it is entirely theirs.
Finding out that thing- oh, that is the absolute best. It's like a secret that they share. And when I'm eating that thing that they make, it's a shaking of hands, a swearing of pinkies, a pressing together of tiny cuts on thumbs.
This is Michele. She makes maple popcorn.
I showed up at her house a few weeks ago and she offered me a little bowl of the stuff. She said that she'd worked on the recipe for years.
It was fantastic. Not caramel corn. Not at all. Maple popcorn.
I've known Michele for years, just a little bit. This town is so small that you know everyone if you've been around long enough, which we both have. But now I know about the maple popcorn. Oh, the joy of new friends.
Michele came over a few days ago to show me how to make maple popcorn too. And of course, showing me means showing you. Don't you like it when I get to make new friends?
Michele's Maple Popcorn
1 cup un-popped popcorn
1 cup maple syrup
1 cup butter or earth balance
1 cup raw sugar or sucanat
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Butter two 9x13 casserole dishes. Pop the corn in the way the suits you. I've got an air popper, but you can also pop it on the stove top. Put the popped corn into a buttered bowl. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter, maple syrup, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil and boil without stirring for five minutes. Add the baking soda and vanilla and stir to combine. The mixture will foam up. Pour the sugar mixture over the popped corn and stir until entirely coated. Divide the coated popped corn between the two buttered dishes and bake for 1 hour, stirring and moving the dishes every fifteen minutes.