It's always nice to have an evening at home. Watching a movie and enjoying an old-fashioned treat like popcorn is a good way to relax.
Today Americans consume over 17.3 billion quarts of popped popcorn. That's an average of 68 quarts for each of us. There's no telling how many ears of corn that takes! Popcorn is one of those simple gifts from the garden that can't be improved upon unless it's spun into the form of popcorn balls. They are a treat for all ages.
First, pop about 3 quarts of popcorn. Then start making the syrup, which will give the popcorn balls great flavor and holds all the corn together.
In a large saucepan combine the sugar with the corn syrup, and add water, butter and salt over medium high heat. Now, cook this stirring constantly until all of the sugar has dissolved. Next, stop stirring and let it continue to cook until it reaches a temperature of 270 degrees or until the syrup forms a ball when dropped into cold water. Then add the vanilla for a little added flavor.
Just pour this syrup over the 3 quarts of salted popped corn and mix it together. Grease your hands with butter and shape them into balls. Once you pour the syrup in you need to work fast because it will harden.
Now the balls will last up to 2 weeks in air tight bags but around my house, they evaporate long before that.
Time to prepare: 25 minutes.