I always miss my parents on the fourth of July--both of them passed on three years ago. Both of my parents were veterans of World War II and great patriots and I miss them most of all on this holiday. Our family would always visit them and go to the neighborhood parade and to the neighborhood park for festivities. Yesterday, I asked my 16-year-old daughter if we can go to a parade and she can chase tootsie rolls. She declined. Rats.
Of course, one of the traditions was eating boxes of Cracker Jack. I hate to tell the makers of Cracker Jack, but I have a better recipe. You can add peanuts and a surprise if you'd like, but this is a really tasty caramel corn recipe.
4 quarts popped corn
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon vanilla
Place popped corn in large roasting pan or in two 9x13' baking pans.
In 8-cup microwave bowl, mix brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, and salt. Microwave on 100% power for 1 to 2 minutes, or until mixture bubbles. Stir with wooden spoon. Microwave 3 minutes more at 100% power, stirring after each 1-minute interval. Add baking soda and vanilla; stir well as mixture foams up.
Pour syrup over popped corn in roasting pan. Stir and mix well. Bake at 250 degrees for 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes to coat kernels evenly. Pour out onto two 15 x 12 inch cookie sheets. Let cool 45 minutes. Store in an airtight container. Makes 4 quarts.
Mom and Dad: My flag is flying for you!