[Note from Serene: Carin and I have been doing some Mom Food dates (see the Contribute page for more details), and this time we tackled her mom's popcorn balls. Basically, when we do a Mom Food date, I make the recipe from her description of what her Mom Food was like, and she writes the post. I used this recipe from Paula Deen, but I made a mistake and put the vanilla in before cooking the syrup. The balls turned out well nonetheless. The orange color was made with 5 drops of yellow food coloring and 1 drop of red.]
It takes balls to celebrate Hallowe’en the way Mom did.
Popcorn balls, that is. I remember helping Mom mix the hot Karo corn syrup mixture into the big roaster full of popped corn, then forming the balls with buttered hands. We made them with orange colored and brown syrup; I think the brown was probably made with dark Karo.
Sadly, both Mom and her recipe box are gone, so I can only guess at some of her recipes. Fortunately, there is no shortage of popcorn ball recipes on the internet, and I have only to find one using corn syrup to bring back a taste of Mom’s Hallowe’en. As with any sugar candy, you’ll have better results if you make this on a dry, sunny day. If you think they’ll last beyond the day you make them, you might want to wrap the individual popcorn balls in lightly buttered wax paper, to keep them from melding into a single mass of candied popcorn.