Its a tradition in my family to make popcorn balls for all the trick-or-treaters every halloween. We all meet at my grandmas house a day or so before halloween and make popcorn balls. One person, usually my grandma, stirs some ingredients together and puts them in a saucepan and starts it boiling, when it reaches 300º F on a candy thermometer, it comes off the heat and a few more ingredients are added to the mix along with food coloring, the hot hot hot candy is then poured over a bowl full of popcorn, usually by my aunt Mallene. Its mixed all around and then after putting butter on your hands and biting your lip, 2 people, in this case, Mallene and myself, start forming the popcorn into snowball sized balls. This is the job no one likes to have, but someone's gotta do it :) . After the balls are cooled of they are put into bags, usually by the younger grandkids or the older great grand kids, and then some candy is added into the bag. Those bags are put into a larger paper sack and are now ready for the trick or treaters. My grandma popped 7 grocery store sized paper sacks worth of popcorn which made about 16 batches, which make about 20 balls each which makes about 350 popcorn balls. How's that for a halloween goodie!
While all of this is going on someone has to wash out the pots in between batches, someone has to refill the popcorn bowls for the next batch and someone has to spray all the stuff with Pam cooking spray. And then sometimes, the 2 batches that are cooking get finished at the same time and that really makes it interesting. All together we had 8 people working on these!
Danni - stir the ingredients and hand them to Sandy
Sandy - Cook the ingredients to 300º
Grandma - Add the rest of the ingredients after its cooked, wash the pots after its poured on the popcorn
Mallene - stir in color, pour over popcorn, stir it up, form the balls
Stephanie - help form balls, refill popcorn into bowls, spray bowls and spoons with Pam (check on Hayden)
Eric - Help form balls when it gets crazy!! (we actually had 3 pots cooking at one time part of the afternoon)
Jodi - put balls in bags
Paul - Put candy in bags and zip shut
Its such a fun tradition, and every year my grandma says it will be the last but so many people ask "when are we making popcorn balls" and so many people are willing to help that it just can't stop. Now all the cousins spouses or boyfriends are coming to help and asking when its time to do it. I love it!!!