Form Halloween Candied Popcorn into balls for all those hungry goblins to munch on this weekend!
It's Halloween 2010 and this weekend is bound to be a spooky good time for all those young-at-heart, costumed spooksters.
I'm not a real fan of the scary side of the holiday, but love the silly fun involved in the dressing up, and the silly pranks.
My sister and I would always find a way to prank our grandmother.
Now that I'm an adult, I'm pretty sure she and grandpa knew who the little goblins were underneath all the make-up and masks. But they always pretended to not know, which always made the holiday fun.
However, I think we caught them off guard a few times as teenagers.
The best prank, I think, was the year we trick-or-treated their house several times in a row, wearing different costumes of course, before they figured out who we were. Our parents, who made sure they were there for the prank, started laughing the third time we got away with it, which almost gave us away.
And I was sure we were going to get caught when we returned in the same outfits the fifth time, but we didn't.
After the seventh or eighth time, I think our uncontrolled giggling got the better of us. Grandma Iva, upset because she had given out all the candy and was about to start handing out money when we showed up, wasn't really happy at our prank at first. But Papo, who was about to bust a gut laughing, said we should get to keep the candy for being so ingenious.
Needless to say, we gave back the candy when the next group of kids showed up.
I was even involved in a prank after I moved out of the house and assumed my adult life. Honestly, I will always remember it the most.
My sister was out with friends, so she wasn't involved.
My mother was visiting to help pass out treats, but was clueless to my plans.
My father saw me at the house while I was gathering supplies, but never said a word when he went to my grandparent's house for an unexpected visit.
Grandma Iva had gotten pretty good at knowing "us" by our height and other traits, so I thought I'd trick her by changing a few things about myself.
Cutting some eyeholes in an old sheet, I put on a Richard Nixon mask to hide my face and hair and wrapped another sheet around my waist to make a really long skirt. A crate from the garage made me more than 6-feet-tall when I stood on it.
Leaving my car parked at home, I walked to my grandparent's house and waited for a break in the trick-or-treaters.
When it came, I ran up, put the box on the porch, climbed on top, fixed my sheet and knocked on the door. It was hard not to laugh when my 5-foot-tall grandmother opened the door.
"My, you're a big one," she said, calling the others in the house to come look. "Want to come inside?"
We always went inside and we always tried some silly way to disguise our voice in the past, so I said nothing and shook my head no.
"Oh, OK," she said, as my mother put candy in my bag. "Do we know you?"
My grandparents always tried to identify the kids who visited the house on Halloween. It was widely known that she would give out an extra piece of candy if they couldn't figure out who you were.
I shook my head yes. I caught my grandmother looking around outside, but when she didn't see my car or any evidence of my sister a puzzled look came on her face.
"Are you a boy?"
I didn't move.
"You're a girl then?"
I still didn't move. When a lapse in judgment occurred in my life, my grandma had made it perfectly clear I was supposed to be a responsible young woman several times since leaving home, so I felt safe in not lying.
My father, who finally came to the door, recognized the sheet and winked at me before leaving the doorway. I saw my Papo realize what was going on.
"Jiminy, Iva," he grumbled as he left the doorway with a wink. "It's cold out there. Shut the door and let the kid go. You don't have to interrogate all of them you know."
More kids were coming down the street, so I knew I'd have to be quick.
"You know me," I laughed and jumped off the box to hug grandma. "Happy Halloween Grandma."
"Ivella Sue!" She said and slapped me on the butt. "You about scared to pee out of me."
We all laughed about it each year after that when Halloween came around.
Grandma Iva passed away in the spring of 1987, but I am so grateful my memories of her are so vivid.
When my doorbell rings umpteen times this Halloween weekend, I know that each time I will smile in her memory.
A co-worker brought in some caramel corn earlier this week, so I thought I'd post this recipe from a family member. Sorry, I don't know whose it is, but it's pretty good!
Halloween Candied Popcorn
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2-cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla
6-8 cups hot popped popcorn, no kernels
1/2-cup candy corn
1 cup salted peanuts
Combine sugar, butter, corn syrup, water and salt in a large heavy saucepan and cook slowly on low heat. Stir constantly while increasing the temperature slowly to medium heat for 15-20 minutes until it reaches 265-275 degrees, or the hardball stage. Use a candy thermometer for best results.
Add the vanilla at this point and stir until mixed well.
Don't let it boil over on the stovetop or you will have a heck of a mess to clean up.
So the candy mix will adhere to the popcorn, I recommend you keep it hot by spreading it on small cookie sheets and storing it in a 250-degree oven until you mix it together.
Work quickly by pouring the candy mix into the popcorn, along with the nuts and the candy corn, until it is all covered. Put the popcorn back into the oven for five minutes to set.
Remove and pour onto wax paper, spreading out to let cool. Break into pieces and store in airtight containers immediately to keep it from getting moist. Or form into balls for a handful of crunchy goodness!
To all those who plan on enjoying Halloween, be safe out there this year!