Valley Bounty: Popcorn

Seeing as we’re squarely within the part of the year where snow days are most likely to strike, it pays to have some popcorn on hand to get us through those slightly-less-than-apocalyptic New England snowstorms. Local popcorn is usually readily available at winter farmers’ markets or at retailers that buy from local farms, and you can leave it in your pantry pretty much indefinitely.

If the standard salt and butter approach starts to wear a little thin, you can try making your own caramel corn; for the sauce, combine melted butter with sugar, corn syrup, and a teaspoon each of baking soda and salt, then toss with the popcorn and bake at a real low temperature (like 200°F) for about an hour.

If you swap the white or brown sugar in the caramel corn sauce recipe for powdered and add in about a cup of marshmallows, you’ll have a mixture perfect for making popcorn balls. While the sauce is still warn, toss in the popcorn and mix until it is well coated. I find it’s easiest if you grease your hands or gloves with a bit of shortening to prevent sticking while forming the balls. Wrap them in plastic wrap when they’re done — they’re ready to eat when they cool down to room temperature.

Valley Bounty is written by Brian Snell of CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture)