What’s Cooking Wednesday – Carmel Corn

Since both Jeff and I AND our friend Kim have eaten carmel corn for dinner in the last week, it counts. I didn’t say it was especially nutritious, but it counts.

This recipe is the best I’ve ever had, and it’s all thanks to Mrs. Kanagi, my first grade teacher. She wasn’t my favorite; she thought I did my work too fast so I could get to the crafts projects (never mind that it was done correctly) – one time she was determined to teach me a lesson and gave my math paper back till I could get them all right. 8+3=…. I had written 11. It was marked wrong. Mrs. Kanagi insisted it was wrong. I was in an impossible situation, so I sat at my desk all day wound tight as a clock, choking back tears. That night my mom wrote a note, and if I remember correctly Mrs. Kanagi apologized and let me do my crafts after that, but I never really forgave her for the whole incident (and apparently still haven’t).

BUT, despite all that, she DID teach us to make carmel corn, which we stuffed into contact-paper-covered coffee cans as Christmas gifts for our parents. I don’t know if my mom & dad got to eat any – I may have swiped it all – but they must have gotten a taste because the recipe that was attached to the can lives on to this day. And now, I pass it on to you. Let Mrs. Kanagi’s positive contribution continue, sullied as it may be by my recitation of the earlier story.

Carmel Corn
  • 8-9 quarts popped popcorn, plain (airpopped works best)
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 cup margarine or butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup clear corn syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  1. Boil the first five ingredients together for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Remove from heat. Stir in baking soda. Place popcorn in baking dishes (it took three 9x13s for me). Pour sauce over popcorn and stir to cover.
  3. Bake in 250 degree oven for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
  4. Store in sealed plastic bags, or coffee cans, or your stomach.

And on other fronts… Olive has learned how to give kisses and deigns to kiss my cheek many times a day. Needless to say, I melt utterly into a puddle of gooey mommy happiness.
Olive at ECFE – she’s like a puppy – running around, wagging her tail (seriously) so that her whole body is waggling, unable to stay in once place and visiting everyone in the room in turn. What are you doing over here – oh, look at the truck Brodie has – a slide! a slide! – wanna be my friend? – gimme that marker – ooh, pretty! That is she’s like this EXCEPT at the SENSORY TABLE! – we spend the first hour of each session there, playing in water or Cream of Wheat.

I can only take the whole thing so seriously – I mean, “Gilly gilly gilly goodbye?” What kind of song is that?!?! I really just have to swallow my eye rolling urges and force myself to sing and do the hand motions. Particularly because Olive doesn’t do them – she stands in the middle and dances or laughs. Smart girl.

We’ve discovered the joys of coloring, so I got her some washable markers. She thinks they’re delicious.

My fingers are black with ink still, after two washings – I was fingerprinted today. Every time I look down I feel like I’m guilty – of what, I don’t know. BUT I am officially an employee of Minneapolis Public Schools, and I am thrilled. January 7, 2007 I will be starting as a… preschool teacher. Does this mean I have to sing those songs?? I didn’t see any when I sat in on the class… but we DID do Mousercise for recreation. I quite enjoyed it, if I do say so. So maybe I AM in the right spot. And it’s special ed, after all.

I leave you with my favorite Olive photo of late…

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