Homemade Kettle Corn

Homemade Kettle CornI’m not the biggest fan of summer. Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy a lot of things that come along with the season—the flowers, the fresh fruit, grilling out, driving with the windows down, wearing flip flops… It’s mostly just the heat I can’t stand. I hate feeling sweaty. I hate that unintentional leg waxing I get from hot leather seats. I hate looking like a cooked lobster after sitting outside for a half an hour. But I’ll subject myself to all of that for one thing—baseball. I love baseball. I love the simplicity of it. Unlike most other sports, I understand it. I see the point. I get what each player’s role is. Football? Other than the quarterback and the kicker, I couldn’t tell you what most of the positions are called, much less what they do. And don’t try to explain formations or plays to me. I’ll never understand, so it’s not even worth it. I like football, I really do. I just don’t get it. It’s the same with almost every sport, except baseball. Baseball I get.

My favorite teams? The Boston Red Sox and the Cleveland Indians. Except when they play each other. Then I have to go with Boston. I’ll always go with Boston. Even though I grew up here in Ohio and I’ve only been to Boston twice, there’s just something about the Red Sox that I love. Call me a bandwagon jumper. I don’t care. They're a team that takes itself seriously, but not too seriously. A team that at one point can call themselves a bunch of "idiots" and end up being the best. A team that goes out and plays hard every night and still looks like they’re having fun doing it. I just love that. So I absolutely love the opportunity once a year to drive up to Cleveland to see them play in person.

The Red Sox/Indians series started last night (with a Red Sox win!), and as much as I would love to go to every game, I’m content with seeing just the last game of the series with Boyfriend on Thursday night. We picked the perfect night to go because it’s Dollar Dog night! I know what I’ll be having for dinner! Cheap hot dogs! I usually try to bring a snack as well, since everything in the stadium is so expensive. This time? I’m making my own popcorn!

Homemade Kettle CornI’m not usually a big popcorn eater. I don’t make it at home and I turn my nose up at the fake buttery mess at the movie theater. That stuff seriously makes me sick just thinking about it. But I do love kettle corn. What can I say? Everything’s better with sugar. So I started searching for the perfect kettle corn recipe. I found one I thought was going to be amazing, but it ended up a burnt sticky mess in the trash. Round 2? Kind of bland. I moved on to Joy the Baker’s recipe. She’s never steered me wrong before, so it was worth a shot. I started looking through the comments below her post and saw someone mention putting a pinch of cayenne in their recipe. Hmm. I wanted something with a little spice anyway, so let’s try it.

My “not a big popcorn eater” went right out the window. I couldn’t STOP eating it. I was munching on it as I was taking pictures, trying to get the perfect shot before I devoured the entire batch. It was absolutely perfect popcorn. Sweet, but not too sweet, the perfect balance of salty, and just a hint of spice in the background. Seriously, you couldn’t even taste the cayenne on the popcorn itself, but it left just enough heat in the back of your throat after you were done to know it was there. I want to make barrels of this popcorn and eat nothing else. It’s that good.

When I mentioned I wanted something with some spice, Boyfriend immediately thought of cinnamon popcorn. So why not give it a shot too? To bump up the cinnamon spice flavor, I added a bit of nutmeg and allspice to the mix. Again! A winner! I sat down to try a bit while checking Twitter, and before I even realized it, I had eaten half the bowl. So good. Now I can’t decide which one I want to take to Cleveland on Thursday! Maybe I’ll make both.

Go Red Sox! :)

Homemade Kettle CornSlightly Spicy Homemade Kettle Corn
Adapted from Joy the Baker
Makes about 8 cups (approx. 2 microwave popcorn bags worth)

¼ cup vegetable or canola oil
½ cup popcorn kernels
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt to taste (about a ½ to 1 teaspoon)

1. Heat oil on medium in a large heavy saucepan or pot with a lid. (But make sure the pan isn’t so heavy you can’t lift and shake it, because you’ll be doing it quite a bit. In other words, don’t use your dutch oven!) Place just 3 popcorn kernels into the oil and cover. When all 3 of the kernels pop, your oil is hot enough.
2. Pour the remaining kernels into the oil. Sprinkle sugar over top of kernels, then sprinkle cayenne overtop of the sugar. Cover with the lid.
3. With pot holders or oven mitts on both hands, pick the pan up off the heat, secure the lid, and shake. Shake up and down, back and forth, all around for 3 seconds before returning the pan to the heat. Let the pan sit on the heat for 3 seconds before repeating the whole shaking process. You’ll get one heck of an arm workout, but at least your popcorn won’t stick to the bottom of the pan! Repeat this process until the popping slows down to one or two pops every 2 seconds. Remove from heat.
4. Remove lid and sprinkle salt over top of the hot popcorn. Cover with lid and shake one more time to distribute the salt evenly. Transfer to a large serving bowl and allow to cool for a minute before digging in.

Spiced (But Not Spicy) Homemade Kettle Corn
Adapted from Joy the Baker
Makes about 8 cups (approx. 2 microwave popcorn bags worth)

¼ cup vegetable or canola oil
½ cup popcorn kernels
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
Salt to taste (about a ½ to 1 teaspoon)

1. In a small bowl, mix together cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice; set aside.
2. Repeat steps 1-4 above, sprinkling the spice mixture over top of the sugar instead of the cayenne in step 2.
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oneordinaryday said...

Haha. I totally agree about baseball. I like it cause I "get" it. : ) And it is fun to nosh on the stadium food.

I've never been a big fan of kettle corn, though I love pretty much any other kind of popcorn. I hope you try my recipe for cinnamon popcorn. I get more requests for that from the teachers at the kids' school than you can believe.

sarahe said...

yeah...i'm not a fan of summer either...and i don't get any sports, including baseball...and i'm not a big popcorn fan, but will occasionally make an exception for kettle corn...may have to try this!

Anna said...

Yaaaay I've been reading (lurking...) your blog for months, with no comments until now (sorry!) but I have to say, as a VERY loyal member of Red Sox Nation, I love that you're a Sox fan!

Ingrid said...

OH, NO! I was so excited to read that you loved baseball but then my stomached turned when I read you love the dreaded Red Sox! I'm a die hard Yankee fan, born in NYC. Sorry, wish we could continue to be friends but thanks for the popcorn recipe. I love kettle corn.

Kiesha Jenkins-Duffy said...


Nice looking popcorn, btw.

Ingrid said...

Hey, just wanted to make sure you knew I was kiddin'....so long as you don't talk about my Yanks I won't talk smack about your Sox!

Danae - The Busty Baker said...

Michelle - I'll totally check out your cinnamon popcorn recipe! I'm now completely obsessed with popcorn, so I'm going to be making quite a bit!

Anna - Yay! Go Sox!

Kiesha - I've got nothing against the Mets! It's that other team from the city...

Ingrid - lol I know you're just joking! I won't talk about your Yankees.. too much.. :P At least until we play each other.

The Kettle Corn Guy said...

I'm really happy to have stumbled across this recipe. I'll be trying it out tonight.

Thanks for sharing!

John McConnell
The Kettle Corn Guy

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