I am on a popcorn kick. I bought a very nice popcorn popper and it is so easy to do, I am tempted to make a batch every night. This is perfect TV watching food.

The popper I have has little holes in the top. You can put a pat of butter there and it will drip onto the popcorn as it pops. Yum.

I have tried all the brands of popcorn. Jolly Time, Best, and various brands from the market. But Orville Redenbacker is far and away the best. They also make a popcorn oil and the two together is perfect.

I have popcorn salt and now there is a powdered cheddar cheese addition that really is good. There are three flavors you can sprinkle on, but the white cheddar beats them all.

You can find these at Safeway, but now the movie theaters sell the little bottles at the snack bar, so you can sprinkle the cheese flavor on your movie popcorn. The full size ones are around $3, but the minis in the theater are only $1.50.

By the time you get a bag of popcorn and add the sprinkles, we are talking over $10 for two. You can make popcorn at home and all your TV watching will be more fun. And popcorn for two can’t cost over $3, with the popcorn, oil, butter and cheese sprinkles.

Last time I went to a movie theater I noticed that the two large popcorn, two large drinks and two candy combo was $22.50. I usually get the kiddie combo which is a small popcorn, a drink and a candy from column one. That is $6. (I like the candy in column one-especially the Junior Mints.)

I made too much last night, so I had a big bowl left over. Rather than throw it out, I turned it into caramel popcorn. This is sort of like Cracker Jack. But without the prize at the bottom.

By the way what happened to those nifty prizes we used to get. I remember plastic rings and little games with rubber bands. Now it is just a little paper decal which must cost the folks at Cracker Jack about 1/100th of a cent.

Here is how you do it. Melt a stick of butter or margarine in a saucepan. Add one cup of packed brown sugar and one fourth of a cup of karo syrup and a dash of salt. Bring to a boil stirring constantly.Boil for five minutes without stirring. Remove from heat and add 1/4 teas. baking soda and half a teaspoon of vanilla. Stir and pour over a big bowl of popped popcorn. Mix well. You can add peanuts or nuts of your choice at this point. (One bag of microwave popcorn is about the right amount.)

Spray a big baking pan with non stick spray. Pour popcorn into pan and place in 250 degree oven. Every 15 minutes stir the popcorn and after an hour it is done. Nice and crispy. Store in an airtight container.

If this sounds like too much trouble, you can buy Cracker Jack or Fiddle Faddle. For a really fabulous version of this go to Neiman Marcus at holiday time and get their pecan/popcorn in a tin. The flavor can’t be beat and it is very buttery. Bet you can’t eat just one cup.

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