You know when you really want something and several obstacles come your way, but you ignore them all? Because you really want it, but you should have just realized the signs to save yourself from utter disappointment? I’m usually the one to initiate baking in our home. Colin could care less. He doesn’t even like sweets. So weird, I know. The normal scenario is that I’ll get a craving for something in the morning. Like I’ll be dreaming about it or something and wake up and tell Colin that “I think I’ll make cookies after work today.” He doesn’t think it’s weird at all. It happens all the time. I’ll even go to the grocery store before work and pick up the butter that we need (seriously, it’s always butter.) So the other day I had already decided I was going to make cookies after work. Colin walks in the door and announces he’s been craving caramel corn all day. I love caramel corn, love making it, love everything about it. But I’ve got to make these cookies. So I tell him he’s on his own with the corn. While he’s gathering up the ingredients we realize there is no popcorn. Kind of a necessity when making caramel corn. This is sign number one. My cookies turn out awesome. Then I realize we don’t have any milk for the babe. So I send Colin to the store and this is his chance to resurrect the caramel corn idea back from the dead. It’s 8:30 pm by the time he gets home (sign two, this is late to start a baking venture), but now that he has popcorn he’s determine to satisfy his craving. I read off the recipe to him while he does the work, we double it. One batch is never enough. While reading him the ingredients I realize we’ll be just a tad short on the butter (I’m telling you guys, it’s always the butter), this is sign three. But I don’t tell him that, just that he should add whatever is left of the package I bought earlier (thank God I already made my cookies). It all seems good and fine. The corn’s in the oven baking. I give it a toss halfway through the time. Then I get up and check it again, 5 minutes later. This stuff is supposed to bake for like 35 minutes, I check it again 5 MINUTES later and it’s smoking. It’s almost a pile of ash. It’s totally the butter shortage’s fault. Colin was crushed, all this work and no satisfaction. I sit there and pick out the good ones. I spend like a good half hour on it. I got enough to take this Instagram photo at least.
I guess my point to telling you all this is that even when we really, really, really want something, it’s not always meant to be. And even if someone posts an awesome Instagram photo (like mine above ;)) it may not be all good behind those filters. I mean, I spent some serious time staging that photo to make the caramel corn look decent and edible. We’re surrounded by so many “perfect” people and their perfect Facebook posts, and blog posts, and pictures. But that’s so not real. We all have fails. Let’s embrace them, because we can learn and grow from them. Like this has taught me to always buy extra butter, well, and to follow the signs.
Recipe for the Best Caramel Corn Ever (when you have enough butter this really is the best!):
- nonstick cooking spray
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 1/4 cup popcorn kernels
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Heat oven to 300° F. Spray a rimmed baking sheet with the cooking spray.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the popcorn kernels, cover, and cook, shaking the saucepan constantly once the kernels begin to pop, until there is a 2- to 3-second interval between pops, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl.
- In a medium saucepan, combine the butter, sugar, and corn syrup. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture bubbles and lightens in color, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in the vanilla and salt. Pour over the cooked popcorn and, with a rubber spatula, toss to coat.
- Spread the popcorn mixture on the prepared baking sheet and bake, tossing once, until deep amber, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven, toss, and let cool on the baking sheet. (The popcorn will crisp as it cools.)
Recipe from Real Simple