When I think about those persons I truly appreciate and want to give a gift, at the top of my list are my children’s teachers and the staff at the schools they attended. I am indebted to them and here are the reasons why. Teachers provide so much more than education to our kids. They mentor, encourage, and help students see a larger world than just reading, writing, and arithmetic. School nurses provide care and sympathy to a sick child. Coaches teach perseverance and teamwork. Secretaries offer a warm and welcoming smile. Guidance counselors know the students’ cares, concerns, and dreams. Custodians provide a clean, safe, environment in which to learn. Cafeteria workers prepare nutritious meals. Librarians instill a love for reading and provide resources for student research. Principals, vice principals, central office staff and bookkeepers have a huge responsibility holding all the parts of the system together!
If you can, I encourage you to remember those who give generously to your children. The following recipe takes only 15 minutes to prepare, and is a wonderful way to say, “Thank you. We appreciate you!”
Microwave Caramel Corn
7 cups popped microwave popcorn
6 cups Corn or Rice Chex
3/4 cup peanuts, optional
1/2 cup unsalted butter
3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup light (clear) corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Remove and discard unpopped kernels from popcorn. In an extra large microwavable bowl, mix popcorn, cereal and peanuts. Set aside.
In a 2-cup glass measuring cup or microwavable bowl; microwave butter, brown sugar, corn syrup and vanilla uncovered on high for 1 minutes. Stir. Microwave 1to 1and ½ minutes more or until mixture is boiling (it will bubble up). Pour over popcorn mixture, stirring until evenly coated.
Microwave caramel corn, uncovered, on high for 5-6 minutes. Stir and scrape bowl after every minute. Spread on wax paper to cool. When completely cooled, gently break up. Store caramel corn in an airtight container or pour into holiday cellophane bags tied with twist ties.
Tip: Please, don’t do what I did. Sometimes I read the directions and think, “Oh you really don’t have to do that…” The first time I made the recipe I decided to not stop and stir the caramel corn after every minute in the microwave. The caramel burned. When I opened the microwave after 5 minutes, smoke was coming out! Oh, if I had only followed the directions. Maybe next time I’ll learn! Makes around 14 cups. Enjoy!
Published in The News and Neighbor on November 30, 2022.