Kettle Corn (Stove-Top)

Let me just tell you, Limi LOVES Kettle Corn! Whenever we buy a box of popcorn he asks, “It it the sweet kind?”. We were grocery shopping once, when someone was selling bags of kettle corn outside the store. We splurged and bought a bag. It was way better than microwave popcorn! We loved it so much that we actually went back to the store to buy a second bag (that is kind of a big deal for us). :) We have never had kettle corn as delicious since then…
Recently I was trying to think of a way to surprise Limi when I saw a recipe for homemade kettle corn! I thought this was the perfect idea! We don’t have an air popper, so I usually make my own microwave with this method. Initially I was hesitant to make popcorn on the stove. What if I burn it? What if they don’t pop? What if something goes wrong with the oil and my house catches on fire? (just kidding) But where would I be today if I let my inhibitions stop me from trying new recipes? Of course I tried it! And it was fabulously easy to do! The results were awesome as well! This Kettle Corn is just like those bags of kettle corn we bought so long ago! 
Don’t be shy… give this recipe a try (not trying to rhyme here). It takes less than 5 minutes, from beginning to end, to have a hot batch of yummy Kettle Corn! If you do this with your kids you might want to have the Hokey Pokey song playing in the background… just saying!

Ingredients:

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
1/4 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt

Directions:

Grab a dish towel or good oven mitts. You will use these as you shake the pot and hold the lid on.
Put the oil in a very large pot (one that has a tight lid). Heat over medium-high heat. While the oil is heating, combine the popcorn kernels, sugar and vanilla.
When you see very faint smoke coming off of the oil (it will almost look like wisps of steam) pour the popcorn mixture into the pot and stir with a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon. Stir until everything is well mixed, about 8-10 seconds. Put the lid on the pot, and grab your oven mitts or drape your dish towel over the top of the pot in a way that you can hold the pot and the lid. 
Let the pot sit on the stove for about 15 seconds and then shake the pot in every direction, so that the sugar doesn’t burn on the bottom. Put the pot back on the stove for another 15-20 seconds, and repeat the shaking process.
Continue doing this until you can’t hear many popcorn kernels rattling around, and you are sure most of them have popped. If the popcorn doesn’t start popping within about 30 seconds, try lifting the lid and letting a little steam out, recover, and try it again.

Pour the Kettle Corn in a large bowl and sprinkle with the salt. Store in an airtight container.
  
Adapted from Our Best Bites.
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