I have a real weakness for the salty/sweet/crunchy combo, and if you look through our archives, you’ll find all manner of sweet and savory nuts, seeds, granola and bars that I’ve shared. Let me add caramel corn to the list, because it makes a pretty awesome autumn treat.
I have been making different versions of caramel corn since college with all manner of sweeteners, including maple and rice syrups. The recipe I am sharing here is not free of refined sugar, but it is my favorite. Honey and brown sugar create a really rich caramel flavor without being too sweet. Do make sure you use real honey.
I pop my corn in an air-popper, because it is so easy, but oil-popped popcorn is probably even better. The addition of peanuts makes for a real Crackerjack-like experience, but the corn is great with all kinds of nuts. Happy snacking.
Honey Caramel Corn
10-12 cups popped popcorn (about 1/2 cup kernels)
1 cup roasted unsalted peanuts (or nuts of your choice)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla (I use vanilla paste, extract is fine)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Melt butter, sugar and honey over medium heat in a saucepan large enough to avoid boil-over (a mistake I made with this batch). When mixture reaches a boil, reduce heat and simmer for three minutes. Take off heat and stir in vanilla and baking soda (the mixture will foam up a bit with the addition of the baking soda, so be prepared). In a large bowl, toss popcorn, nuts and caramel mixture to thoroughly coat. Spread popcorn on parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake in oven for 45 minutes, stirring at halfway point. Allow to cool, break apart and store in an air-tight container.
In the dead heat of the summer I visited the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens with three of my girlfriends from Maine. We flew down to NY for 2 nights, thanks to the lovely and generous Lena for letting us crash at her home, and had an awesome time. It was hot! I mean damn hot! It’s very nice to think of that kind of heat now (Is this why I’m writing about a summer trip in near-winter? Maybe.) as I huddle near the heat coming off this computer in in my wool sweater. I thought it would be nice for you too to remember summer and its heat.
Among my very favorite things were the sculptural installations by Patrick Dougherty. I absolutely loved them. At first, without rational thought, I sort of don’t know if they are man/woman-made or if nature created them. Then, as I approached, I walked inside and felt as if it doesn’t matter. They belong there. It was extraordinary.
This tree made me smile. Remember The Giving Tree? I sure do. My parents used to read that to me and my brother all the time. Look at those carvings and imagine how old this tree must be? Imagine all the people it has seen come and gaze upon it. What a wonderful tree.
While we were there the workers were cleaning the Japanese Pond. What an enchanting area and certainly fun to see a man with full body waders trimming and caring for the little plants.
We wandered and wandered for a few hours. Did I mention it was hot?? I loved how the paths led you around and around. I drank two coconut waters with ice while wandering near and far and then had to run back to the main entrance to pee. This is something I do all the time. Why don’t I learn? When we were done we were smiling but ready to get out of the heat.
So it was time for lunch in the freezing cold AC at Prime Meats. We had burgers and salads and wine. What a lovely adventure. Thanks for helping me remember. Hopefully I can hang onto the inspiration … and the heat … for some time to come.
Note: On this trip I also visited the Noguchi Museum (see a few pics here). It’s not to be missed.
Above: An outtake from my piece on Orcas Island in 3191 Quarterly Issue No. 5.
Like MAV did last week, I thought I would share some of the photos that did not make it into the latest issue of 3191Q. Both of us shot most of the images with film, and there was quite a bit of serendipity involved—the serendipity of which shots turned out and those that did not, the serendipity of how our work relates to each other’s, as well as the serendipity of how it all fit together into the issue. While Issue No. 5 is much more photo-heavy than any of last year’s issues, there were still many favorites that did not quite find a place. I am happy to share them with you here.
Making pickles with my friend Melissa. Wish I could go back and tell myself to make twice as many jars our family is making quick work of our pickle supply. (This one is actually in the issue, but in cropped form).
Perhaps my favorite part of this issue is the 0 Miles Apart section which chronicles our time together in Maine. This is from an autumn evening picnic in Maine.
Studio lunch expertly prepared by MAV (what I wouldn’t give to sit down at her table today).
And a stunning, blustery walk together on the beach.
You can still subscribe to 3191 Quarterly, but only for a limited time. Issue No. 5 is already shipping to subscribers! We will officially launch the issue on November 18th.