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March 10, 2012
Bernice Volkens , Reinbeck Courier

If you are like us you have been watching a lot of basketball and soon we will be in the midst of March Madness. Sometimes, maybe it's best not to have a satellite dish because the fever can get even worse.

Because so much time is spent in front of the TV, we need snacks. The easiest snack for just the two of us, or company is popcorn. Popcorn is a great treat and nothing tastes better than a big bowl of buttery popcorn. Also popcorn can be quite versatile. You can eat it plain or dress it up with anything from butter to cheese, or toffee. Best of all, it's quick and easy to prepare.

Have you ever wondered how a regular kernel of corn become a white fluffy treat? The trick to getting corn to "pop" is moisture. Ideally, a kernel of corn should have enough moisture in it so that when it is heated, the water expands to steam, causing the nugget to explode into a puffy, white mass. If the kernel doesn't have enough water stored in it, it won't pop and it becomes what some people call an "old maid."

Popcorn is also one of the few foods that won't do you in. Eaten plain, air popped pop contains virtually no sodium and only 108 calories in a one ounce serving. Popcorn is a good choice for sporting events because its a great tension reliever because of the chomping we have to do to enjoy this crunchy treat.

I'm usually satisfied with just plain popcorn and usually I use a salt substitute for my bowl of popcorn, but once in awhile I like to have a little versatility and that is when I make my favorite carmel corn.


1/2 cup (1 stick) butter

1/2 cup brown sugar,

firmly packed

3 quarts unsalted popped


1 cup pecan halfs or

mixed nuts.

Cream butter; add brown sugar and whip until fluffy. In a large baking pan or roaster, combine popcorn and nuts. Mix in creamed mixture. Bake at 350 degrees about 8 minutes or until crisp. Serve warm, if desired.

"March is the month of frustration!"



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