Before you read any further, picture a kettle corn stand with a roaring fire, roasting the kernels to perfection.
Now close your eyes.
You could smell it, couldn’t you? You could almost taste the caramelized sugar around the satisfyingly crunchy pieces, the enormous bag in your hands seeming nearly impossible to finish.
It’s one of the simple pleasures in life, kettle corn. And when it’s made by hand from the local Amish farmer, it’s even simpler.
A local fire department in Fredericksburg, Ohio, held a fundraiser for a local charity. There were all kinds of different attractions but quite possibly the most alluring of them all was the handmade kettle corn.
An Amish man and his wife set a grand black pot on top of a healthy fire before adding a little bit of oil and the unpopped kernels. The man stirs unceasingly, never letting the kernels settle lest they burn.
He then dumps a cup’s worth of sugar into the pot while a few of the kernels have enthusiastically popped. The stirring continues as the sugar and oil combine to create one of any carnival’s most enticing treat.
He wears a pair of sturdy gloves and blue overalls, churning a wooden spoon back and forth through the red-hot cauldron. He’s cooking in the open air but it’s still plenty hot with the fire roaring in his face, so he’s enlisted a few fans to keep him cool.
Ah, but the final touch has yet to be added.
Once the popping pace of the kernels begins to pick up, he adds a grate to the top of the pot to keep the extra eager kernels from flying out. He continues to stir and jostle the popping corn, making sure that each piece has the exact right amount of sugar, oil, and crisp.
With the kernels satisfyingly popped, it’s time to get them out. The man’s wife grabs a bucket and gathers the cascade of golden yellow corn that has been released from the pot.
What looked like just a meager pile of nuts a few minutes before had wonderfully changed to a heap of hot and sweet goodness, waiting for a lucky customer to take it home.
There really isn’t a bad time or place for kettle corn, and you can even make it at home with the same ingredients used by the Amish couple. If you’re feeling extra authentic, start a roaring fire, grab a black pot, and cook it up the original way. Either method, though, and you’ll be satisfied with just a taste.
You can smell it again, can’t you?
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