Heaven on Earth

Heaven on Earth

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Grandpa and Grandma's Honey Popcorn

My family often visited my Grandparents on Sunday evening.  Grandpa popped corn over the stoveplate using a metal basket, which he shook vigorously so the popcorn didn't burn.  Grandma made honey coating to pour over the hot corn and after it cooled, Grandpa dished it up into shiny metal bowls.  There were eight of them in assorted colors, one for each of us. I always tried to get the sky blue bowl because it was the prettiest of them all.  The popcorn ritual was the prelude to another sunday night ritual.
We all filed into the living room and my siblings and I plopped onto the carpet, careful not to tip over our bowls lest the sticky, gooey, corn fall on the floor.  The adults got the chairs. Grandpa always sat in the Lazy Boy with his feet on the footrest and we all quietly (and I do mean QUIETLY) watched the Lawrence Welk Show.  My Grandparents adored it and never missed it if they could help it.  The enforced good behaviour was worth it to us children only because of the honey popcorn.  We just didn't appreciate the bandleader and his music.  And we got one and only one bowlfull; any more and you were sick all night long.  We had to ration it out so that our bowl last the full hour.

Many years later when Grandpa was almost 95 and living with my parents I went to visit one day.  I found him in my Dad's chair with the footrest up, watching re-runs of the Lawrence Welk show.  I kissed him on the cheek and he said, "You know, it's just amazing that Mr.Welk (as his "musical family" called him ) never seems to get any older or slower.  This show is just as good today as it was 40 years ago".  We could never convince Grandpa that Lawrence had passed on and that he was watching re-runs.  He just wouldn't believe it.

Grandpa's birthday is coming up. 111; that's how old he would be this year.
I like to remember the Grandpa of my youth, sitting in the Lazy Boy, and shushing us kids so that we could all enjoy the bubble machine and Norma Zimmer, the Champagne Lady.
Love you, Grandpa.  Thanks for the popcorn and the memories.  I'll be making this on your birthday to celebrate.

Grandpa and Grandma's Honey Popcorn

1 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
¾ cup of honey
¼ cup of light Karo corn syrup
2/3 cup (or 6 ounces of canned milk)
¼ cup of white vinegar
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon of baking soda
5-6 quarts of popped popcorn, hulls removed

Cook the first six ingredients to the soft ball stage, 230ยบ F. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla extract and baking soda. Stir well until the mixture foams. Pour over 5-6 quarts of popped popcorn and stir to cover.

Immediately form into balls or spread the corn out onto waxed paper to cool.


  1. Oh does that look good ! Can you run some over to me please? I would so appreciate it !

  2. Loved this! My parents always watched Lawrence Welk, and I will tell you a secret. I always wanted to take tap lessons but my parents could not afford it. I did take piano lessons for a while. But I would steal away in the dinning room behind the living room where I could still see the TV and try and copy the tap dancing duel without anyone to spy on me. I pinned the recipe!

  3. Bonnie, I do love popcorn and have some of my own family watching something on TV and eating popcorn. I used to like watching Lawrence Welk. Too funny, that he though that Lawrence lived on forever :). I still catch reruns at my in-laws once in awhile. Growing up, my husband detested Lawrence Welk because it meant that soon he would have to take a Saturday night bath. I want to try your Honey popcorn recipe. Joni

  4. Awww, aren't grandparent memories the best? I remember how much my grandparents loved the Lawrence Welk show too. This recipe looks yummy, but now I'm in a quandry. I pinned your previous carmel corn recipe -- which one shall I try first?

  5. Oh what lovely memories you have! I remember the Lawrence Welk show very well. My mom loved to watch it mainly for the dancing (Bobby and Sissy) and the clothes. She loved to see what the ladies were going to be wearing each week. We made fun of Myron Floren, the accordion player and that Irish singer (can't bring up the name), but Guy and Ralna were seriously listened to and adored. Such a cute couple.

    Now that popcorn sounds really delicious. My hubby would love it. He's a "sweet" popcorn lover; I'm a salty popcorn lover.

  6. My grandparents loved Lawrence Welk, too! I watched it with them.
    Honey popcorn sounds like a great Saturday night treat! Thank you, Bonnie!

  7. Oh, Bonnie..
    what sweet memories. Thank you for sharing them.

    I've never heard of honey popcorn. I'm going to print off the recipe, and give it a try one of these days.
    Maybe I can find an old re-run of "Mr. Welk's" show and watch, too.

    Enjoy the weekend :)

  8. What a lovely story, and the popcorn sounds soo good, too! I'll bet your grandparents loved to make you for their sweet grandkids! Your yummy breakfast topped with applesauce and your tarragon chicken salad look so yummy! I'd love for you to link up at my new site: http://utahtopia.com/updates/entertainment/utahtopia-link-party Feel free to link up anything you like!

  9. I really want to try this sweet honey popcorn, Bonnie. I love the story attached to it:) I never liked Lawrence Welk either, but enjoyed your shared memories about your grandpa:) My paternal grandpa (from Spain) was very distant, and my maternal Armenian grandfather died before I was born, but would be 132 now!

  10. Yummy! Isn't it amazing how many of our memories are tied to food? When I used to visit my grandparents in Sao Paulo, Brazil, he would go to the garden and bring me a couple of mission figs, my favorite fruit... and grandma would make delicious chicken soup and drop an egg in it while it was piping hot... OK, now I miss them and am hungry, too!!!