Halloween and the holidays with love. Mmm-mmm there is nothing like the homemade goodness of Grannie's Popcorn Balls. A recipe passed down through generations and shared with me, with genuine enthusiasm by our Market President Philip Hand.

Quite simply, Grannie's Popcorn Balls taste like being a kid again. So whether it's at Halloween or anytime embrace the joy of the simpler times when friends and family gather 'round to make the holidays a special time. Where there's Grannie's Popcorn Balls there's a happy kid of every age.

"I just remember eating these as a kid. My Grannie would make 'em and we'd always go by to their house for Halloween because she'd always give us a couple of them and it was our favorite," Phil said.

"It didn't matter if we got bags full of other kinds of candies, that was our favorite thing. And the ladies out here in the Panhandle, or at least the ladies that we knew, they always made homemade Halloween gifts." He said brownies, cookies and cakes were made as well as Popcorn Balls. " They did homemade stuff a lot and I always thought that those were the coolest gifts."

He shared that out in the country where he grew up in Friona, Texas, they would all jump into the car and go from house to house. Houses could be miles apart. "You might be going 20-30 miles on a Halloween night to go to all your cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends."

Phil said this special recipe from his Grannie Nadine O'Brian is from at least the 1950's and had been handed down to his Mom, Loretta Hand, who still makes them by the dozens for the family.

"She knows we all love 'em! "

I had to ask, how he would describe them and the simple answer is heartfelt, "They just remind me of being a kid again, they're really good...all fresh made...from scratch...they're pretty special."

I tried one and fell in love with this incredible treat. No wonder it's such a longstanding tradition. Soft, chewy, sweet, salty, and made with love, the special ingredient.  I'm going to start making them for holiday occasions, for special gifts, for family and friends. I am so thankful to be able to share in this tradition and to pass it along here to you.

You and your family will fall in love with Grannie Obrien's Popcorn Balls too.

Grannie's Popcorn Ball Recipe
Nadine O'Brian

Ingredients:
1/3 C White Karo Syrup
1 C Sugar
1/3 C Water
1/4 t salt
1/4 C Margarine
3/4 t Vanilla

2010 Update (3X Recipe)
1 C White Karo Syrup
3 C Sugar
1 C Water
3/4 t salt

Pop 3 poppers of popcorn. Rub softened margarine on inside of pan prior to adding popcorn to mix.

Rub softened margarine on inside of pan prior to adding other ingredients. Bring to boil- 260 degrees. (Use candy thermometer).
Remove from heat and add 2 1/2 t vanilla and 12 oz (stick and 1/2) of Fleishman margarine. Stir rapidly and pour over popcorn and stir. Butter hands and form balls. makes approximately 18-20 balls.