Welcome to Realmantic Moments Howloween Hoppers!
Being raised in the rural mid-west and remaining within an hour’s drive of my for nine almost ten years post-graduating after swearing I would find out what was beyond the county line one day every day for my entire high school confinement, I had no idea what to expect once I did find my way out into the world. My way out into the world came via a US Marine and on my first go out of Mayberry I was taken about as far away as one could get. Half-way around the world to be exact. After my first year of marriage I found myself landed on the island of Okinawa in the middle of the ocean and not a Wal-Mart or Piggly Wiggly in sight.
Holidays had always been a huge ordeal for my small yet tight-knit country family. It was a time to gather and fellowship, eat to your heart’s content, celebrate. We made our way to our first duty-station as husband and wife during the summer month’s so the brevity of having no family to go to during the holidays didn’t hit until a few months later when Halloween approached and it occurred to me my son wouldn’t get to go to my grandma’s house to get his special treat that year and I wouldn’t be getting my favorite treat from her house either. (More on that later)
Halloween in Okinawa…Oh. My. Goodness. Although the island is mostly inhabited by Buddhists, they are quite fascinated by American customs and holidays and Halloween seems to pique their interest above all others. I’m fairly certain the rules may have changed by now, I’ll have to ask my husband as he’s been sequestered there this year on a one-year unaccompanied tour, but in 1998 the gates were wide open to the bases and locals were allowed to come in at will and participate in our trick-or-treating. Now, I knew this well in advance, but I had no idea what to expect. Little Okinawan children came in droves dressed as every Pokemon character known, some I think Pokemon players in the states may not even be aware exist. And their candy sacks were full to brimming. I had in no way shape or form prepared for this onslaught of little people and quickly found I was out of treats and had to place a note on my door apologizing for my oversight so they wouldn’t keep ringing my bell.
That’s been fourteen years ago and I’ve not spent a Halloween at home since I moved away from my rural roots. I’ve spent them all on some base or other, here or there, and although at times I’ve had good neighbors and friends, I have to confess, I miss holidays at home. City style trick-or-treating just isn’t the same and it seems a bit impersonal having hundreds of children come to your door and you maybe know a handful of them. Not that I blame the kids or begrudge them the candy, I enjoy seeing them come to the door, but I miss that closeness of knowing who to expect and those special treats. The treats like Grandma prepared for her “special” treaters. The treats my son regretfully missed out on. Maybe someday I can resurrect this tradition with my grandchildren (take your time son, I’m not in that big of a hurry).
For now, I’ll share the recipe for that special treat with all of you, because readers, fans, and hoppers are all very special to me. You all take the time to stop by and say hello and chat with me and for that I’m grateful. J
Oh, and be sure to scroll on down after the recipe…There’s a prize to be had…Be sure to enter for the drawing. J
Grandma’s Popcorn Balls
½ pound popcorn
2/3C corn syrup
2/3C boiling water
2 tsp Cream of Tartar
2T melted butter
2 tsp vanilla flavoring
1/8 tsp baking soda
Pop the corn according to package directions. Place in a large pan or bowl. Combine syrup, sugar, water, and vinegar. Heat to boiling. Add cream of tartar. Boil to soft crack stage (275-280 degrees F) Remove from fire (yes the recipe actually says that J) Add butter, baking soda, and flavoring. Pour over popcorn. For into balls. (Tip: went hands=less sticky hands)
Hope you enjoy!
So, I’m giving away a $10.00 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Leave me a comment and some contact information to enter. Anyone else have a Halloween tradition they’d like to share?
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