It has become tradition on the Fourth of July to have a few close friends come to our home to swim and barbecue. It has become a nice tradition.
Last year I did a hydration station with different flavor lemonades. The year before I did a red, white and blue candy bar. To do something different this year I did a popcorn bar. I used a lot of the ideas from the website pen n’ paperflowers. It turned out to be a fun idea:
I had a big basket of hot air popped popcorn. Brown paper bags were nearby so one could scoop in the popcorn, spritz and then select a seasoning from several choices. I got the popcorn seasonings and spritz from Kernel Seasons.
Buckets full of a variety of candies were available to sprinkle on top of popcorn.
Candies for popcorn topping.
I made Caramel Popcorn Balls from a recipe I have had for years and years.
Caramel Popcorn Balls
1 lb brown sugar
1 cup white corn syrup
1 square butter
1 large can sweetened condensed milk.
popped popcorn (I like the popcorn heavily coated so I make just one large batch of hot air popcorn)
Combine butter, brown sugar and corn syrup in kettle. Cook until mixture comes to a boil. Add sweetened condensed milk stirring frequently. Cook over medium heat until mixture forms ball when dropped in cold wter. Pour over popcorn and form balls. (remember to cover hands with butter)
The red, white and blue popcorn was made from Koolaid popcorn recipe:
2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
2/3 cups butter
6 quarts plain popped popcorn
2 packages Kool-aid (red is cherry or strawberry, white is lemonade, and blue is ice blue raspberry lemonade)
1 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 225 degrees F. Boil sugar, syrup and butter together for 3 minutes. On a large shallow un-greased baking dish spread out popped popcorn. In a separate bowl, combine the Kool-Aid with the baking soda. Remove sugar syrup from the stove and carefully stir in the Kool-Aid mixture. (Note: This will make the sugar mixture puff up. Be careful not to get burned.) Now take sugar mixture and pour it over the popped popcorn. Carefully mix all till combined. Place it in the oven and stir every 10 minutes. Repeat this 3 more times. Take popcorn out of the oven and when it starts to cool, break it apart into pieces.
(Instead of Kool-Aid you could substitute flavored oils and food coloring, making any kind of combination imaginable.)
The website I used for inspiration also sold the labels and the sign in their Etsy shop.
(The popcorn bar was so popular for the 4th of July I re-cycled the idea for a “pioneer theme” church activity with the Young Women with “Emma Smith” as our guest.)
Another fun 4th of July idea I did this year were chocolate covered Oreos and some of them decorated with chocolate transfer: The red with white strip cookies and blue star cookies are made with a mold. The flag decorated cookies are chocolate transfers. You can find everything you need at Fancy Flours: www.fancyflours.com, molds and chocolate transfer sheets.
Fourth of July decorations:
This year I decided to change the decorating from my usual. The swags were put on the front of the house and I got flag bunting for the back to weave in and out of the railing.