Tuesday, August 18, 2009

AppleBars, Popcorn Balls and Back to School

Yesterday was something of a beginning and an end. On the one hand, we began our homeschooling in earnest. In honor of the occasion, we surprised the charges by painting a four square court in the backyard, complete with an extra bouncy red rubber ball. (We painted a hop-scotch court as well, but so far it has been met with only casual interest.) In the evening, I attended my adjunct faculty meetings, gearing up for courses that begin next week. Enrollment is up some 23 percent over last year, so I've got full classrooms and lots of emails from desperate students hoping to add classes. There's an excitement in the air, and it looks like freshly sharpened pencils, Trapper Keeper notebooks, and juicy red apples.
But I mentioned that yesterday was a bit of an end. I wasn't only referring to the end of summer, but also an end of schooling. Yesterday morning, the Quiet Man presented his doctoral portfolio. Which means that henceforth, he shall no longer be known as Quiet Man, but instead Dr. Quiet Man. Of course, there is never really an end to learning, but maybe...this could signal the end of student loans. To Dr. Quiet Man, I issue not only my congratulations, but also my sincerest promise to bake him a cake, possibly as soon as tonight.
But today is Tuesday, which means that I am morally obligated to share my assigned treat from TWD baking club. So here it is. It's an apple bar that I didn't quite love, but I didn't dislike it terribly either. Meh. That isn't much of an endorsement, so I'll move on.
I also made popcornballs that our brightly red and bouncy, just like that four square ball I mentioned. The girls in my Sunday class delivered these and other goodies to neighborhood kids for their first day of school lunches. What a fun tradition, don't you think? These popcorn balls are perfect for sharing since they are fast, easy, super cheap (till you get the dental bill), and surprisingly yummy. Make some for your back to schoolers.
Here's what you'll need to do:
Pop about 10 cups of popcorn. (I did mine from scratch, but you could use a bag and a half of low fat microwave popcorn.)
In a small saucepan, combine 1/2 cup sugar, 1 cup corn syrup, and a 3 ounce box of jello, any flavor. Bring just to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly to dissolve sugars. Pour the hot syrup over the popcorn and toss to coat. When the mixture is cool enough to handle, butter your hands and shape it into balls. Wrap balls tightly in saran wrap and eat them up within 24 hours. It'll cost you about $2.00 for 24 popcorn balls. Up Next:
Crispy Fried Chicken Drumsticks


Jersey Girl Cooks said...

My kids will love the popcorn balls. Congrats Dr Quiet man! We still have 3 weeks of summer left as school doesn't start until after Labor day.

Adrienne said...

Congratulations to your sweet husband. What an accomplishement. Those popcorn balls look great, and seems like they could be made from all food storage type items. I'm on the prowl for those kinds of treats.

Dakotapam said...

Oh, I LOVE popcorn balls! Do I have to share?

Congrats to Dr. Quiet Man!

Marjie said...

Bouncy ball red popcorn balls! What a great idea!

Congrats to Dr. Quiet Man! Now, to pay off those student loans...

My oldest son is teaching 4 economics courses this year at a small college local to him. It's an adventure, no doubt. Have fun! And I hope you and the kids have fun in home school, too. Your daughter is in the same grade as my baby; I'll be writing about his curriculum too.

Katrina said...

Yay for Drs! Congrats!
The apple bars weren't my favorite either.
Love popcorn balls!

chocolatechic said...

Your bars look good.

Sorry it was only meh.

Evelyn said...

Wow, congratulations to your husband!!! That's amazing. And those popcorn balls look fantastic. I need to get myself a popcorn popper.

The JR said...

Haven't had popcorn balls in ages. Congrats to Dr. Quite Man too.


Catherine said...

Congrats to Dr. quiet man. I had forgotten tht he ws so close to finishing. I wish I could have been there, for the celebratory feast!

I can't wait to take MK on, in your 4-square court! =)

The popcorn balls look so festive. I never thought of them as first day of school treats, but I think the're very fitting. I've decided to completly ignore the first day of school, in honor of this is the last year, before school takes over. Sigh.

gigi said...

Congratulations to Dr. Quiet Man! And to his family :) A cake and that trip to Ireland sounds like a good thing to celebrate with!

ostwestwind said...

The kids go back to school Aug, 31, I have to go to work next Tuesday ...

We liked the bars

Ulrike @ K├╝chenlatein

Patsyk said...

That is a wonderful tradition! Congrats to Dr. Quiet Man, that is some accomplishment! We still have a few weeks before school starts back up for us.

crabigail adams said...


Home schooling in August??? What fun is that??!!

We will NOT start until after Labor Day, not no way, not no how!

Niki Jolene said...

Those bring back memories of childhood for sure!


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