mema’s popcorn balls

Halloween as a child in rural Missouri was a bit different than the October holiday I’ve come to know as an adult ‘mo. The 10 to 12 weeks leading up to Gay Halloween consist of two-a-day workouts, multiple, scheduled, bland, carbless meals, and the agonizing synchronization of elaborate, yet shirtless, costumes, all with a choreographed number to be performed in front of the masses.


The Midwestern Halloween of my youth usually entailed me rummaging through my mother’s closet on October 29th, trying to match a dress with a red belt to my grandmother’s size 11 sensible heels*. And they say it’s not predetermined…

This same grandmother, known as Mema by all of the family, would make these delicious caramel popcorn balls every Halloween. In retrospect, it’s probably because she had all the ingredients in the pantry that was still stocked for World War III and she was too frugal smart to waste her hard-earned money on candy when we didn’t know the difference. 

Nonetheless, these were a hit every year with all of us, and I still have friends from Missouri who ask about Mema’s Popcorn Balls to this day.



So, unless you just like the look of Charmin draped haphazardly throughout your landscaping, or happen to cherish opening the door to a flaming bag of your neighbor’s Labradoodle’s turds, throw out those dollar store knockoff Butterfingers and hand these out instead this Halloween.

*She is an incredible lady, not only did she never question my need to borrow her shoes, she didn’t bat an eye when I asked her to teach me to crochet in the 3rd grade. 


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