Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Kinda Corny...

It turns out that worrisome conditions earlier in the growing season leveled out and the corn yield this fall will be plentiful enough for both food (mostly for livestock) and fuel (gasoline additive, ethanol, made from corn). Oh and... hopefully there will be plenty for the October celebration of National Popcorn Poppin' Month.

From the NY Times:
The Department of Agriculture is forecasting the second-highest corn yield on record with production of 12.3 billion bushels, about 600 million bushels more than it had expected earlier in the summer...
The highest corn yield on record was 160.4 bushels an acre in 2004. The new 2008 estimate of 155 bushels is up 3.9 bushels from last year’s harvest. Total production will be lower than last year’s bumper crop, because farmers planted fewer acres of corn.

Read the full article here

Oh, and... hopefully this means there will be plenty for the lesser-known October celebration: National Popcorn Poppin' Month! I know, I know.... different kind of corn, but let's ignore the irrelevance and enjoy some corny facts and yummy recipe from
  • Americans consume some 16 billion quarts of corn. That’s 54 quarts per man, woman, and child.
  • There are two basic popcorn shapes: snowflake and mushroom. Snowflake is used in movie theaters and ballparks because it looks and pops bigger. Mushroom is used for candy confections because it doesn't crumble.
  • If you made a trail of popcorn from New York City to Los Angeles, you would need more than 352,028,160 popped kernels.
  • “Popability” is popcorn lingo that refers to the percentage of kernels that pop.
  • Popcorn was used by the Native Americans not only as a staple in their diet, but for decoration. Sixteenth century Aztec Indians used popcorn in their ceremonies; young women danced a “popcorn dance” and wore garlands of popcorn in their hair.
  • In 1945, an engineer named Percy Spencer accidentally discovered that microwave radio signals could be used to cook foods. His following experiments with popcorn led, in part, to the development of the microwave oven.

Popcorn S'mores
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon baking soda10 cups freshly popped popcorn
1 package (10 1/2 oz.) miniature marshmallows
2 cups mini graham cookies (teddy bears)
1 cup chocolate chips

Combine brown sugar, butter and corn syrup in medium saucepan. Cook over high heat for 5 minutes; remove from heat and stir in baking soda. Combine popcorn and marshmallows in large bowl. Pour sugar mixture over popcorn to coat. Gently stir in graham cookies and chocolate chips. Spread mixture evenly into greased 15 x 10 inch pan. Let cool completely. Break into pieces. Store in an airtight container. Yield: 20 pieces

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