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North Pole shares its letters to Santa

BY GINGER MCTINSEL

NORTH POLE—“Oh, ho the mistletoe up where you can see…” It is almost Christmas! And you know what that means – lots of hot chocolate! Candy canes that come in many flavors and colors. Don’t tell anyone, but I love the blueberry ones, because it makes my tongue blue.

But most of all, my favorite part of Christmas is sharing letters that the children write to Santa. They are enjoyed by one and all at the North Pole. I think they do the happy dance every time the mail arrives. The reindeer are probably the most vocal expressing their enjoyment. The letters are usually torn and tattered by the time the last North Pole resident has read them. They were enjoyed so much that it was agreed that they had to be shared with the River Parishes.

Here is a link to see many of the letters we received.

By the way, the reindeer love, love, love snacks with their letters and they love, love, love popcorn. Dancer and Cupid would like to share some of their favorite recipes they found while searching popcorn.org on the web.

Jingle Balls

Yield: 12 cups

Nonstick cooking spray

12        cups popped popcorn

6          tablespoons butter or margarine

3          cups mini marshmallows

1/2       teaspoon peppermint extract

assorted colored sugars

Spray large mixing bowl lightly with nonstick cooking spray. Add popcorn.

Spread plastic wrap on cookie sheet; set aside.

In medium saucepan, melt butter and marshmallows; stir until mixture is smooth. Stir in peppermint extract. Pour over popcorn, mixing until well coated. Let cool 2 minutes.

Spray hands with nonstick cooking spray and form popcorn mixture into 3-inch balls. Gently press colored sugar onto balls. Let sit on prepared cookie sheet until cool and set.

Chocolate Popcorn Reindeer

Servings: 8

8          cups unsalted, unbuttered, popped popcorn

2 1/2    cups mini marshmallows

1/2       cup chopped dark chocolate or dark chocolate chips

2          tablespoons butter or light olive oil

1/4       teaspoon salt

16        pretzel sticks

16        eyeball candies

8          red candy-coated chocolate candies

Place popcorn in large mixing bowl.

In saucepan over medium heat, heat marshmallows, chocolate, butter and salt, stirring often, until smooth. Toss marshmallow mixture with popcorn until well combined.

Scoop 3/4 cup popcorn mixture into ball. Repeat with remaining mixture to make eight balls. Place each ball in paper muffin cup liner.

Insert one pretzel stick on each side of ball to resemble antlers, attach two eyeball candies for “eyes” and one red chocolate candy for “nose.” Repeat with remaining balls. Let cool completely.

 

Holiday Popcorn Snowmen

Yield: 5 snowmen

1          package (1 pound) large marshmallows

1/4       cup (1/2 stick) butter or margarine, plus additional for greasing hands

1          teaspoon vanilla

10        cups popped popcorn

sprinkles (optional)

licorice (optional)

gum drops (optional)

cinnamon candies (optional)

In large saucepan, melt marshmallows and 1/4 cup butter. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Let stand 5 minutes.

Pour marshmallow mixture over popcorn and stir. Butter hands well and form into balls.

Decorate with sprinkles, licorice, gum drops and cinnamon candies, if desired.

Ginger McTinsel is the Chief Elf Officer (CEO) of Santa Claus Enterprises, a wholly owned subsidiary of Kringle Worldwide Industries (NYSE: KWI). She has been with the company for 484 years and looks forward to retiring in another 166 years. She also currently serves at vice president in charge of candy canes and hot cocoa.