Wendy Stern of Longview, Wash., writes that she once had a wonderful recipe for peppermint popcorn. "I have lost it and have not been able to find another. Do you know of any recipes for this?"
Patricia Brown of Hagerstown responded. "I am happy to share this recipe from a former neighbor, Margaret Knauer, who made it every Christmas to share with her neighbors."
Makes about 2 1/2 quarts
3 quarts freshly popped plain popcorn, unseasoned
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1/8 teaspoon green food coloring
Arrange popcorn in a shallow baking or roasting pan. Melt butter in a 2-quart saucepan. Stir in sugar, salt and corn syrup. Cook, stirring constantly until sugar dissolves and mixture boils. Boil, without stirring, for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add peppermint extract and green food coloring.
Pour over popcorn in baking pan and stir to mix well. Bake in a preheated 250-degree oven for 1 hour, stirring 3 to 4 times. Cool completely and store in tightly covered containers.
Tester Laura Reiley's comments: "A fabulous holiday treat, the challenge is that you shouldn't use microwave popcorn. Those air poppers that were popular in the 1970s and '80s are the best, because the resulting popcorn has no oils or other flavors imparted.
"Plain, dry popcorn picks up a little sweetness and a little buttery flavor mixed with peppermint. This would be a delicious surprise on movie night! Unless you stir quite a bit as you pour the mixture on the popcorn, the flavoring might not be uniformly distributed, but that's OK. This has an old-timey charm that's hard to beat. The food coloring is unnecessary."
Betty Emunson of Santa Rosa, Calif., is seeking a recipe for raisin tarts. "I have lost my mother's recipe. As I recall, the ingredients include raisins, chopped walnuts, butter, corn syrup or brown sugar. They were delicious."
Lela J. Klingler of Santa Rosa, Calif., is seeking a strawberry shortcut cake. "It was a simple recipe. You put mini marshmallows on the bottom of a 13-by-9-inch pan, then the cake batter topped with thawed frozen strawberries. As it baked, the strawberries would sink to the bottom and the marshmallows would rise to make a glaze. I'd be so happy to have the recipe."
If you are looking for a recipe or can answer a request for a hard-to-find recipe, write to Ellen Hawks, Recipe Finder, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278.
If you send more than one recipe, please put each on a separate sheet of paper with your name, address and daytime phone number. Important: Please list the ingredients in order of use, and note the number of servings each recipe makes. Please type or print contributions. Letters may be edited for clarity.