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There’s no doubt popcorn inspires creativity. In 1492, Columbus discovered the Arawak ad Carib Indians using popcorn for decorations and food in the West Indies. In 1519, Cortez found the Aztecs in Mexico adorned in popcorn necklaces and ceremonial headdresses. And it was first introduced to the English colonists at the first Thanksgiving feast when Quadequina, brother of the Wampanoag chief Massasoit, brought a deerskin bag of popped corn to dinner as a gift.

In fact, the ancestors of most Native American tribes enjoyed popcorn even before the birth of Christ. And, today, popcorn is still considered one of America’s favorite snacks.

Popcorn Snack Mix

14 c. popped popcorn, lightly salted

1 c. Krispy M&M’s®

1 c. peanuts

1 lb. melted chocolate OR butterscotch OR white chocolate candy melts

3 T. peanut butter

Measure popcorn into a large bowl, making sure no unpopped kernels are used. Add the Krispy M&M’s® and peanuts. In a saucepan, melt the candy melts over low to medium heat and blend in peanut butter. Pour melted candy and peanut butter mixture over popcorn mixture. Spread on wax paper and let cool.

Note: Candy melts can be purchased at any cake and candy supply store. If using white chocolate, omit the peanut butter for a white look.

Popcorn cake

10 c. popped popcorn, lightly salted

4 c. Rice Krispies® cereal

1 c. M&M’s®

1 c. salted peanuts

1 c. vegetable oil

½ c. butter

1 10-oz. pkg. large marshmallows

Measure popcorn into a large bowl, making sure no unpopped kernels are used. Add Rice Krispies®, M&M’s® and peanuts; mix and set aside. In a large saucepan, combine vegetable oil, butter and marshmallows. Cook over low to medium heat until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Pour marshmallow mixture over popcorn mixture and blend well. Spray an angel food cake pan or a heart-shaped ring mold pan with nonstick cooking spray. Pack popcorn mixture into pan firmly using the back of a spoon. Unmold immediately. Let stand until cool and cut cake into slices to serve.

Love Birds

Needless to say, popcorn is as popular at the bird feeder as it is at the movies or ball game.

Creating a bird feeder can be a wintertime activity that will engage your children and also keep your feathered friends content.

Bird watching can also be both and educational and relaxing activity to do with your kids or sweetheart. The poet Claucer once wrote: For this was on St. Valentine’s Day, when every fowl cometh to choose his mate.

Wreath Bird Feeder

What you will need:

½ c. peanut butter

2 c. uncooked oatmeal OR rolled oats

Popped popcorn

Fresh cranberries


Wild birdseed

18-inch grapevine wreath

Pine cones

26-gauge wire

Needle and thread to string popcorn and cranberries Ribbon

Stir ½ cup peanut butter into 2 cups uncooked cornmeal or rolled oats. Spoon mixture on pine cones and roll in seeds. Carefully attach peanut butter covered pine cones to grapevine wreath using thin wire. Wrap a string of popcorn and cranberries around wreath or attach using wire. Using heart-shaped cookie cutters, cut hearts out of toast and cover with peanut butter and birdseed or popcorn. Attach to wreath. Add a colorful ribbon and hang from a tree or on a fence. Stand back and watch the birds flock to your feeding station.