My Uncle Brent is one of my mom’s four brothers. He is 15 months younger than my mom, the third of six siblings. He is a decorated general in the Air Force.

I grew up in the Salt Lake Valley in Utah until I was 18, spending so many of my childhood days at my uncles and aunts homes with my cousins. My earliest memories are eating this caramel popcorn at my Uncle Brent and Aunt Donna’s home. I always loved watching my aunt make it and, of course, eating it was our favorite part. Come to find out years later that it’s my Uncle Brent’s recipe that he got back in his early days from a comrade in the Air Force. When he was visiting last week, he made it with me in my kitchen. I’ll cherish this wonderful memory for years to come! It was absolutely epic having my mom, her brothers and wives in my kitchen — it was truly a dream come true!

Uncle Brent’s caramel popcorn recipe:


1 cup water

1 cup karo syrup

2 pounds light brown sugar (C & H)

2 pounds salted butter

1 cup vegetable shortening

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon baking soda

5 gallons popped corn


Pop the corn ahead of time.

Combine sugar, karo syrup, water and bring to a boil while stirring. Add butter and shortening and bring to boil on medium heat until it reaches 255 degrees on candy thermometer.

Take off the heat and add the vanilla and baking soda.

Stir well using a rubber spatula. Combine and pour over the popcorn evenly in a large bowl or paper bag. Set sheets of parchment paper on the counter and pour it out until it dries. Eat immediately — don’t let any go to waste!

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