"I can't find the popcorn ball recipe."
Warren looked at me as we ate breakfast this morning. "I'm sure it's here."
You would think so. But no, I have searched through the recipe folder and checked a few other spots where I thought it might be, and come up empty-handed.
The recipe, which was the one my beloved Grandma Skatzes used every Christmas for years and years, was printed on a 4x6 index card. I have carried that card around with me for some 25 years. Across the top, I had printed "Skatzes Popcorn Balls."
And it is not here. It is not in the folder where I tuck recipes, it is not stuck in a cookbook, it is not on a counter in the kitchen.
It is gone.
After Warren left for the holiday concert rehearsal, I came back home and googled "popcorn ball recipes." No, I don't want one with marshmallows in it. No, I don't use molasses. This was a water, sugar, and corn syrup concoction. After several minutes, I zeroed in on a few recipes that sound darn close. Until and unless the recipe card shows up, these will do.
The new recipes will do because when it comes right down to it, the magic of my grandmother's popcorn balls was not in the eating, although they were pretty darn good. The magic was in the smiles on the faces of family members when it was popcorn ball time and they stopped in at Grandma's to pick up their sack of goodness. The magic was in the love Grandma put into every batch she made. The magic was in being allowed to spend the day by her side, burning our fingers from time to time, listening to her stories.
The magic is in the memories.