|I'm Just Cookin'|
|Written by Darci Tomky|
In honor of one of the most popular drinks of all time, last weekend I cooked up some KOOL treats that put an excellent exclamation point on the end of summer.
Just in case you don’t know, Kool-Aid was invented in Hastings, Neb. (my home away from home during college), and Saturday was their annual Kool-Aid Days celebration. For just two bucks you can buy a cup that gives you unlimited access to the world’s largest Kool-Aid stand.
If that wasn’t enough Kool-Aid for you, there’s also appearances by Kool-Aid Man, Kardboard boat races and the Kwickest Kool-Aid drinking contest.
This year is Kool-Aid’s 85th birthday. The sweet, colorful drink was invented by Edwin E. Perkins in 1927 in his factory on First Street in Hastings. Kool-aiddays.com boasts Perkins created the first powdered soft drink mix to be sold nationally in stores through wholesalers, packaged in envelopes printed by Perkins himself.
At just 10 cents a package, it was an affordable way families could enjoy a cool pitcher of fruit drink on a hot afternoon, with their choice of raspberry (Perkins’ favorite), cherry, grape, lemon, orange and root beer.
Many of us remember growing up with our own Kool-Aid stands, Kool-Aid mustaches and hearing the familiar “Oh, yeah!” of Kool-Aid Man on TV.
I recently found some extra KOOL beverage recipes at kraftrecipes.com.
They also had the great idea of using Kool-Aid ice cubes to mix and match flavors, keeping drinks cool without watering them down. How does cherry and lemonade sound? Or strawberry and lime?
Kool-Aid can be used for a lot more than drinks, too. Have you heard of fried Kool-Aid? There’s also frosting, pie, play-dough and dyes made with Kool-Aid.
It’s almost football season, and Kool-Aid Popcorn would be a great fruity addition to any party. I found this recipe at tastykitchen.com. It’s kind of like making caramel popcorn, but the bright colors could really show off your team spirit. Oh, yeah!
Super Cool Summer Beverages
Mix and match your recipe from the above options.
Then follow the three simple steps.
1. Place 1/3 cup Kool-Aid sugar-sweetened drink mix in blender.
2. Add add-ins; cover. Blend on high speed until well blended.
3. Serve immediately.
How to prepare Cool Cubes:
Prepare any flavor Kool-Aid sugar sweetened drink mix as directed on package. Pour about 1-3/4 cups of the prepared drink into plastic ice cube trays and freeze until firm.
2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
2/3 cups butter or margarine
6 quarts plain popped popcorn
2 packages Kool-Aid (any flavor)
1 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 225 F. Boil sugar, syrup and butter/margarine together for 3 minutes. On a large shallow ungreased baking dish, spread out popped popcorn. In a separate bowl, combine the Kool-Aid with the baking soda.
Remove sugar syrup from the stove and carefully stir in the Kool-Aid mixture. (Note: This will make the sugar mixture puff up. Be careful to not get burned.) Now take sugar mixture and pour it over the popped popcorn. Carefully mix all till combined.
Place it in the oven and stir every 10 minutes. Repeat this 3 more times. (Total cook time is 40 minutes.) Take popcorn out of the oven and when it starts to cool, break it apart into pieces.
Holyoke Enterprise Aug. 16, 2012