My sister Mary Dorgan died last December in Rapids City, SD. When we visited for her funeral, we learned that she had been very active in her church, St. Andrews Episcopal Church, and will always be remembered there for two activities that were close to her heart. One was her macramé hospice comforters. The other is little popcorn ornaments, St. Andrews now refers to as, “Mary Balls”.
Here is how you make them:
- Clean and dry clear glass ornaments. These are the 2” and 3” ones available at Michaels, Hobby Lobby or JoAnns.
- Plain popcorn. Don’t use the microwave kind, because it’s all greasy and will make the inside of the ornament cloudy which can’t be cleaned.
- A brown paper lunch bag
- A small microwave safe dish
Remove the metal top from the ornament and fill it with about 25 kernels for a 2” ball or 35 kernels for a 3” ball. You can experiment with the number as microwaves and popcorn kernels all work differently. Place the ornament upright in a custard dish or paper bag and microwave on high for 1-2 minutes. I don’t use the bag as I like to see the popping action so I can be certain to shut off the microwave before things start to burn or popping stops. The paper bag keeps any popcorn escapees contained or captures any rare ornament breakage – it’s up you which way to go.
Shake out any unpopped kernels once things cool and replace the metal top on the ornament. Finish with a ribbon bow, bell or other accessory. You can also add glitter or other showy things inside of the ornament before popping, but make sure there is no metal in it unless you like microwave fireworks.
Let’s all remember our loved ones with Mary Balls this Christmas!