The first method we tried, involved dyeing the popcorn kernels before they were popped. We simply mixed the kernels with a few drops of red food coloring in a bowl, and then made up a separate batch of blue in another bowl. It takes less food coloring than you would think, only three or four drops for 1/2 cup of kernels.
Then, we spread them out on tinfoil to dry overnight. When they were completely dry, we mixed them together with some undyed kernels, to make up our red, white, and blue mixture for popping. Finally, we popped them as normal.
They popped white. However, they did retain their colored kernels, so a mixture of just red and blue kernels did produced a slightly patriotic mixture. We thought this was a little too subtle though, so we moved on to another method. But, we saved our colored kernels. They are very shiny, and smooth, and hold definite promise for future art projects.
The second method we experimented with, involved dyeing the popcorn after it was popped. We mixed a few drops of food coloring in with the melted butter, and then poured it on top of the popcorn inside of a paper lunch sack, and gave it a good shake. Again, we made separate batches of blue and red, and then mixed them together in the bowl. The result was a little mottled, but we didn't use very much butter or dye. I'm pretty sure a little more butter, and perhaps a full size paper bag, and the coverage would be almost complete.
We happily dubbed this batch patriotic. Of course, now we've had our fill of popcorn, and will need to come up with something else for our firework snack. But, happy munching to the rest of you!
It's great to be a homeschooler.