I apologise one again for my lack of Internet presence over the festive period. I filled my days with Christmassy cooking crafting all of which I was to impart to my (limited) readership. Unfortunately, as is often the way, the time I spent doing these activities slightly ate into the time I was supposed to spend writing about them. Oh well, my blog posts, like the half-price decorations being snatched up all over the country, shall have to wait until next year.
My first recipe of the new year is a simple one but none-the-less delicious and cost effective. Especially for those of you who are, like me, indulging in a fit of cinema going, occasioned by the reappearance of slightly watchable films. From June to January there is a serious dearth of exciting cinema, and suddenly, as award season looms, like buses, all the good films come at once. As a result, this week I have been to the cinema twice in two days and I fully expect to do so again in the near future.
If this habit is to continue, however, I will have to re-evaluate my snacking habits. Usually I like an Ice cream for the adverts and beginning followed by a small bucket of sweet and salty mixed popcorn, all washed down with a coke. Unfortunately, two nights of this would blow my food budget for the entire week (and my post-christmas diet obviously). As such I decided to have a go at making my own snacks for all those cinema lovers out there who don’t fancy paying four pounds for what is essentially a bag of sweet or salty air. Read on for my recipe for delicious maple syrup and bacon popcorn (and little overview of the films I saw, for anyone who is interested).
Wednesday night’s film of choice was Paddington. Granted it is not exactly a cinematographic heavy weight, but, for a film that will spend its eternity in the ‘for all the family’ category on Netflix, it doesn’t do badly. The slapstick is suitably silly and childish to give you that child in an adult’s body feeling you get when you go on the swings or indulge in a packet of marshmallows. Having said that there is enough innuendo to keep the adult part of the brain occupied. All in all I would recommend streaming the next time you’re in a shit mood!
On Thursday I decided to even the balance and see the 9-times oscar nominated Birdman. I had heard great things about this film and I should say that whether you like the sound of its premiss or not, you should definitely definitely see it in the cinema. It is an experience like nothing else. You will leave the cinema exhausted and exhilarated, although I have to say I remained a little unsure. Everything was fantastic; it was acted beautifully, the music was amazing, it was brilliantly funny in so many wrong ways, and the way it was shot, as if in one take, was ingenious, it added to the sense of continuous action and frenetic energy. Still it missed the mark a bit for me, perhaps it was a lack of any real depth to the story. In any case, this is a film not to be missed whether you love it or hate it, you will certainly be impressed by it.
On my must watch list for the next few weeks are: Foxcatcher, Inherent Vice and Whiplash
Maple and Bacon Popcorn (S)
- 1 rasher of bacon
- 2 table spoons of maple syrup
- half a cup of corn kernels
How to Make it…
- Use the largest pan you have with a secure lid. If you only have a small pan you may have to cook the popcorn in a couple of batches. You want the base of the pan to be almost covered in one lever of kernels so that none of them burn. Put the pan on a medium heat with a dash of vegetable or sunflower oil. the kernels will start to pop open, leave it until the popping subsides but shake the pan often so the kernels do not stick to the bottom.
- Grill the bacon until really crispy on both sides. Then crumble it up or finely chop it. Lay the popped corn out flat on a tray and pick through and remove any burnt bits or unpopped kernels. Pour over the maple syrup and sprinkle over the bacon. Leave out for 30 minutes to dry off or put in the oven on a very low heat for 10/15 minutes. Bag it up and sneak it into the cinema!
Cost Rating: *** I used: 1/8 of a packet of Bacon costing £2, 1/3 a bottle of maple syrup costing £2 and 1/5 of a packet of popping corn costing £1.10. Total cost: £1.15 (cinema price is around £4!!!)
Washing up rating: ** I used: a pan, a measuring cup, the grill, a tray.