Pinterest is beautiful. I always browse over there, after a night of an unremarkable chicken dinner and organizing my paperwork into non-cute, non-color coded files. Friends, I do not own a craft cabinet. I can barely wrap a birthday gift. I aspire to entertain creatively, really I do; I would love to host a dinner party under the Golden Gate Bridge or have an afternoon picnic in a field of poppies with real china. Unfortunately, my hair frizzes in foggy weather and I never registered for wedding china when we married a decade ago, thinking it impractical. And, there’s the undeniable fact that I can’t cook anything more challenging than a recipe that can be downloaded, made and on a plastic plate in less than fifteen minutes.
But, still, Pinterest, with your beautifully lit photos and your plethora of seemingly doable Do-It-Your-Self projects—I yearn for you, and for a more Pinterest-y kind of life.
Last weekend, for one brief night, I had one. Thanks to my husband.
Chris is the king of the creative idea. He turns a simple soccer banner into a 3-D piece of art. Chris – if he spent any time at all on timewasting sites like I do – would soon see that he is the uncrowned king of Pinterest. The man can make anything out of PVC pipe. He once made six wedding boutonnieres (not out of PVC pipe). He gives me an artful collage of our family photos each year. He can write. He can draw. He can shoot and edit a beautiful film.
So when he came to me with the Movie Night Under the Stars idea, I was optimistic. And, thanks to Mr. Pinterest, it turned out great.
We invited seven or eight families to our humble little driveway. We had beer, root beer, popcorn and caramel corn, and, of course, movie candy. Everyone brought chairs and blankets. Chris borrowed a projector from work and set it up on the kids’ picnic bench. We pulled the mini vans in the driveway and the kids all squashed in and pretended they were at a drive-in. (Once we explained what a drive-in was.)
Something else that was beyond perfect was our friend Rachel’s caramel corn; she’s been gracious enough to let me share the recipe with all of you.
Trust me, if you’re not up to the whole movie night thing, at least make this caramel corn and pop a bottle of vino after the kids are in bed. You won’t regret it.
Rachel’s Amazing Caramel Corn
Pop 3 bags of microwave popcorn, remove un-popped kernels and place in a large brown paper grocery bag.
2 cups brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 cup butter
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
In a heavy saucepan bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Boil without stirring for 5 minutes (260 degrees with candy thermometer–I never use one, just boil for 5 min).
Remove mixture from heat and add:
1/2 tsp baking soda
Stir. Candy mixture will foam when baking soda is added.
Pour over popped corn in sack. Stir well. Place sack in microwave for 1 minute (full power), remove and stir. Repeat 2 more times (for a total of 3 minutes).
Place corn on wax paper/parchment paper lined cookie sheets to cool.
Break into clusters, store tightly covered.
Note: If desired, 1 cup nuts may be added to caramel mixture just before pouring over popped corn.