Monday, November 17, 2008

Movie Night in Suburbia

Originally uploaded by Marni Molina
It's not often we suburbanite parents of small children get to do something cool and exciting. Certainly not on our own turf. This weekend, however, we got together with some neighbors and had our first Movie Night out in the cul de sac. And dare I say, it was cool and exciting.

I'm a huge fan of horror, as is one of our neighbors. We swap movie recommendations, borrow each other's DVDs, and spend lots of time discussing favorite horror movie moments and the sickest Halloween decorations imaginable.

We've been trying to get together for a Saw moviethon for several months now and just haven't been able to coordinate. Between his kids and ours, it's tough. But this past weekend, the planets aligned and the gods of horror were smiling up at us.

When it got dark, he set up a DVD player and a projector on his driveway so he could project the movies onto his garage door. We all sat out under the stars, in perfect San Diego weather and watched Saw II and III together. It was so much fun.

I used this opportunity to try out Alton Brown's method for popping perfect popcorn and the consensus was that it's pretty much the best popcorn ever. You can follow the link above for the method, but I'll post it here too, for the link-phobic.

Perfect Popcorn
Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 3 min
Level: Easy
Serves: 3 1/2 to 4 quarts
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil (I used my falafel fryin' peanut oil, which gave the popcorn a delicious flavor)
  • 3 ounces popcorn kernels, approximately 1/2 cup
  • 1/2 teaspoon popcorn salt (see below)
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter (we used Earth Balance, of-course)
  1. Place the oil, popcorn and salt in a large, 6-quart, metal mixing bowl. Cover with heavy-duty aluminum foil and poke 10 slits in the top with a knife.
  2. Place the bowl over medium heat and shake constantly using a pair of tongs to hold the bowl. Continue shaking until the popcorn finishes popping, approximately 3 minutes.
  3. Remove the bowl from the heat and carefully remove the foil. Stir in any salt that is on the side of the bowl.
  4. Melt the butter in the microwave. Slowly drizzle over the popcorn, while spinning the bowl. (I also added some garlic powder and Faux Parmy at this point.) Serve immediately.
So delicious, it was ridiculous!

And if you don't have popcorn salt, you can make your own.

Popcorn Salt
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  1. Throw the salt into a food processor for 10 3-second pulses. 
  2. Store it in a shaker with a few (unpopped) popcorn kernels to absorb moisture.


allularpunk said...

interesting! i have never popped my own popcorn, and i'm not sure why. because this sounds awesome.

yay for movie get togethers!

Jeni Treehugger said...

Movie get together! What a GREAT idea. I completely LOVE all the Saw movies - yet to see the latest one though and I can't wait!!


jessy said...

movie night sounds so awesome! glad things lined up - and hooray for horror movies! yay!

we love love love popping our own popcorn! we use a pot + lid & crack the lid just a tiny bit to let the moisture out for fluffy popcorn - i love it sooo much! that's a great idea on using peanut oil (especially the falafel fry'n oil - so smart!)! we use olive oil - but i'm gonna try peanut now. mmmmmmmmm! i'm also gonna have to top our next batch with parmesan! thanks, Marni!

Jeni Treehugger said...

You've been given an award!


Marni said...

Allularpunk - :::spooky fingers::: Pop your own popcooorrrn. Pop your own popcooorrrn. :) You'll be happy you did.

Jeni - We've gotten together for movie night before, but never under the stars like that. It was quite nice. An award? :::claps::: Going to check that out right now. Thanks!

Jessy - Hooray for horror movies, indeed. I'm dubious of all horror haters.