Today’s topic is: “What snacks do you always get at the movie theater?”
For many people, Saturday night is movie night. In 2014, more than 1,270,000,000 people in the U.S. and Canada went to the movies! You can bet that the majority of them stopped at the concession stand for a treat before finding their seats.
Years ago, before I met my health-conscious hubby, I loved to go to the movies and eat all sorts of tasty (yet unhealthy) snacks. Popcorn with tons of salt and ‘butter topping’, an extra large Coke, a box of Junior Mints or Raisinets or Milk Duds. Sometimes I’d have a hankering for a salty soft pretzel or a tray of those bright orange nachos.
It’s been a really long time since I’ve seen a movie in a theater, and even longer since I ordered any of those delicious items from the candy counter. Most often, we borrow new releases from our fantastic local library or watch shows on Netflix in the comfort of our living room, so if we have movie snacks, they are made in our kitchen.
I love the convenience of microwave popcorn. My favorite is Lakota’s Pure Harvest because it’s just corn and a hint of salt. No added preservatives, no artificial colors, no synthetic butter. But my husband worries about the chemical impact of the microwavable bag, so I don’t buy it anymore.
Instead, he prefers the organic rainbow popcorn that we grew in our garden a couple of years ago, from kernels we got at the local food co-op. (Our supply is getting low so we will probably have to replant popcorn again this summer in order to restock the pantry.) He uses our air popper and adds a light spray of olive oil and a dash of Himalayan sea salt. When he’s feeling wild and crazy, he adds a sprinkle of garlic powder!
Homemade popcorn doesn’t have to be boring. If garlic isn’t your thing, you could try a healthy alternative like brewer’s yeast or the slightly sweeter almost-like-Parmesan nutritional yeast, or go wild with one of these unusual Food Network recipes; the Gruyere-Porcini, Ranch, or Peanut Butter versions sound pretty good to me.
Don’t like (or are avoiding) popcorn entirely? Take a page from my former boss David’s book. His daughters look forward to their version of “movie food”: a bowl full of carrot sticks. Be creative by thinking outside the (popcorn and candy) box.
What do you eat at the movies? Share your favorites in the comments.
~ Phoebe DeCook
(P.S. The Pi(e) Day Giveaway ends Monday! Be sure to enter this weekend.)
(P.P.S. If you missed previous Musings, you can binge-read from the beginning.)