Last night, Mike and I met for a date. A date on which we would remain enemies until the very end of the night. A date on which we exchanged glares instead of loving glances, snappy comments instead of loving words.
But that is to be expected between a couple comprised of a die-hard Yankees fan and die-hard Red Sox fan.
The problem of the evening, however, is that the game was in New York, not in my beloved, cozy Fenway Park. As you might suspect, Yankees fans are not big on Red Sox fans crashing their stadium.
Not even tall, blonde females.
There are four guys who have the same ticket package as Mike, and they had been well-warned that I am a Red Sox fan and would be attending the Friday night game.
I decided that, even though they are Yankees fans, they are still guys - meaning they could be sweetened up with a little homemade treat.
My first idea was individual cupcakes - decorated with vintage pennants. But I quickly had a vision of one, or all, of these cupcakes being hurled in my direction at various points during the game. So that idea has been filed away for the moment.
But, homemade Cracker Jacks, an old ballpark favorite, seemed to be a tasty and safer option.
I created special packaging labels, which I placed on top of the cellophane bags.
At the end of the night, not so much as one mean comment or one kernel had been thrown my way.
And the Red Sox were victorious, making the night even sweeter.
Homemade Cracker Jacks
makes 6 cups
6 cups freshly popped popcorn
1/4 cup + 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2/3 cup honey-roasted peanuts
Butter a large mixing bowl and place freshly popped popcorn in bowl. Set aside.
Combine sugar, butter, corn syrup, vanilla and salt in medium saucepan. Place over high heat and stir continually.
Continue stirring until a beautiful toffee color is achieved.
Quickly, but carefully, pour toffee over popcorn. Using two spatulas, toss popcorn with toffee until equally distributed.
Turn toffee popcorn onto counter. Using your hands, quickly seperate kernels. Allow to cool.
Once kernels are cooled, place in mixing bowl and toss-in peanuts.