We are very good about mutual bath towels, divvying out remote-control time, and can even easily forgo his-and-her toothbrushes during desperate circumstances. We are as cozy as they come but there is one thing, however, we are very tit for tat over: FOOD.
Like rivaling college roommates, we have to Sharpie takeout boxes in the fridge, buy individual pints of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and keep separate drawers of snack items to keep the peace in the relationship. It’s been a good system for us so far, our only slipup being that one time Patrick decided to play dirty and drank directly out of the Horchata container to repel any future dibs from me. The act of pure selfishness is still an area of contention in our self-mediated therapy sessions.
To stay on point, things have been going pretty well for us recently until my godmother gave us a Ziploc baggy of her caramel popcorn she makes every Halloween. It’s not just any caramel popcorn, mind you, as the nuggets of gooey goodness are generously studded with mixed gourmet nuts, the occasional bite extra special because some of the pieces are—wait for it—drenched in rich semi-sweet chocolate(!!). It’s almost exactly like the Moose Munch stuff Harry & David carry in their specialty food stores year round but this recipe is yields a slightly stickier and more indulgent product…AND it’s homemade. Bliss.
So one night when I pulled the bag out of the pantry to pick at some of the caramel corn, Patrick almost leaped across the dining table when he caught me sorting out the nut pieces. I guess those are his favorite, too.
“Okay, we’re going to be fair about this,” I reasoned with him and suggested we eat only what we randomly pull from the bag, be it just the caramel pieces, with nuts, or even dunked in chocolate. No preferential treatment allowed.
But the other day, another problem came up when I found the Ziploc bag mysteriously “hiding” behind half-eaten containers of crackers in the pantry. This started a silent war on the home front as we both continued to secretly move the bag’s location out of the other person’s reach multiple times a day. And we always eat the treat alone and in stealth. The lowest point for me came when I found myself munching on a precious handful of the caramel popcorn in the bathroom so Patrick could not accuse me of taking more than my fair share. Totally gross, I know.
So if there is one recipe that could absolutely destroy your relationship, this is it. It’ll have you sneaking around, playing conniving mind games, telling lies, and hiding things from your partner. Even if what you're hiding is just caramel popcorn. Clearly, we have some serious issues at hand.
Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.com:
* cooking spray
* 4 quarts popped popcorn
* 1 cup brown sugar
* 1/2 cup Karo® Light OR Dark Corn Syrup
* 1/2 cup butter OR margarine
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
* mixed gourmet nuts (if desired)
* melted semi-sweet chocolate (if desired)
1. Spray large shallow roasting pan with cooking spray. Add popcorn and place in preheated 250 degrees F oven while preparing caramel.
2. Mix brown sugar, corn syrup, butter and salt in a heavy 2-quart saucepan. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil over medium heat.
3. Boil 5 minutes without stirring. Remove from heat. Stir in baking soda and vanilla; mix well.
4. Pour syrup over warm popcorn (and nuts if desired), stirring to coat evenly.
5. Bake for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and spread on foil that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
6. Cool; break apart. Dunk in melted chocolate if desired. Store in tightly covered container.
Would you rather stay married? Try this recipe instead: Jalapeno Sliders.