Gourmet popcorn and outdoor movie nights

I have had a bee in my bonnet about hosting an outdoor movie night for ages.  We finally got around to it in January when we hosted a screening of Searching for Sugarman in our backyard.  It is such an ASEM movie, if you haven’t watched it yet make a plan…  It was a rather last minute affair, a test run so to speak to see if it actually works and what do you know?  Success!!  

Homemade movie screenWe used a white sheet which we hung between two trees using string and pegs as a screen.  We pinned up the bottom of the sheet and popped a lightweight chain through the tunnel.  We used tent pegs to anchor the ends of the chain into the ground.  Et voilà, one cheap movie screen that doesn’t flap in the wind.  Then it was just hooking up the projector and speakers to the laptop, popping in the DVD and waiting for the sun to set.Sheet screen, laptop and projector

If movies are going to be screened then best you have some popcorn too.  But why not completely blow the lid off popcorn and try one of these recipes to turn your popcorn into more than just average movie fair?  After scouring the net for interesting gourmet popcorn recipes and there are many believe you me, I decided on Bacon and Maple Syrup popcorn for savoury and S’mores popcorn as a sweet option.

S’mores popcorn (Of eerder Soettand en taai vingers popcorn)


  • 4 tbsp butter
  • marshmallows (half for melting, half for adding to the popcorn later)
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • chocolate chips

Marshmallows divided Chocolate chips


  1. Melt the butter and marshmallowsMelted Marshmallows
  2. Add some vanilla to it when it is properly melted, it helps to break the sweetness a little
  3. Add the melted marshmallows to the popcorn and mix it in to cover the popcorn evenlyMelted marshmallows and popcorn
  4. Lastly add the chocolate chips and the rest of the marshmallowsAdd chocolate chips

I think one has to wait just a minute or so for the melted marshmallow to cool down a bit, otherwise the chocolate chips melt too and then it turns into one sticky, gooey and utterly delicious mess.  The original recipe calls for graham crackers to be added as well, but I have NO idea what the South African substitute for that would be.  Maybe tennis biscuits or cream crackers??A delicious, gooey mess     But regardless of the mess, stickiness and extreme sweetness, this recipe was a winner! Soettand en Taaivinger popcorn

Bacon and maple syrup popcorn

Bacon and Maple Syrup gourmet popcorn ingredients Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 8 – 10 bacon rashers
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Pop the bacon onto a roasting rack at 180°C until crispy and brittle
  2. Let the bacon cool and crumble it into small piecesCrispy bacon
  3. On medium heat melt the butter and maple syrup
  4. Add a tablespoon of the bacon drippings to the mixtureAdd bacon drippings to the butter and maple syrup
  5. I let the syrup bubble for a bit because once you add the bacon drippings to mix, it releases just the most amazing sweet and smoky aroma.  It was round about here that I got REALLY excited about this recipe.
  6. Mix the syrup and bacon bits and drizzle it over the popcorn.  Add freshly ground salt and pepper to taste.Bacon and Maple Syrup gourmet popcorn
  7. Give it a good toss to cover the popcorn evenly and serve.Bacon and Maple Syrup Gourmet popcorn

For more interesting popcorn toppings have a look at Buzzfeed’s Oscar Party recipes.  I was most impressed with the Bacon and Maple syrup popcorn, I can’t really explain what it tastes like but the best way to describe it is TASTE EXPLOSION, there is a hint of sweetness which then turns into a smoky, salty meatiness that is just an incredible taste-bud journey.  Do serve it fresh and warm for the best results.

So now that I know that we can host outdoor movie nights at 3623 I will use my winter hibernation period to try my hand at making one of these.DIY Movie marquee

And when summer rolls around again, we’ll have the mother of all outdoor movie nights!