Friday, November 24, 2017

Homemade Cracker Jacks for #FoodnFlix

Our FoodnFlix selection for this month was chosen by my friend, Amy of Amy's Cooking Adventures.  Amy chose the Thanksgiving Classic: Planes, Trains and Automobiles starring John Candy and Steve Martin. Here is Amy's Invitation Post.

It is probably too late for you to watch and join us this month but  you can learn about our group and how to join in the fun next month by going to the group guidelines.

Image result for planes trains and automobilesN

This movie is thirty years old and I had never seen it before.  I don't know why I had never seen it.  Steve Martin and John Candy are two of my favorite comedians but for whatever reason it was never in my radar.

So, in case you live under the rock next to mine, this story is about Neal (Steve Martin) who is on his way home to Chicago from a business meeting in NYC.  It is two days before Thanksgiving and he had promised his wife and kids he would be home before morning.

Neal just barely makes his flight to find that he has been downgraded to coach and to add insult to injury he is seated next to a less than desirable seat mate, Del (John Candy).  Neal just wants to be left alone and Del, a natural born salesman, just wants to be friendly.

The flight gets rerouted to Wichita, due to a huge snowstorm, and Neal finds himself stranded without another available flight and unable to find a room....Del to the rescue...What ensues is a hilarious comedy of errors from the sleazy hotel, to a doomed train ride and finally to a rental car that they hope can take them home in time for the holiday.

I laughed out loud several times during this movie.  It is classic John Candy/Steve Martin fare.  Food inspiration left a little to be desired:

  • Neal's family is enjoying a dinner of Spaghetti, Garlic Bread, Salad and Milk while waiting for Neal to arrive home.
  • Del is always eating.....NOTHING BUT JUNKFOOD....starting with Hot Dogs and Beer, Soda and Lifesavers.
  • Neal is forced to share a bed with Del and LOTS of Cracker Jack Crumbs.
  • There is breakfast in a diner where I spied Oatmeal, Pie, Grapefruit, Coffee, Strawberries, and Eggs.
  • Peanuts while on the train
  • Finally a real dinner in St. Louis that skimmed over what appeared to be Steak and Salad
  • Neal has a flashback of a homey, comforting, traditional Thanksgiving Dinner with all the trimmings
  • And an evening of camaraderie eating all the junk food and drinking all the alcohol available in a hotel room refrigerator.
The movie ends, as you knew it would with Neal and Del becoming bosom buddies and being welcomed home by Neal's family who were waiting until the very last minute to celebrate and now have a lot for which to be Thankful.

I decided to make up some homemade cracker jacks that I shared with Frank but NOT in bed...on the couch in our living room while watching another movie.

I found this recipe for Copy Cat Cracker Jack on  It was easy and it tasted just like Cracker Jack and I'm sure it would have been just as miserable to sleep in as store bought Cracker Jack.

Home-Made Cracker Jack
slightly adapted from

3/4 c. popcorn kernels, popped (about 10 cups)
1 1/2 c. dry roasted peanuts
1/4 t. baking soda
1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1/4 c. dark corn syrup
1 stick butter
pinch of salt
1/2 t. vanilla

Combine the popcorn and peanuts in a large roaster.  Place in a 250* oven to stay warm while making the glaze.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan.  Stir in the sugar, corn syrup and salt.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Boil without stirring for about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.  Stir in soda and vanilla.

Remove the roaster from the oven and pour glaze over all.  Toss and stir with a wooden spoon until evenly coated.  Return to the oven for 45 minutes, stirring and flipping the popcorn every 15 minutes.  Remove from the oven and spread out onto parchment paper to cool.  Print Recipe


  1. Looks dleicious Wendy! Thanks for joining in!

  2. I love popcorn in any form. This looks great. -Kimberly(coffee and casseroles)

  3. I absolutely cannot resist Cracker Jacks - pass me that bowl! Perfect inspiration...Del would be giddy. ;)

    1. Well I absolutely would not let him eat it in bed so that might have put a damper on his giddiness.

  4. I've made various types of caramel corn but never managed to get that iconic Crack Jack taste - I can't wait to give this one a try!


I enjoy getting comments and feedback from my audience. Please let me know what you think, keeping in mind that we are all entitled to our own beliefs and opinions. I am happy to hear yours as long as they are stated nicely.