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Friday night and another opportunity to push a sentimental kids movie from my past onto my children. They are gobsmacked that I come from a prehistoric age where TVs were black and white, there were no computers, mobiles or iPads and kids wandered the streets for hours on their own.

For me, Friday night is pure nirvana. Dinner is eaten in front of the TV (the horror), blankets abound and I get to lapse into a semi-consious state with red wine and cosy childhood memories.

Here is the list of movies we are working our way through. Some have been less suitable than I remember, but hey that’s what fast forward is for.

  • E.T.
  • The Man from Snowy River
  • Bush Christmas
  • Back to the Future 1, 2 and 3
  • Xanadu
  • The Muppet Movie
  • Grease
  • Herbie Goes Bananas
  • Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
  • Uncle Buck
  • Annie
  • The Parent Trap
  • Big
  • Splash
  • Honey I Shrunk the Kids
  • Home Alone

TV DINNER

The dinner on the lap routine is of course a risky one. It’s important not to get tooooo stressed about the impending mess. Nothing ruins the fun like a cranky woman! Of all the bowl food I have tried, this is the least messy, quickest-to-make and receives a response usually only reserved for One Direction.

Curry in a Hurry (recipe via nigella)

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons garlic flavored oil
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped scallions
  • 3 – 4 tablespoons green thai curry paste
  • 2 ¼ lb chicken thigh fillets (cut into strips about 4 x 2cm / 1½ x ¾ inches)
  • 1 x 14 oz can coconut milk
  • 1 cup boiling boiling water
  • chicken broth concentrate or cube
  • 1 tablespoon thai fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 1 ½ cups frozen peas
  • 1 ½ cups frozen soya beans
  • 1 ½ cups frozen green beans
  • 3 tablespoons chopped coriander
  • cooked rice or noodles to serve

Method

  • Heat the wok oil in a large saucepan that owns a lid, drop in the spring onions and cook, stirring for a minute or two, then add the curry paste.
  • Add the chicken pieces and keep turning over heat for 2 minutes, before adding the coconut milk, stock (i.e. the water plus stock concentrate or cube) and fish sauce, then the frozen peas and soya beans.
  • Simmer for 10 minutes, then add the frozen fine beans to the mix and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
  • Serve with rice or noodles, sprinkling the coriander over as you do so. Put out a plate of lime wedges for people to squeeze over as they eat.

POPCORN

I have a real problem with microwave popcorn. Not only does it taste 100% synthetic, its ingredients list is sinister. I don’t know what half of them are! Instead I make my own which takes about 5 minutes and is far healthier. Feel free to add a little flavour. The truffle salt version is excellent with a good Pinot.

Friday Night Popcorn (serves 2)

Ingredients

  • 3 tbsp grapeseed oil (or a similar high smoke point oil)
  • 1/3 cup of high quality popcorn kernels
  • Maldon sea salt

Method

  • Heat the oil on medium high heat.
  • Put 3 or 4 popcorn kernels into the oil and cover the pan. When the kernels pop, add the rest of the popcorn kernels in an even layer. Cover, remove from heat and count 30 seconds.
  • Return the pan to the heat. The popcorn should begin popping soon, and all at once. Once the popping really starts, gently shake the pan by moving it back and forth over the burner. Try to keep the lid slightly ajar to let the steam from the popcorn release (the popcorn will be drier and crisper). Once the popping slows to several seconds between pops, remove the pan from the heat, remove the lid, and dump the popcorn immediately into a wide bowl.
  • Note: If you add salt to the oil in the pan before popping, when the popcorn pops, the salt will coat the popcorn evening.

For an extra kick of flavour, try one of the following:

  • Icing Sugar &  Sea salt
  • Black pepper & parmesan cheese
  • Cinnamon sugar
  • Grated hard cheese finely (try cheddar, Parmesan or Romano)
  • Truffle

Have I missed anything? A faster curry recipe? Must-see flick or addictive popcorn topping? Let me know!

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