Lodinews.com

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Re-create childhood memories with mock Cracker Jacks

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, April 2, 2013 3:11 pm

Every time I see a box of Cracker Jack, fond childhood memories surface. The red, white and blue carton sporting Sailor Jack and his trusty dog, made my heart flutter and happiness surged through my veins. Not only did the container hold a sugary sweet candy coated popcorn studded with peanuts, but there was a prize inside.

Sitting cross-legged on the freshly mowed grass with anticipation, I ripped open the top of the Cracker Jack box. Inhaling deeply, the delightful aroma was intoxicating. Holding the box tightly in one hand, I shoved my fingers deep within, sliding them down the wax-coated side but failed to reach the bottom. When I removed my hand, popcorn residue stuck to my skin. I licked my fingers, closed my eyes, and fought the urge to succumb to the sweet satisfaction my taste buds craved.

I grasped the hem on my shirt, pulling it outward. The material stretched into what I called a Cracker Jack catcher, similar to the grass catcher a lawn mower. Turning the box upside down, I gave it three hearty shakes and the Cracker Jack began to cascade out. Even though I knew the popcorn would stick to my clothing, it did not matter. My quest was focused on the prize hidden at the bottom of the box. Peering inside, Cracker Jack still clung to the bottom, the prize hidden underneath. One more vigorous shake and the remainder of the dark brown popcorn and the coveted prize tumbled out, landing atop the pile of Cracker Jack cradled in my outstretched shirt.

My prize was an inexpensive ring, but to me it resembled a king’s riches. More often than not, Cracker Jack trinkets were a small plastic animal, wristwatch, whistle, puzzle, fortuneteller card, or tattoo transfer.

Slipping my prize onto my ring finger, I was ready to eat my Cracker Jack. Methodically, I embarked on my carefully calculated system. First, I picked out all the peanuts, eating them one at a time. Then I searched for the roundest pieces, chomping them down one by one. Lastly, I ate the stickiest coated popped kernels, enjoying every nibble. 

When I was finished with my tasty snack, my jaws ached from excessive chewing, my mouth was dry and my back molars stuck together. Getting up from the grass, I flung my shirt up and down to rid myself of the clinging Cracker Jack crumbs, brushing them off with sticky hands. Then I headed straight for the garden hose, to wash away the stickiness and to get a welcome drink of water before going on to my next adventure.

Homemade mock Cracker Jack light

6 scant cups popped popcorn

1/2 stick margarine

4 tablespoons corn syrup

1/2 cup dark brown sugar (packed)

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Lunch bag size brown paper bag* lightly sprayed inside with non-stick cooking spray

Place popped popcorn in a brown paper bag lightly sprayed inside with non-stick cooking spray. Microwave 1/2 stick margarine, 4 tablespoons corn syrup, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar in a eight cup microwave safe bowl for two minutes. Stir in baking soda and cook two additional minutes.

Immediately pour mixture over popped popcorn inside bag and fold to close. Scrunch to mix candy coating and popcorn. Microwave for 45 seconds. Scrunch bag again. Your homemade mock Cracker Jack is ready. Enjoy!  

*Do not use a printed logo grocery bag – ink may ignite in microwave. Adult supervision required.

Bernadine Chapman-Cruz is a contributing writer for Big Monkey Group Publications assigned to Buzz on Bizz for Lodi Monthly and Manteca Monthly Magazines. Raised in Stockton, she lives in Lodi with her husband, a cat named “L” and dog, “Forest.” She enjoys writing, cooking and dining out.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don't pretend you're someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don't insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.

Welcome to the discussion.

Popular Stories

Poll

Should graduations return to the Grape Bowl?

Lodi Unified leaders are moving Lodi and Tokay high school graduations from the Grape Bowl to the Spanos Center at UOP in Stockton. They cite limited seating, costs and unpredictable weather at the Grape Bowl. But others say graduations at the Grape Bowl are an important Lodi tradition, and one reason many supported renovating the stadium. What do you think?

Total Votes: 260

Loading…

Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists