This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Universal Pictures, but all my opinions are my own. Especially the ones about LOVING THIS MOVIE! #pmedia #BoxtrollsFamilyNite http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV
I've always had a thing for stop motion animation. Holy cow, I love it. Except Gumby. I might appreciate the effort, but my little brother forced me to watch that way too much when I was a kid. But in general, I'm seriously in love with stop motion as an art form. I even made my own stop motion animation of the myth of Arachnae for my Mythology and Bible Literature class in high school. And when I saw The Boxtrolls in the theater, I was completely smitten. So impressed, so captivated, in fact, that I went home and looked up the animation studio (LAIKA) and clicked on the job postings to see if there might be anything I could remotely be qualified for. I LOVED that movie, and oh, dear GOD, I'd love to be a part of a team making that kind of art.
It was absolutely gorgeous film. The artistic vision utterly captivated me--the use of color and shadows on the skin tones of the characters, in particular. And the utterly amazing skill of the animators blew me away. I knew this was stop motion, but sometimes I could have sworn it must be computer animation, it was so astoundingly smooth and perfect. In addition to the marvelous technical accomplishment that this movie is, it's a fabulous story, and beautifully written. Once an English major, always one; the careful, playful use of language in The Boxtrolls completely delighted me. So of course I jumped at the chance to pick up a copy of the movie on Blu-Ray when it came out on January 20th. It's a good thing I went to Walmart when I did, because I scored the very last Blu-Ray copy in the store. Evidently lots of other people loved this movie as much as I did.
Side note--the Blu-Ray disc that I bought doesn't actually work: it has no sound, just picture. Sigh. I'll have to exchange it when the movie is actually back in stock, but at least until then, I can enjoy the dvd and digital copy.
We invited my daughters' best friends over for some movie night fun, got the popcorn popping, and made a fabulous evening with our friends out of it.
The characters that run the town are completely obsessed with fabulous cheeses, even to the detriment of the city and family relationships. We know a thing or two about being cheese fiends in our family. Let me tell you a little story to illustrate my point. When my youngest daughter was two, she approached me and asked, "Mommy, do you like string cheese?" "Yes," I answered, "I do like string cheese. Do you like string cheese, too?" She paused for a moment, then answered, "I like Emmentaler."
So obviously, with cheese fiends for family members and an obvious connection with the movie, I had to come up with some fabulous cheesy treat for our movie night. What better solution than to combine fabulous, gourmet cheeses and popcorn?
I decided that commercial cheese powders weren't the answer. I've enjoyed my fair share of cheesy, commercially produced treats, but I wanted to create something truly worthy of The Boxtrolls.
So I went out and bought fabulous, flavorful, aged, intense cheeses...and dehydrated them and turned them into cheese powder myself.
Oh yes, I did.
And yes, I know I'm nuts.
But some things are worth the effort, and let me tell you, homemade cheese powder is a world apart from the commercial types I've encountered. If you start with great cheese, it's hard to go wrong, really.
Once you've dehydrated your cheese (more on that on Wednesday), making gourmet cheese popcorn is insanely easy! Pop a bag of Pop-Secret microwave popcorn, just as you normally would. Immediately after it's done popping, while it's still steaming and hot, open the bag, and sprinkle in two tablespoons of dehydrated cheese powder. Close the bag back up and shake to cover the popcorn. You have to do this as soon as possible, while the popcorn is still as hot as it will get, if you want the cheese to stick to the popcorn.
The Homestyle popcorn from Pop-Secret was just right for making my cheese pocorn--buttery and salty, but not so highly flavored that it obscured the flavor of the cheese. If you go through as much popcorn as we do in our house, it's nice to be able to pick up a 10 pack! You can stock up at Walmart while supplies last.
For our movie night, I pulled a few boxes out of the recycling, lined them with waxed paper (food safe!), and whipped up some vintage-looking cheese labels to glue to the cardboard. Then filled them with our outrageously delicious gourmet cheese popcorns. If you'd like to use these printables for your own special movie night, here you go:
I made Gorgonzola Bacon, Parmigano Reggiano, Asiago Rosemary, and Aged Cheddar popcorns for our movie night. You'd think that perhaps kids might turn up their noses at these stinky-cheese flavored popcorns, but no, they were a HUGE hit with all the kids. Also with the dogs, Murlin and Morgana LeFur.. Especially the Gorgonzola Bacon Popcorn.
Fancy cheese popcorn and an amazing movie to watch with friends; now that's my idea of a perfect Friday night.