Every Sunday, I invite my entire extended family for dinner. This includes my mother, my in-laws, my sister and her husband and their three daughters, my brother-in-law and his wife and their four children, and my other brother-in-law and his wife and their two boys. When you add in my own family—one husband, two teenagers and a baby—there could potentially be 23 people in my house for Sunday supper each week.
As it turns out, we’ve yet to have everyone come at the same time. Some weeks my-in-laws come, but my mother doesn’t; maybe one of our siblings makes it with their spouse and children, but the others aren’t available. Sometimes it’s all siblings and children, but no parents. It really depends on what people have penciled into their calendar for a given week, and who’s free to come.
I could dedicate an entire book to the topic of bringing back Sunday supper, because I absolutely love the idea and it’s easily my favourite activity of the week, but for now I’m going to share with you one of the most popular treats I serve to this diverse group of gatherers. It comes from my book, Gatherings, and never fails to please both the adults and children in attendance.
I usually set out a bowl of this party popcorn alongside a platter of veggies and dip for a simple pre-dinner snack. It’s also a popular menu item for our birthday parties and the ingredients can easily be swapped to suit your family’s taste. I’ve been working on a version that uses dark chocolate and almonds, but really any combination of add-ins works well. You can successfully use microwave, stovetop or air-popped popcorn in this sweet treat and the end result will be the same. If you chose to use the microwave kind, look for a natural or neutral variety, which will be less salty. If using stovetop or air-popped kernels, I encourage you to salt it lightly to offset the sweetness in the chocolate.
So, tell me, do you think I’m crazy for cooking for that many people each week? Do you serve Sunday supper in your house?
Birthday Party Popcorn
- 10 cups popped popcorn, lightly salted
- 2 cups crisp rice cereal
- 2 cups pretzels, crushed into small pieces
- 1 cup plain, peanut or mini M&Ms
- 10 oz. white chocolate, melted
- 5 tablespoons multi-coloured sprinkles
Prep and Cook:
- Combine the popcorn, cereal, pretzels and M&Ms in a large mixing well and dump onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
- Melt the white chocolate in the microwave in 20-second intervals or by placing a heatproof bowl over a pot of simmering water. Drizzle the chocolate over the popcorn and, working swiftly, mix it into the popcorn mixture with a rubber spatula.
- Spread the popcorn evenly on the baking sheet, applying pressure with the spatula to create a nice uniform layer. Scatter the sprinkles over the popcorn before the chocolate hardens, to ensure they will stick. Set aside for 30-60 minutes or until the chocolate hardens. Break into pieces before serving.