Sunday, October 23, 2011

Movie Theater Sweets and Treats with Deborah Sharp


I'm grateful to Riley (aka Elizabeth Spann Craig) for inviting me to Mystery Lovers' Kitchen, where everybody's a foodie. I adore food -- eating it; reading about it; writing about it. The only thing I don't love about food? Making it, which reveals me to be an impostor here among the kitchen's creative cooks and authors.

Luckily, I do have intimate, expert knowledge about one category of food. Owing to a scary addiction to seeing movies, I am a connoisseur of concession-stand candy.

My palate is quite refined (or smacked into submission) by many years of munching popcorn and sweets in darkened theaters. This expertise has proven handy in planning signings for my latest book. For each title, I like to serve something theme-related: Nuptial Nectar Punch at signings for ''Mama Gets Hitched,'' for example, or ''Florida Cracker'' cocktails as a nod to the trail-ride setting of ''Mama Rides Shotgun.'' Movie snacks seemed a natural fit for the location-shoot, film-star theme of ''Mama Sees Stars.''

starscameraboasmallerBut what candy to serve? Turns out people are quite passionate on the topic. ''Which movie candy is awful and which is awesome?'' I queried on Facebook. More than 50 folks weighed in. The issue was just as contentious closer to home:

''Raisenets,'' said my husband, Kerry. ''People love Raisenets.''
''People might, but I don't,'' I said. "Why ruin perfectly good chocolate by wrapping it around an odious raisin?''
I countered with my favorite, Milk Duds. He wondered how someone losing a tooth might dampen the mood at a signing.
We did agree on popcorn.
''Of course, it'll have to be buttered,'' I said. "People love buttered popcorn.''
"People might,'' he said, "but I don't . . . . ''

So how about you? What's your preferred movie treat? Do you and your date argue at the concession stand about what to order? I'm hoping my signing snack menu won't end in the kind of tragedy seen last February at a theater in Latvia. When two moviegoers faced off over how loudly one was chewing his popcorn, the accused shot and killed the complainer. What's that saying again about truth being stranger than fiction?

Note from Riley: Deb, you’re not an imposter for this group. I’ve got proof—a delicious punch recipe from your last visit to Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen! I loved Mama's Nuptial Nectar Punch.

My kids like the Sour Patch candy..ugh. I'm more inclined toward the Skittles end of the spectrum. But what are y’all’s favorite movie treats?

Mama Sees Stars smallerDeborah Sharp writes the funny Mace Bauer Mysteries, set in a sweet-tea-and-barbecue slice of her native Florida. MAMA SEES STARS
(September 2011, Midnight Ink) is her fourth book, each featuring Mace's wacky mama. Deborah has been a guest on the Today Show, where she nervously scarfed down most of the candy in the green room, and still managed not to throw up on Al Roker. To read an excerpt from Mama Sees Stars:


  1. Ok as odd as this sounds I have not been to the movies in over 26 years. The last movie I saw in he theater was White Knights with Mikhail Baryshnikov. Please do not ask me to remember what I had because I can not remember. That was more then half my life ago LOL.

    I can saw if I am home watching a movie I have some pretzels, a sugar cookie or a slice of pizza. Nothing exciting like Movie Treats.

  2. Twizzlers, Cherry Slurpee and popcorn, no butter are my standard movie treats. Sometimes I'll get a box of Junior Mints.

  3. Thanks so much again for coming by today, Deb! BusyMom, your comment made me smile--just like my mom! I think the last movie she saw in a theater was "Ghandi!" :)

  4. Hiya, Elizabeth... I thank you (and the other sweet ''Kitchenettes'') for inviting me to stop by.
    BusyMom ... Yikes! You must be REALLY busy to have not been in a theater in 26 years. At least you saw a good one on your last visit.
    Dru: I beg to differ with you over the no butter on popcorn policy, but I'm with you on Junior Mints.
    Thanks for stopping by, y'all.

  5. If calories were not a concern, this would be my standard movie treat: popcorn with butter throughout. The throughout part is important. Otherwise, they just put butter on the top, and as you dig into the tub, the popcorn gets dry. When they put the butter in throughout the tub, (i.e., they put in some popcorn, then butter, then more popcorn, then butter, etc.) all the popcorn is nice and buttery. Yum.

    So, butter throughout - as an occasional treat - that's the way to go. (Oh, with a coke, of course.)

  6. Great post, Debra. Welcome back to the Kitchen and congrats on the publication of MAMA SEES STARS. W00t! Popcorn is a must-have when I go to the movies. My husband (Marc) is a Milk Duds guy, but you do have to watch out for the freshness factor. Losing a tooth is not an option with our lousy dental plan!

    Have a great day and
    come on back now, y'hear?!
    ~ Cleo

  7. I go to the cinema once in a blue moon-maybe once a decade. The last time I went (Julie and Julia) I had buttered popcorn and pop (which cost more than the movie!). As for the candy-if it didn't cost so much I would have gotten Snowcaps. I can't stand Raisinets! Ugh.

  8. Debra, so nice to see you here. We've got to to go the movies together. They are my passion when not writing!! Love 'em. Love sitting in the darkened theater, getting lost in a story. I'm a Dove dark chocolate, Hershey's Kisses or Tootsie Roll if the theater doesn't have them I (yep) sneak them in.


  9. I luv good old M & M's, either the plain or peanuts and Reeces Pieces. I usually get either Twizzlers, M&M's, Junior Mints, Reeces Pieces, or any kind of chocolate bars they offer. I use to be able to do the Sour Patch kids, but not loving it as much as i did when i was younger.

  10. Whoppers
    Good & Plenty
    Buttered Popcorn
    Coca Cola

    These are my movie snacks of choice.


  11. Hey, all ... thanks for contributing to the great movie candy debate.
    Anonymous: Pretty good rundown, though I couldn't do the Good & Plenty WITH the Whoppers; would have to be an either or for me. This reminds me of my husband drinking milk with his pizza. Yuck!
    Eliza and Abby: Can't go wrong with M & Ms .. you notice how they're always the first little packages gone from the Halloween candy bowl?
    Avery: Great to be here. Yes, let's escape to the movies together. I'll leave you to your Dove dark chocolate, but we may battle over who eats the Hershey's Kisses.
    Katreader: You and BusyMom should get together and plan a movie outing. Maybe see something from this century ;-) ?
    Cleo: Thanks for the nice welcome, and kind words (and for reminding me about the dental dangers of Milk Duds ... though I LOVE them!
    Ahh, Barb: Butter throughout! A woman after my own heart (though all that butter is NOT good for our hearts!)

  12. My husband and I love Sno Caps or Skittles and buttered popcorn. Now I've got a craving! =D

    Congratulations on the new release! I'm new to your series and have ordered Mama Does Time. I'm looking forward to reading it.

  13. Goobers and Raisinets are good. As are Sno-caps. And Junior Mints. And I used to eat those caramel candy things with the sweet white filling, whatever they were called. But my fave movie treats are Necco wafers.

  14. I'm with Barb! Bring on the popcorn!

    ~ Krista

  15. Hey BusyMom - WOW! 26 years - neat record - I didn't see a movie in a theater from 1995 until 2004, and I thought that was a long stretch, but yours is truly impressive.

    As far as movie snacks go, our theaters (until very recently) had free refills on Coke & popcorn, along with a self-serve butter area. So, I get a crazy amount of butter and have a popcorn fest.

    BUT flashback to my childhood -- (1970's)-- our hometown theater had huge dill pickles. I think that those were a great movie snack, but I guess they didn't catch on like popcorn. (And the Saturday matinees had talent shows for the kids -- with prizes and the whole shebang. Pretty awesome.)

  16. Karen: Yay! I'm thrilled you're going to try ''Mama.'' Hope you enjoy (I'm with you on the SnoCaps; Skittles not so much)
    Alan: Those lovely caramel with the white centers are Bullseyes. Just try to stump me on candy!
    Krista: Can't go wrong with popcorn ...unless you try to add caramel and make it sweet. Popcorn should be eaten the way nature intended: Lots of salt and buttery flavoring.
    Cristi: I remember dill pickles, too ... really big ones and scary green. And, I know, about BusyMom! I think she should go to a movie this weekend and report back to us about how much things have changed in a quarter century ...