April 6, 2013

National Caramel Popcorn Day

“Take me out to the ball game, take me out with the crowd, buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks, I don't care if I never come back, we will root, root root for the home team, If they don't win it's a shame, for it's one, two, three strikes you're out at the old ball game.” - Jack Norworth

It's National Caramel Popcorn Day!

When I think of caramel popcorn I think of Cracker Jacks and baseball (thus today's quote). So I find it entirely fitting that this food holiday falls around the same time of year that the start of the baseball season begins.

I used to be huge into baseball. When I was younger, my favorite team was the Seattle Mariners. This was back when the lineup included Ken Griffey, Jr. and Jay Buhner in the outfield; Edgar Martinez, Tino Martinez, and Alex Rodriguez infield; and, Randy Johnson on the mound. My love for the team was pure admiration as a young athlete at the power and precision of the players (and maybe utter fascination at the long-haired, gangly-armed, imperfect-yet-perfectly-talented Johnson).

In 1996 though, seemingly overnight, I switched teams and - much to the delight of my grandfather - became a Red Sox fan (so much so, that I wrote Seuss-esque poems about the team for years). For eighth grade graduation, my Pepere bought me my first Red Sox hat. I still wear it. And, for high school graduation, my uncle got me tickets right on the third base line. I got to watch what would end up being one of Pedro Martinez's (my favorite baseball player of all time) last game. And always, no matter where I was in the world or how busy I got the older I got, I watched or listened to every single game. And after the last pitch was thrown I would call my grandfather so he and I could talk about it. I did this for a decade until he passed on September 1st, 2006. I watched the 2007 season (when Boston would win their second World Series Championship in four years after an 86 year drought), but when the 2008 season rolled around, (for lots of reasons) I just sort of stopped watching. It's been years now and I think I'm finally ready to start following them again. Today's food holiday is hopefully the start of a rekindled relationship between me and a sport that my my family has genuinely loved for generations upon generations.

(I'm sad to report that the Red Sox lost today to the Toronto Blue Jays, 5-0. Boo.)

Happy National Caramel Popcorn Day!