Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The kids are going to be a little hyper today

Here's 31 Things You Didn't Know about Holiday Songs



Well, maybe you knew some of these facts (especially if you've been playing the home version.)




We're all having our Christmas Eve dinner of the seven fishes, we keep losing track of how many fishes we've consumed, (it might have something to do with the number of bottles of white wine that we've consumed.)

Why not watch these cartoons for your family while we try to sober up -

Topsy Turvy World  Rocky and Bullwinkle -




Son of Stimpy   Ren and Stimpy  -




One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.


Now that you're in the proper mood for the holidays - I'll leave you with these thoughts from Ogden Nash and his poem: The Boy Who Laughed At Santa Claus.



I've told my kids and maybe you'll tell yours - Dammit kids, get to bed!  The sooner you go to sleep, the quicker Christmas will be here.



Norad Santa



And so it goes.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

It's the Eighth night of Hanukkah.

You've probably run out of gifts at this point, wrap your family's fresh laundry as the gift that shows you've done the laundry.

At this point, look up a local oil recycler - it will do better for everyone as a biofuel.


And here, I promise, is the last set of songs celebrating Hanukkah -

Hanukkah With Veronica Monica




Hanukkah in Santa Monica  Quire Cleveland -




The Holiday Armadillo  Friends -




Schlepp the Halls with loaves of Hallah  The Three Weissmen -




Santa Gey Gezunderheit  The Klezmonauts -



Hey, somebody has to clean up all of that wax on the break front. And somebody's got to call the guys who pick up used cooking oil for bio-fuel. 


It's only fair play: Today's Christmas video countdown - Male Rockers Perform:

Santa Claus, Go Straight To The Ghetto  James Brown -




Pretty Paper  Roy Orbison -




Blue Christmas  Lou Reed  -




Merry Christmas Baby  Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band -




Christmas Island   Bob Dylan -




Christmas, Baby Please Come Home   U2  -




Feliz Navidad  Jose Feliciano -




Fairytale Of New York   The Pogues & Kirsty McColl -



And speaking of alcoholic holidays, here the wonderful poem A Child's Christmas in Wales read by it's author, Dylan Thomas -




And so it goes.


There are 2 days until Christmas

Monday, December 22, 2014

Open a window someone.

It's the seventh night of Hanukkah.



That oil is a tad rancid

If you can stand it, more Hanukkah songs

Chanukah Medley performed by the London Jewish Male Choir  -




Chanukah Yippie I Oh!    Dovid Kerner  -




Chanukah Lights   The Jabberwocks of Brown University
-




Hashtags: #HanukkahSongs  -




Maybe I've miscounted, it is the seventh night?


Another favorite Christmas video countdown - Sisters are doing it for themselves: Female Performers:


Merry Christmas Baby  Etta James  -




Christmas Will Be Just Another Lonely Day   Brenda Lee  -




Oh Little Town Of Bethlehem   Annie Lennox -




Christmas Wrapping   The Waitresses -




Three Ships  Cyndi Lauper -




It's Christmas Time  Melissa Etheridge -




The Christmas Song   Sheryl Crow -




Santa Claus Is Coming To Town  Stevie Nicks (with Chris Isaak) -




And so it goes.


Sunday, December 21, 2014

The magic is starting to wear a little thin

It's the Sixth Night of Hanukkah

At this point you may want to skip the unnecessary calories and just drink the oil - but not too much. Mussolini used to use this as a torture for his political enemies.


Chanukah Royals Parody




Telly plays Drediel




CBS Cares Hanukkah Pap Smear PSA




Bruce Bruce the Hanukkah Moose  Bob Rubin -




You should begin thinking about where you are going to store your Menorah? (I don't mean to insinuate that you aren't normally observant. Perhaps you proudly display your heirloom menorah in your living room. I can't be everywhere.)


Remember, on TV, it's Christmas 365 days a year.

Our Second Christmas Countdown - It's a TV Christmas

Cold Turkey Absolutely Fabulous -




Merry Christmas Mrs Moskowitz  Frasier -




My Own Personal Jesus  Scrubs -




She Of Little Faith  The Simpsons -



The Alan Brady Show  The Dick Van Dyke Show -




His Busiest Season  The Bob Newhart Show -





And so it goes.


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Just as a candle cannot burn without fire, men cannot live without a spiritual life.

It's the Fifth Night of Hanukkah

Impress your friends: The fifth night of Hanukkah is called 'the darkest night', not because it falls on one of the last days of the Hebrew month of Kislev (meaning there is no moon), but because it is the only night of Hanukkah that can NEVER fall on Shabbat.

Happy Joyous Hanuka   The Klezmatics -




Rolling in the Deep   Ash Soular
-




How Do You Spell Channukkah?





Eight Nights  StandFour -



The oil fatigue may have already set in. Hold on, you will get through this.


Our other holiday special - Ah, youth is wasted on the wrong people

December 20, 1946 -
The Frank Capra film It's A Wonderful Life had a preview showing for charity at New York City's Globe Theatre, (a day before its official premiere) on this date.



The film is regarded as a classic and is a staple of Christmas television around the world, although, due to its high production costs and stiff competition at the box office, financially, it was considered a flop.



(Another, more adult alternate ending of the film) -



This is truly a strange little film.




It's a little sadder Christmas season: Darlene Love made her final appearance on the David Letterman Show last night to sing Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) -



Darlene Love's 2014 appearance




And here's Darlene Love's very first Christmas appearance on the David Letterman Show
 



Our Second Christmas video countdown – Happy Holiday from Prisoner 1073015
Phil Spector - Biography




The Phil Spector Christmas Album





(Just in case you missed it last night.)
Jay Thomas and the Lone Ranger Story  (2014)





And so it goes.

Friday, December 19, 2014

You know, Godiva makes Kosher Chocolate.

It's the Fourth Night of Hanukkah - Don't leave small children unsupervised in the kitchen.  Especially with all that hot oil.



now it time to figure out how to send all the mishpokhe home.


What is Chanukah and How Do You Spell it?  This Week in Jewish History -




The Latke Who Couldn't Stop Screaming




Look To The Light  Erran Baron Cohen -




Happy Hanukkah  Matisyahu -



Check to see if the oil has gone rancid?


Our second holiday them - Guess the theme?

Silver Bells




Let It Snow




It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year




Santa Baby




Get outside and get a little exercise: with all of the eating everyone's been doing, you probably need it.



And so it goes.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

It's candle lighting time again

Tonight is the third night of Hanukkah -



Let's see what's on the Victrola for Hanukkah this evening -

The Chanukah Song Part 3
  Adam Sandler
-




Chanukah Light  Ari Goldwag -




Chanukah Makes You Jewtiful  Jew Direction -




Hanukkah: Fighting the Darkness with Light



Remember to eat some steamed vegetables or a bran muffin.


Today's other Christmas countdown - Holiday Cartoons:

Mickey's Good Deed (1932)  -




Santa's Surprise (1947) -




A Space Ghost Christmas
-




Somewhere in Dreamland 1936
-




Christmas Night (aka Pals) 1933  -



I'm not sure how long you can keep being on the 'nice' list this year.  Let's be naughty and save Santa the trip.


And so it goes


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tonight is the second night of Hanukkah -

And here's some more Hanukkah songs for you -

The Chanukah Song Part 2  Adam Sandler -




All About That Neis  The Maccabeats -




Chanukah (Shake It Off)   Six13 -




Dreidel  Shir Soul -




And our second special of the evening

December 17, 1843 (there is some controversy concerning this actual date) -

Charles Dickens published A Christmas Carol, on this date. Dickens wrote the novel after his first commercial failure. His previous novel, Martin Chuzzlewit had flopped, and he was suddenly strapped for cash. Martin Chuzzlewit had been satirical and pessimistic, and Dickens thought he might be more successful if he wrote a heartwarming tale with a holiday theme.



He got the idea for the book in late October of 1843, the story of the heartless Ebenezer Scrooge, who has so little Christmas spirit that he wants his assistant Bob Cratchit to work on Christmas Day.

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Dickens struggled to finish the book in time for Christmas. He no longer had a publisher so he published the book himself, ordering illustrations, gilt-edged pages and a lavish red bound cover. He priced the book at a mere 5 shillings, in hopes of making it affordable to everyone. It was released within a week of Christmas and was a huge success, selling six thousand copies the first few days, and the demand was so great that it quickly went to second and third editions.



God bless us, everyone!!!


Our other holiday video countdown – A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol (1984) -



Scrooge (1951) -



(It isn't really Christmas in our home unless we are watching this at about 2 am Christmas morning 'assisting Santa' with the gifts.)

A Christmas Carol 
Thug Notes
-



Scrooge Gets an Oscar  The Odd Couple -




And there is no better way to get into the holiday spirit than drinking spirits -


Eggnog is usually thought of as a Christmas beverage and to tell the truth I am not a huge fan of Eggnog. So I find it amusing that the recipe that I'm posting is for Eggnog.

Coquito, a Puerto Rican twist on the classic, is a family favorite and I thought I’d share it with you and perhaps you can try it out on your family.

Please note: these drinks go down quite smoothly and are very potent – they could be administered as a calmative for frayed nerves during the holiday season.

Ingredients:

* 4 large egg yolks
* 1/4 cup of sugar
* 1/2 can of (14-ounces) condensed milk
* 1 14-ounce cans evaporated milk
* 1 1/2 cans of 15-ounce cans cream of coconut
* 1/2 of a Fifth of white rum (or more)
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1 teaspoon coconut (or vanilla) extract


Tools:

* Drink Blender
* Can opener
* Glass


Directions:
Add the egg yolks, sugar, spices and vanilla into the blender. Mix until well blended.

Add the evaporated & condensed milk to the blender and briefly mix. (Condensed milk is very thick - you may want to open the can up all the way and scrap out all of the milk with a spatula.)

Vigorously shack the can of cream of coconut (it tends to separate.) Pour the cream of coconut into the blender and mix well. Scrap out any remaining coconut stuff from the can.

Add the rum and mix. Taste. If you think you need more rum, add it.

Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Serve cold.


A Christmas Carol  Tom Lehrer -





And so it goes


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

You add them from right to left but light them left to right.

Hanukkah means "dedication"



so let the serious eating commence


Original Hanukkah Song  Adam Sandler -




Scarlett Johansson & Matt Damon’sChanukah Special  -



The Hebrew Hammer -



Dreidels  Louis Black -



And kids, know when a simple game becomes an addiction - please no actual gambling while playing with your dreidels. Gamblers Anonymous (718) 352-1671

Remember, pace yourself - Eight days is a long time


Today's other theme is funny Christmas songs (that aren't about the vehicular homicide of your grandmother by St. Nick,)


Five Pound Box Of Money  Pearl Bailey -




There Are Much Worse Things to Believe In   Stephen Colbert -




Christmas in Heaven  Monty Python -




 Merry Christmas...If That's Okay  Mystery Science Theater 3000 -




And why not, Christmastime for the Jews  SNL -



So laugh it up folks


And so it goes.


Monday, December 15, 2014

It's that time of year again

OK kids, PNC bank has reported that there is a 1% increase in the price of the items needed for the 12 days of Christmas. In the 31th year of the survey PNC has found that the 12 items come out to a grand total of $27,673.21.  $27,393 which is a $1,762 increase from last year.



These prices are, of course, just for one verse of the song. If you add up the total cost of all the items from the entire song (what PNC Wealth Management calls “The True Cost of Christmas”) it would surmount $116,273!

Burl Ives  -




Bob and Doug MacKenzie -




The Twelve Days of Yaksmas -




Allan Sherman -




Frank Kelly's Christmas Countdown-




Polkadot Cadaver -





And so it goes.





There are 10 days until Christmas.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Mobbed Up Christmas again

Today's Christmas countdown - Those gentlemen from Bensonhurst were so moved by our themes concerning Frank and Dino that after much grappa and threatened 'kisses of death', I have be persuaded (forced at gunpoint) to have another Mobbed Up Christmas this year. This is not to say that any of these singers are in anyway associated with organized crime. It's just that Frankie Cervello, Molluschi Vincenzo, Joey Finocchio, etc, 'requested' these songs.


Shake Hands with Santa Claus  Louis Prima -




Merry Christmas Baby  Dion -




Do You Hear What I Hear?  Bobby Vinton  -




O Come All Ye Faithful   Al Martino -




The Christmas Song   Jimmy Roselli -



After many shots (of scotch) and plates of scungilli, baccalĂ  alla vicentina and fried calamari, the boys want to wish everyone 'Buon Natale'.




Saturday, December 13, 2014

If you drink don't drive. Don't even putt.

OK, Frank wasn't the only member of the Rat Pack to sing carols -

today's theme is A Dean Martin's Christmas (Dean died on Christmas day in 1995.)


Silent Night  -




Jingle Bells -




The Things We Did Last Summer -




Silver Bells -




What the hell, let's have Dean and Frank sing a medley for Christmas -




Ahhh, you can practically taste the Bourbon in the air.


And so it goes.




There are 13 days until Christmas.

Friday, December 12, 2014

May your days be merry and bright; It's a Sinatra Christmas

I would like to be remembered as a man who had a wonderful time living life, a man who had good friends, fine family - and I don't think I could ask for anything more than that, actually.


I'll be home for Christmas  -




Christmas Dreaming  -




O, Little Town Of Bethlehem
-




Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
-




There are things about organized religion which I resent. Christ is revered as the Prince of Peace, but more blood has been shed in his name than any other figure in history. You show me one step forward in the name of religion, and I'll show you a hundred retrogressions…I'm for decency—period. I'm for anything and everything that bodes love and consideration for my fellow man. But when lip service to some mysterious deity permits bestiality on Wednesday and absolution on Sunday—count me out.


Happy Holidays with Bing and Frank  -




And so it goes.


There are 4 days until the start of Hanukkah.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Happy families are all alike (part 2)

... even kids abused by their domineering father- (the Motown edition)

Today's Christmas countdown - A Jackson Five Christmas


Little Christmas Tree -




Someday At Christmas -




Up on the Housetop  -




Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer   -




We here at ACME are wishing you time to enjoy the simple pleasures of this holiday season. 

And if not, Joe will be coming by to give you the beating of your life.


And so it goes.



There are 14 days until Christmas.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Happy families are all alike (part 1)

Even kids abused by their domineering father


Today's Christmas countdown - A Beach Boys Christmas

The Man with All the Toys -




Little Saint Nick   -



Blue Christmas -




Another Christmas song they got around to sing in between the verbal abuse from their father -



There is no place like home for the holiday.



And so it goes.


There are 6 days until the start of Hanukkah.
There are 15 days until Christmas.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

It's run by a big eastern syndicate, you know.

Charlie Brown Christmas  Performed by the Cast of Scrubs -



A Christmas Miracle  The Making of a Charlie Brown Christmas -



A Charlie Brown Christmas  Vince Guaraldi Trio -




In honor of our depressed little pal:  Let's all get in the mood and have a depressing Christmas -

Faith In Santa  Red Sovine -




Merry Christmas from the Family  Jill Sobule -




Pretty Paper  Roy Orbison -




Did I Make You Cry on Christmas Day? (Well, You Deserved It!)  Sufjan Stevens -




7 O’Clock News/Silent Night  Simon And Garfunkel  -




You may daub your eyes now, you just have a little dust in them.  I know you are not crying.



There are 7 days until the start of Hanukkah.

There are 16 days until Christmas.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Count your life by smiles, not tears

Love is the flower you've got to let grow.

This is a better way to remember John Lennon on this sad anniversary






Here's my second guest programmer - Olivia's favorite Christmas jingles (Wow, if I could only have them decorate the house for Christmas every night, I could have them asleep by 8 PM all the time.)

Dominic the Italian Christmas Donkey  Lou Monte -



(None of us at ACME are endorsing this song but our guest programmer wanted to play it - so be it.)


I want a hippopotamus for Christmas  Gayla Peevey -



(Once again, we're not endorsing it; do you have control over your 12 year old's taste.)


Carol of the Bells  Trans-Siberian Orchestra -




Jingle Bells Rocks  Mean Girls -




Hark to the Bells  Pentatonix -





And so it goes



There are 8 days until the start of Hanukkah.
There are 17 days until Christmas.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

But you can bet your boots ...

December 7, 1969 -
Another Rankin/Bass production, Frosty the Snowman, premiered on CBS-TV on this date.



Voice actress June Foray was cast for both Karen and the Teacher and had recorded vocals for both characters. However, only her recordings for the Teacher made it into the final special as another actress was called in to replace Foray's Karen, for reasons that even Foray herself to this day does not know.


The original recording of  Frosty The Snowman by Gene Autry was his seasonal follow-up to his successful recording of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer in 1949.



This time he peaked at #7 in December 1950.


The Snow Man
(1940)




Frosty The Snowman (1953)




Snowman's Dilemma (1960)




The Snowman (1982)



When this program first aired on PBS stations in the United States, the introduction featured a newly filmed introduction by David Bowie instead of Raymond Briggs on the grounds that the animation needed a star.



And so it goes.


There are 9 days until the start of Hanukkah.

There are 18 days until Christmas.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Be good for goodness sake!

It's the Feast of Saint Nicholas (yes, that St. Nick.) Amongst other things, he is the patron saint of children and was known for his generosity. He's also known as the patron saint of sailors, fishermen, merchants, the falsely accused, prostitutes (Huh), repentant thieves, pharmacists and broadcasters.

Let's check out some other ways St. Nick has been portrayed:

'Zat You Santa Claus -




Santa School  -




History of Santa -




It Must Be Santa -




Today is the 50th anniversary of the original broadcast of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, we have a second Christmas video countdown today - Rudolph!

Rudolph was born 75 years ago this Christmas season, at the Montgomery Ward department store headquarters in Chicago. He was the star of a humble coloring book, written by a copywriter, Robert May, who almost named the protagonist “Reginald.” May, who’d been lonely as a child, based the character on himself. Store executives fretted that shoppers might think Rudolph’s nose was red because he was drunk, but something about Rudolph’s story spoke to people. He was an outcast, down on his luck. When Santa gave him a job (it was the Great Depression, after all)—well, something clicked. That Christmas, the company passed out two and a half million copies of the book



Original Rankin/Bass Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer GE Commercials




Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer  1944 -




Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer  The Simpsons -




Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer  Destiny's Child -







There are 10 days until the start of Hanukkah.
There are 19 days until Christmas.


Friday, December 5, 2014

We interrupt our regular programming

Once again, we've asked back one of our guest programmers (I actually had no choice, I was court ordered,) to give us a few of her favorite holiday songs.  Take it away Julietta -

Last Christmas  Wham -




All I Want For Christmas Is You  Mariah Carey -




Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer  Elmo and Patsy -




Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer  Gene Autry -




Carol of the Bells  Trans-Siberian Orchestra -





There are 11 days until the start of Hanukkah.



There are 20 days until Christmas.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Nothing says Christmas more ...

... that a pair of ukelele playing knitted puppets - It's a U800 Christmas Special




There are 12 days until the start of Hanukkah.
There are 21 days until Christmas.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Elvis is still in the building (for the moment.)

As our tribute to the anniversary of St. Elvis' comeback - It's an Elvis Christmas today

Here comes Santa Claus (right down Santa Claus Lane




If I get home on Christmas Day




On a Snowy Christmas Night




Winter Wonderland




If you all tingly in your nether regions, don't worry, you're listening to Elvis; he understands.





There are 13 days until the start of Hanukkah.

There are 22 days until Christmas.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

War is hell on the postal service

Today's Christmas theme - The holiday during wartime -


The Christmas Truce on the Western Front of 1914 -




White Christmas  Bing Crosby -




The Reason For The Season   Christmas message - Korean War -




Silent Night & the 11 O'Clock News  The Shurfine Singers -




Is It Christmas In Iraq? (2006)




Christmas in Afghanistan with 2-87 Infantry (2013)




Happy Xmas (War Is Over)




There are 14 days until the start of Hanukkah.


Monday, December 1, 2014

Our Seventh Annual Holiday video festival.

Once again the holiday season (for better or worse) is upon us.

Today, we bring you - Really Bad Christmas songs


Justin Bieber - Little Drummer Boy



I strongly advice you to just briefly listen to this song, listening to the entire clip may induce madness.


The Jingle Cats - White Christmas



I can only think of one reason to listen to this song, if you needed to break you lease.  Playing it continuously in your apartment, while you are safely in another state would drive your neighbors to beg your landlord to get rid of you.


Duck the Halls - Ragin' Cajun Redneck Christmas



The faux-down home family Robinson continue to pull the wool over the unsuspecting eyes of the gullible public with this awful tune about their 'simple country' Christmas celebrations.


The Cheeky Girls - Have A Cheeky Christmas



I can only believe that this group exist as a rejected Vladimir Putin Christmas gift


And our perennial favorite -

NewSongThe Christmas Shoes



What list of cheesy holiday songs would be complete without this wretched dreck concerning a filthy child's odd foot fetish with his dying mother - always an uplifting tune.



But I will give Patton the final word on the subject.



There are 16 days until the start of Hanukkah.

There are 25 days until Christmas.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Not a good day to be my pants. - Kevin James

Here is a brief history of the holiday you may wish to share with your loved ones:



In the winter of 1620-1621, a group of immigrants in Massachusetts experienced a devastating winter. The weather was fierce. Food was scarce. Many died. At last spring came, then summer, and by the time of the autumn harvest things were looking about as rosy as they ever look in Massachusetts.

At a fundraising dinner that fall, Governor Bradford stood up and gave a speech:

"Thank God we survived last winter," he said. "Thank God this harvest gives us a fighting chance to survive the coming winter. And thank you for your support in the last election, please make checks payable to the Committee to Re-Elect the Governor, God bless America, amen. Let's eat."

The ensuing winter didn't turn out too badly, so the superstitious immigrants concluded that Governor Bradford's magic spell of "Thanksgiving" had done the trick.

The holiday was intermittently celebrated for years, with an enthusiasm scaled to the previous winter's weather, until November 26, 1789, when President Washington issued a proclamation calling for a nationwide day of thanksgiving for the establishment of the Constitution.

Washington's proclamation wasn't much different from Bradford's.

"Thank God we survived last winter," he said. "Thank God we've got a fighting chance to survive the coming winter. Thank God we've got our own damn country now and don't have to put up with a bunch of meddling European bastards. And thank you for your support in the last election, please make checks payable to Federalists for Washington, God bless America, amen. Let's eat."

Washington, the Constitution, and many of the immigrants (who were now Americans) survived the winter, so this new spell was also deemed effective.



President Lincoln later proclaimed the last Thursday of November Thanksgiving Day in 1863 (although he did not survive to see the next Thanksgiving),



but President Roosevelt moved it back to the fourth Thursday of the month in 1939 to extend the time available for holiday shopping.



President Ford proposed making it the third Wednesday in September, in order to really extend the time available for holiday shopping, but he only made the proposal to his golden retriever, Liberty, so the suggestion never reached congress.

And so we celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November every year, in honor of having survived last winter, having got rid of those meddling European bastards, having invented our own rules and having plenty of time to shop before the holidays.



I know it sounds trite but please, take a moment to remember all of the people around our country who are homeless and out in the cold this evening.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Help is on the way

We'll be starting the Seventh(?) Annual Holiday Countdown spectacular within the next few days, but let's deal with the matter at hand - Thanksgiving Dinner:



(If you are of a certain age and lived in the NYC area, this is what was playing on WPIX in the afternoon after the parade ended.)

Sorry I'm not with you this Thanksgiving.  If you can't reach me by phone, here are the recipes you're probably looking for (I actually can promise you, if you start shopping today - Wednesday afternoon - with these recipes in hand - you can get this entire meal on the table by late Thursday that all your family will be very impressed with):


Shrimp Dip


Appetizers:
Carrots/ Celery Sticks
Pre-cubed Cheese from local deli
Olives



Turkey w/ Stuffing

Homemade Cranberry Sauce


Potatoes
version 1 or
version 2


Vegetables:
Ginger Carrots
Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Green Beans

Fennel Salad


Dessert
Apple Crisp
Brownies
Vanilla Ice Cream
Butter Pecan Ice Cream
Coffee/ Tea

(Make your guest bring beverages/ wine/ beer etc.)

Have a great Thanksgiving and hopefully you've remembered to check your guns at the door!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Deep breaths - it's just Thanksgiving.

Since Thanksgiving is mostly about ritual and tradition, repeat my posting about my family's traditional holiday dip. This is literally a blast from the 60s but then again, so am I.

Rather than congratulate me on preserving recipes for my daughters - my mother continues to look for errors in the recipes. So with much trepidation, I give you her recipe for Shrimp Dip (mom if you're reading this, I'm sure I got something wrong). For the rest of you, it's perfect and perhaps you have a slight clue as to the high alcohol content of my recipes.


Ingredients

1 - 10 oz. can condensed tomato soup (you know that kind - Andy Warhol painted it and until they pay me, I'm not mentioning the brand name.)
1 - 8 oz. package cream cheese
1 - 8 oz. jar of mayonnaise
1 package of Knox Gelatin (I mentioned the brand name, sue me, I don't know any other gelatin company.)
1 cup diced onions
1 cup diced celery
3 - 5 ounces cans of medium shrimp*
1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce


Tools

* Sharp utility knife
* Dinner size folk (not the salad folk)
* Cutting board
* Small saucepan
* Medium sized mixing bowl
* Can opener
* Medium sized sieve
* 1.5 quart Tupperware bowl (with bumpable lid)**
* 1 large wooden spoon
* Several shots of the best vodka you have (in your freezer)
* 1 Beach Boys CD (preferably Pet Sounds)

Directions

Turn on the CD. It had better be Pet Sounds.



Don't argue with me - If Sgt Pepper didn't exist, this would have been the greatest album ever made. Brian Wilson went crazy because of it. A character in Doonesbury died while listening to it - I'll come to your house and hurt you.

Cut your onion and celery into small dice like pieces. I usually don't care about these sort of things but since you aren't going to cook them, cut them fairly evenly and small (those of you suffering from OCD - 6/16 squares.) Take you're first shot of vodka. Put the onions and celery aside. Contemplate the obsessive nature of musical geniuses (think about how many different drugs Brian must have been doing at the time to name an album Pet Sounds.)

Add the cream cheese, mayo, onions and celery into the bowl and mix thoroughly. (Take a shot or not - your choice.) Heat the soup in small saucepan over a medium flame until just simmering and take off flame. Add the Worcestershire and the gelatin package into the heated soup and stir vigorously (to avoid clumping.) This is called 'blooming the gelatin'. Stir for about five minutes. Let 100 flowers bloom (my mother proof read this and specifically wanted me to mention that she is not encouraging the advancement of Communism by the making of her shrimp dip.

Duly noted.)

Add the tomato soup into the cream cheese mixture and combine thoroughly. Congratulate yourself that you've come this far with the recipe and have another shot. Open the cans of shrimp and drain and briefly rinse shrimp. Add to the cheese mixture and fold shrimp in until just combined, trying not to mash the shrimps up (if you do - so what, your mother isn't going to yell at you.) You should be up to the really sad part of the CD - try not to cry into the bowl. If you can't stop crying - cut your alcohol intake immediately.

Transfer to Tupperware bowl. Smooth the top and seal. Remember to 'burp' the bowl. Giggle to yourself - it's ok, you burped the bowl. Refrigerate several hours (overnight is preferable.)

To serve, remove from refrigerator and warm outside of bowl to loosen dip from side and turn out onto a serving plate. Serve with crackers (My mother prefers Ritz crackers - I like Carr's, it's your choice, she's not your mother.)

* 3 cans of the medium size shrimp equal about a pound of cooked shrimp. If you can't bring yourself to use canned shrimp - by all means use cooked shrimp. You'll need to chop the shrimp into small pieces (maybe even squirt them with a slice of lemon - again, your mother isn't looking over your shoulder.)

** You can use whatever resealable container you'd like, Tupperware didn't pay me a dime.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Things that make you go hmmmm.

November 17, 1871 -
George Wood Wingate and William Conant Church established the National Rifle Association in New York on this date.

Today, the group has more than 4.3 million members (as of October 2014.)

To put that into a little perspective:

Nine million college students are members of a Greek organization

More than five million American are members of NORML

More than five million laborers are members of AFL-CIO

More than seven million people are members of Planned Parenthood

The American Sheep Industry has a membership of more than five million members

MoveOn.org has a membership list of more than eight million people

(Ask yourself if any of your representatives live in fear of being on the wrong side of these organizations?)

Monday, November 3, 2014

The whole world can wake up and live again.

November 3, 1954 -


Gojira premiered in Japan on this date 60 years ago (Godzilla debuted in America on April 26, 1956) :



With the ashes of World War II only recently cooled, Japan is plagued by a sudden wave of maritime disasters: Without warning, ships are exploding into flame and sinking beneath the waves. The few survivors are able to shed little light on the situation, as they quickly die from radiation and strange burns. (Hmmm, sound familiar) A group of investigators, including prominent paleontologist Dr. Yamane are sent to Odo Island to investigate. The natives warn that the ships are being destroyed by Gojira (Godzilla), a legendary monster. These claims are verified when a gigantic, dinosaur-like creature comes ashore and demolishes the native village. Dr. Yamane concludes that Godzilla is a prehistoric creature that has been awakened and mutated by atomic bomb tests. It's just the same conclusion you'd come to having just seen the ruins of a Japanese fishing village.



The military decides to use depth charges on the monster. However, the attack is unsuccessful, and Godzilla follows the ships back to Tokyo Bay. (Again, probably just what you would do - annoy a giant radioactive monster.) Coming ashore at night, Godzilla razes Tokyo. The destruction left in his wake is comparable to an atomic bomb. Military firepower proves useless against the monster. It is feared that Godzilla will continue to lay waste to the cities of Japan, and perhaps the entire world.

It is up to Emiko Yamane (Dr. Yamane’s daughter) to convince her former fiancĂ©, Dr. Serizawa, to use his Oxygen Destroyer against Godzilla. Serizawa is skeptical; he fears that this terrible device might be more dangerous than the monster. However, he finally decides to make the ultimate sacrifice to rid the world of Godzilla.



So here in a nutshell, you have the greatest fever dream movie and a warning about nuclear proliferation.

(We take Godzilla very seriously in our home.)

Friday, October 31, 2014

Everybody make a scene


Ancient Romans celebrated a holiday called Feralia on February 21. At first it was a simple day off to recover from the holiday of February 20 (Salvia Divinorum), and to take care of last minute shopping before the holiday of February 22 (Salta Boca).



It was, coincidentally, the last day of the year according to the Roman calendar.

Over time it became a sacred day in its own right. It became a festival to honor the dead, and like most Roman holidays it involved some serious drinking. Feralia also resembled most other Roman holidays in that it outlasted the western Roman empire. The jolly men and women of the Mediterranean basin saw no reason to give up the riotous holiday, with all its drinking and orgies, despite countless reminders from an ascendant Christian church that drinking was bad (unless it was Jesus' blood) and orgies were worse.



At last, in the 7th century, Pope Boniface IV decided that the holiday was Christian after all, except that instead of honoring all the dead it should honor only dead saints, that instead of Feralia it should be called All Saints' Day, that instead of drinking and orgies it should be a day of prayer and meditation, and that instead of February 21 it should be observed on May 13.

The good peoples of the Christian world happily accepted the new name and date, but persisted in drinking and vigorous humping. As punishment for this inappropriate enjoyment, Pope Gregory III moved it to November 1, and unwittingly laid the foundation for our modern Halloween.

Hold that thought.



Since as early as the 5th century BC, the ancient Celts had considered October 31 the last day of summer. They called the day Samhain (rhymes with Clamhain), and they believed all the divisions between the world of the living and the world of the dead were dissolved for that brief period. They thought the dead used this window of opportunity to possess the souls of the living, and the thought scared the piss out of them.

A variety of bizarre rituals to ward off the dead accumulated around Samhain over the centuries, including the sacrificial burning of virgins (when any could be found).



When these Celtic rituals collided with the Christian All Saints' Day, all hell broke loose. People didn't know whether they should pray, drink, orgy, burn virgins, or what. They tried a lot of different combination: they got drunk and prayed, they burned virgins and got drunk, they prayed to have orgies and got drunk with virgins, they prayed then got drunk and had orgies with virgins.



Eventually they settled on sending their kids out in silly costumes to ask their neighbors for candy. This was intended to keep them out of the house while the drinking and orgies raged, but since everyone's doorbells kept ringing from everyone else's children, the drinking and orgies gradually faded away.

Of course, this brief outline only traces the development of Halloween as we know it in America. The holiday is still celebrated in countries all over the world in an astonishing number of ways.



In Bulgaria, for example, October 31 is a national holiday called Pazardzhik. In rural districts, children dress up as kitchen utensils and dash from farm to farm tying chickens' feet together. Any unhappy farmer attempting to shoo the children away from his chickens will find himself pelted with manure and glass shards as the children sing playful Pazardzhik carols. In Mexico, the Day of the Dead lasts from October 31 through November 2, which has long been a concern to students of the Mexican calendar. The celebration is a fusion of sixteenth-century Spaniards' All Souls' and All Saints' Days and the Aztec festival honoring Mictecacihuatl, the Aztec goddess of the dead. (Mictecacihuatl was said to have died at birth as the result of complications relating to pronunciation of her name.)



One can't help but marvel at the similarities between the Day of the Dead that arose in Meso-America and Kyrgyzstan's Day of the Very Sick (November 1), Papua New Guinea's Evening of the Emotionally Exhausted (October 31), and Vanuatu's Cardiovascular Appreciation Days (October 31 - November 2).

In Saudi Arabia, October 31 is Sandy Night. As soon as the sun sets, children scamper out into the desert and fill their home-made bags with sand. The holiday is believed to be derived from the ancient Bedouin tradition of sending children out to fill bags with sand.



In Chile, Halloween is infused with ancient Incan traditions. Fretful mothers extinguish the fires in their hearths for fear of attracting Spaniards while naughty children take their parents hostage and demand their weight in chocolate.



In Wittenberg, Germany, October 31 is celebrated as the day on which Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the church in 1517. Many of the town's children frolic giddily about, nailing Theses here and there with impish delight, while others try to catch and burn them as heretics.



Whatever your own tradition, enjoy Halloween. Be careful out there though - you know what,. why not stay inside.

Enjoy your day