The movie of the week is a modern Christmas favorite, Scrooged! Hmm, maybe I should rethink that definition. The 80’s aren’t really considered modern anymore, are they?
The movie munchies? Winter White Tea Cakes. These are pancakes made special by the addition of Numi Tea’s Winter Spice White Tea (found it at Whole Foods), which is also a superb tea for infusing into butter. I’ll save that for another day. I planned to make roasted chestnuts for this post, but that turned into a hilarious (well, not really), disaster involving canned bits of stink. Again, another day. I love the fairy played by Carol King, I think she would approve of a winter spice recipe, just look at the chick, she IS winter spice!
- 3 Tea Bags Winter Spice
- 1 cup Flour
- 1 T. Sugar
- 1 T. Baking Soda
- 1 T. Wheat Germ
- 1½ tsp. Cinnamon
- 1 egg white
- 1 T. orange juice
- 1 tsp. grated orange peel
- Steep tea bags in 1 cup boiling water for 5 minutes. Squeeze and remove bags. Combine dry ingredients and in a separate bowl, whisk egg white, orange juice, orange rind and steeped tea. Pour tea mixture into flour mixture. Lightly mix and cook as you would any other pancake.
Starring: Bill Murray, Karen Allen, David Johansen and Carol Kane
Directed by: Richard Donner
Holiday movies are fun! In fact, other than the Summer blockbuster season, Christmas time generates the most amount of high-end entertaining films of the year (Home Alone, Die Hard, Polar Express, Trading Places, The Santa Clause, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Gremlins, Elf, to name a few). Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol has been told in so many ways and most of the film adaptations I’ve enjoyed. From Disney’s Scrooge McDuck in Mickey’s Christmas Carol to George C. Scott in the made-for-television classic to last year’s Jim Carrey 3D extravaganza. But, I have to say, my favorite is the 1980’s, Bill Murray driven, Scrooged. It’s not a perfect movie by any measure, but it does have Christmas spirit. Over the years Murray has created an iconic and unique style of comedy. You can’t see one of his films without receiving a piece of his personality; cynical, abrupt, fearless, sometimes obnoxious and always one step ahead of the audience. But most certainly Murray is always hilarious and timeless as is demonstrated in this modern holiday classic.
Here he portrays a television executive putting on a special presentation of “Scrooge”, a version in which he wants to staple antlers to mice and have scantily clad women dancing around (anything for viewers). He has shut-out anyone that cares about him and similar to the production he is putting on, is visited by three ghosts. Although, these aren’t the ghosts you would expect. Two of the ghost characters stand out in particular; Carol Kane plays the Ghost of Christmas Present as what can be best described as a fairy with anger management issues; she tries to beat the Christmas spirit into Murray’s character. David Johansen is spot-on as a chain smoking, cab driving Ghost of Christmas Past.
The best part of Scrooged is that it is not all just laughs and slapstick comedy. There is a heart to the movie that, because it is placed in current times (at least 1988 current), there is a modern sensibility to it which makes it that much more relatable. Some common themes of taking people and relationships for granted, bad behavior from big business and having perspective even within success, still hold true today. In each of our hearts is the desire to do the right thing, but as we age, we can tend to get caught up in our adult trappings and self-induced issues. Scrooged and the original A Christmas Carol demonstrate how we can so easily forget our youthful joy and idealism for the empty idles that we futilely chase. But, the beauty of this movie is that it can work on two levels, having both a serious side, but also serve as just a fun, laugh out loud experience. So, relax, watch a good movie with some munchies and, “put a little love in your heart!”
“All day long, I listen to people give me excuses why they can’t work… ‘My back hurts,’ ‘my legs ache,’ ‘I’m only four!’ The sooner he learns life isn’t handed to him on a silver platter, the better!”
“It’s Christmas Eve! It’s… it’s the one night of the year when we all act a little nicer, we… we… we smile a little easier, we… w-w-we… we… we cheer a little more. For a couple of hours out of the whole year, we are the people that we always hoped we would be!”