Monday, December 22, 2014

Off For Christmas

Is Christmas really only three days away? Every year it seems to slip up on me faster! I'll be taking time off from blogging to get ready for the big day and big year ahead, but I'll be back January 5. Merry Christmas to and Happy New Year to you and yours!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Chicken Soup

"And Tom brought him chicken soup until he wanted to kill him. The lore has not died out of the world, and you will still find people who believe that soup will cure any hurt or illness and is no bad thing to have for a funeral either." John Steinbeck, East of Eden

One of the best comfort foods around is chicken soup! Not only does it taste good, but it's good for you, just like Grandma said!

According to Natural News, research shows that chicken soup helps break up congestion and eases the flow of nasal secretions.  It also inhibits white blood cells that trigger the inflammatory response, causing sore throats and the production of phlegm.

Chicken contains cysteine (an amino acid that's released when you make soup) and this thins mucus in the lungs which aids in the healing process.

When combined with nutrient rich vegetables, homemade chicken soup definitely helps heal those suffering from colds and colds flu!

Nothing hits the spot on a cold winter evening like a bowl of home made chicken soup, and today I'm sharing my all time favorite recipe, adapted from one in the Cincinnati Enquirer. Unfortunately, lots of cutting and chopping is involved. Listen to an audio book to keep yourself entertained, and consider this a labor of love since it's so healthy for your family!

Chicken Soup

1 whole fryer chicken
3-4 quarts chicken broth
3 carrots, peeled and chopped roughly
3 celery ribs, chopped roughly
3 onions, chopped roughly
1 parsnip, peeled and chopped roughly
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and chopped roughly
1 t salt
1 t pepper
2 t garlic powder
2 t onion powder
1 1/2 t dried dill

Place chicken in a very large pot.  Cover with broth.  Bring to  boil and skim off any scum that rises to the surface.  Add seasonings and chopped vegetables.  Reduce heat to simmer and cook for 1 1/2 hours.

Remove chicken and vegetables from soup.  Puree vegetables and return to soup.  Remove skin and bones from chicken and chop. Return chicken to soup. Makes 8 servings.

Does your family have a chicken soup recipe that's been past down from generation to generation? Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!

Reprinted from 1/28/11.

Monday, December 8, 2014

A Christmas Cult Classic

It's December! Time to sit back and enjoy some classic Christmas movies like It's a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street.

I never realized there were Christmas cult classic films, until a few years ago when someone gave my kids a collection of Christmas movies. The motion pictures included were not well known, to say the least, but all were good for a laugh. 

The strangest--and corniest--was Santa Clause Conquers the Martians.  It's a 1964 science-fiction movie that regularly receives the honor of being listed as one of the worst films ever made. A featured player is ten-year-old Pia Zadora.

Here's a part of the plot from Wikipedia:


The story involves the people of Mars, including Momar ("Mom Martian") and Kimar ("King Martian"). They're worried that their children Girmar ("Girl Martian") and Bomar ("Boy Martian") are watching too much Earth television, most notably station KID-TV's interview with Santa Claus in his workshop at the North Pole. Consulting the ancient 800-year-old Martian sage Chochem (a Yiddish word meaning "genius"), they are advised that the children of Mars are growing distracted due to the society's overly rigid structure; from infancy, all their education is fed into their brains through machines and they are not allowed individuality or freedom of thought.

Chochem notes that he had seen this coming "for centuries", and says the only way to help the children is to allow them their freedom and be allowed to have fun. To do this, they need a Santa Claus figure, like on Earth. Leaving the Chochem's cave, the Martian leaders decide to abduct Santa Claus from Earth and bring him to Mars. As the Martians could not distinguish between all the fake Santas, they kidnapped two children to find the real one. Once this is accomplished, one Martian, Voldar, who strongly disagrees with the idea, repeatedly tries to kill Santa Claus along with the two kidnapped Earth children. He believes that Santa is corrupting the children of Mars and turning them away from the race's original glory.

It goes on, but you can tell from this that it's pretty bad, very funny, and not your average Christmas movie! Do you have any Christmas cult classics you'd like to share?

Thanks for visiting and have a great week!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Memorable Movie Dialogue

Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa Lund in Casablanca
"Play it, Sam..."
"The stuff that dreams are made of." Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon, 1941

Dream weaving, illusion and great stories make wonderful motion pictures. But what makes a line of movie dialogue, or even just a single word, timeless and unforgettable? What makes it so memorable that it's often quoted in real life, other movies, television and even kids' cartoons?

Perhaps it's spoken during a suspenseful situation, or in a scene where love has gone wrong. Maybe it's exclaimed in the thick of danger, or during the thrill of excitement, or in the midst of a conflict about to
Lauren Bacall as Slim Browning in To Have and Have Not
explode. It could be line akin to a sigh of relief, spoken at the very end, when all problems are resolved.

With a skilled screenwriter and an awesome story, all of these elements can create exciting dialogue and at least one immortal line that leaves the audience saying, "I loved it when he said...", "Remember when she said...", or "I can't believe that's what______ meant!"

Here are 10 of my favorites, in chronological order.

1. "Wait a minute, wait a minute! You ain't heard nothin' yet!" Al Jolson as Jackie Rabinowitz in The Jazz Singer, 1927
2. Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn." Clark Gable as Rhett Butler in Gone With the Wind, 1939
3. "Toto, I've a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore." Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz, 1939
4. "Rosebud." Orson Welles as Charles Foster Kane in Citizen Kane, 1941
5. "Play it, Sam. Play 'As Time Goes By,'" Ingrid Bergman as Ilsa Lund in Casablanca, 1942
6. "You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow." Lauren Bacall as Marie "Slim" Browning in To Have and Have Not, 1944
7. "Badges? We ain't got no badges! We don't need no badges! I don't have to show you any stinking badges!" Alfonso Bedoya as "Gold Hat" in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, 1948
8. "Stella! Hey, Stella!" Marlon Brando as Stanley Kowalski in On the Waterfront, 1951
9. "You don't understand. I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could've been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am." Marlon Brando as Terry Malloy in On the Waterfront, 1954
10. "Say 'hello' to my little friend!" Al Pacino as Tony Montana in Scarface, 1983

What are some of your favorite movie lines? And in your opinion, what makes them so memorable?

Have a great week and thanks for stopping by!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!


Wishing everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving! I'm taking the day off from blogging to prepare for the upcoming festivities! Will be back on Monday, December 1st.