unwrap our darkness from jonny baker on Vimeo.
images: Jonny Baker
Text: Cheryl Lawson
back with more liturgy, theology, art, craft, cooking, and of course bitching.
unwrap our darkness from jonny baker on Vimeo.
Long time ago, the evil wizard king Winterbolt has caused havoc upon the people who have entered his domain. He is then punished by Lady Boreal when she places a spell that puts him in a deep sleep.
Years later, Winterbolt is awake. In her final act of magic, Boreal transfers the last of her power into Rudolph's red nose, which will stop glowing if it is ever used for evil. Winterbolt learns of this and plans not only to dispose of Rudolph, the only power capable of stopping him, but also to reclaim his territory from Santa Claus. To achieve this, Winterbolt plans to take advantage of Frosty and his family. At the same time, Rudolph's ice cream man friend Milton arrives and tells Rudolph and Frosty that he plans to attract the heart of Milton's girlfriend, the high-wire act Laine Loraine.
Winterbolt offers Frosty magic amulets that will keep his family from melting and enable them to attend a Fourth of July Circus in which Rudolph is to star, but they will only be protected until the end of the event. Santa agrees to pick up Frosty and his wife Crystal before the magic wears off, but Winterbolt has his ice dragons blow up a blizzard to prevent Santa from arriving on time. Winterbolt also recruits an evil, unintelligent reindeer named Scratcher to try to get Rudolph to turn, or at least appear evil in the eyes of his friends. With the blizzard keeping Santa from getting to them, time was not on the side of Frosty and family. When Scratcher arrives, he forms an alliance with Sam Spangles during the parade.
Scratcher, taking advantage of Rudolph's kindness, steals money from the circus and sets up Rudolph to take the blame. Rudolph agrees to appear guilty after making a deal with Winterbolt, to extend the powers of the amulets Frosty's family wears for an infinite time in exchange. Frosty's family, friends, and the circus' owner and Laine's mother, Lilly Loraine, are upset when Rudolph lies to them about how he stole the money and his nose stops glowing. Only Frosty knows the truth and wants to restore Rudolph's glowing nose. Winterbolt takes advantage of Frosty as well by lying and agreeing to do it in exchange for Frosty's hat, with intention to use the magic powers of Frosty's hat to create an army of snowmen. Rudolph manages to steal back the hat, and his nose regains its glow.
After Rudolph returns to the circus with Frosty's hat, Winterbolt attacks which ends with him turning into a tree when Lilly throws her iron guns onto his scepter destroying it. Once Winterbolt is vanquished, Scratcher has not been seen again, and Sam is arrested, all the spells he has cast are negated and Frosty and his family are in danger of melting once again. However, Jack Frost, the villain from the previous Frosty's Winter Wonderland (but in the "animagic" form from another Rankin-Bass special called Jack Frost), arrives on Big Ben, who's Rudolph's whale friend from the previous Rudolph's Shiny New Year, to rescue his former enemy and family as they are whisked back to the North Pole by Santa, but Rudolph stays behind to help the circus out of debt. The special ends with a rendition of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", sung by the entire cast.
Well! How was it, trying to follow that? That was a summary. The author chose not to mention that:
1. Milton the ice cream man delivers his ice cream from a hot air balloon.
2. Winterbolt the wizard learns of Rudolph's magic powers by talking to an ICE GENII, which is a mountain of ice with stelagtite teeth and glowing eyes.
3. Along with his fierce and deadly TWO-HEADED ICE DRAGON, which moves in slow motion (watching it brought to mind the earlier stop-motion animation in films like 7th Voyage of Sinbad)
some villianous personage (I assume the wizard, I was a little addled by this time) has at his command GIANT FLYING SNAKES which can fly over, warp around you, and then fly off with you in their coils.
4. Frosty and Rudolph sing an extended version of "Why Am I Such A Misfit?" There are a great many musical numbers to break up the relentless driving action.
5.The lady who runs the circus is Ethel Merman. In a cowboy hat.
Whales? Armies of Snowmen? Sam Spangles, who is in fact indistinguishable from Professor Hinkle, the magician in the animated Frosty the Snowman? Ian noticed that one.
Anyway, I sat there with my jaw on the ground, through this, and Rudolph's Shiny New Year, which features Ben Franklin and a cave man. By that point, I had kind of given up.
Heat your oven to 350 degrees.
In a pyrex cassarole or an 8-inch square baking pan, whisk together:
1.5 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, and half teaspoon salt. You can also throw in a little cayenne pepper, chili powder or nutmeg…I thought I was being all clever and sophisticated, but I couldn’t taste them.
Make a well in center of dry mix and pour in 6 tablespoons vegetable oil, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 1 tablespoon white vinegar, and 1 cup cold water. Stir till smooth. This is when I threw in a couple handfuls of semi-sweet chocolate chips. These are a great addition, but some sunk – if I had thought of it earlier and put them in with the dry ingredients, it would have been better. Bake until a chopstick inserted in center comes out clean. In a square pan, this will be about 40 minutes. – with the cassarole dish, which was deeper and smaller, it took about an hour. You're supposed to let it cook completely, but it's really good while it's still a tiny bit warm.
Bonus tip: Best Icing Ever, I am completely serious:I improvised some buttercream the way I always do – cream soft butter (regular, not unsalted), add a drip of vanilla, and confectioners sugar by the spoonful, scrape down the sides of the bowl, keep tasting…but today, I threw in a chunk of cream cheese. Whip until fluffy. This is more definitely the best icing I have ever made, and it may be the best icing I have ever eaten.
No matter how much you love beer, we promise you it's not as much as this guy. For the past year and a half, Alexander Mitchell IV has been keeping us entertained and informed with his Beer in Baltimore blog, a frequently updated collection of short thoughts on beer--more nuts, bolts, and flavor than philosophy--news postings, and links. Sure, he dotes on Max's a bit much, but that's to be expected, and more importantly, this is a guy that just doesn't stop thinking about beer. We guarantee you'll get a whole new appreciation for it, too.
empty Tupperware (or easily-emptied Slurpee cup)
exceptionally tall husband
pants which come all the way down to one's ankles
shoes which are NOT basically BOARDWALK RUBBER FLIP FLOPS. (I don't care how much I paid for these things, or how comfortable and supportive they are, or even how lucky I am that I have a job to which I can go 98% barefoot every day. They are FLIP FLOPS and one should THINK TWICE while approaching blackberry thickets.)
sufficient time for picking before the enthusiastic toddler needs the bandaids.
"I’ve been practicing some important phrases, too:
Excuse me, stewardess, please make sure there is no turbulence.
Excusez-moi, hôtesse de l'air, s'il vous plaît assurez-vous il n'y a pas de turbulence.
I thought I said no turbulence. Now I require a bucket of red wine and some horse tranquilizers.
Je pensais que je l'ai dit pas de turbulence. Maintenant, j'ai besoin d'un seau de vin rouge et quelques chevaux de tranquillisants.
Do not laugh at me. I have an anxiety disorder.
Ne vous moquez pas de moi. J'ai un trouble anxieux."
from Alice Bradley's blog Finslippy
2. Wish I’d said that:
In Religion Dispatches (which I read nearly every day) Benjamin Weiner points out where Gary Trudeau falls short. He’s right, but the really fabulous part of this essay is the use of “metonymize” and “clusterfuck” – “a beautifully multi-cultural clusterfuck”, in fact – in THE VERY SAME SENTENCE.
"If we had to wait for your thirteenth movie for you to make one with a girl at the center, couldn't you have chosen something -- something -- for her to be that could compete with plucky robots and adventurous space toys?"
from Linda Holmes' terrific pop culture blog for NPR.com, Monkey See.
szee: the conference was so great. church can
and should be as amazing as
concerts or broadway!
lets do it!
EDITED TO ADD: This pizza crust is decidedly superior to my earlier pizza crust. If I invite you over for pizza, you do not need to be afraid!
Pizza quality will improve even more if I can find our pizza stone! I forgot that we even had one!
PS - I am grateful for a family who want to eat my experiments, no matter how questionable they look.
Slice 2 small onions and chop 5 stalks of celery, and drop into pan. Salt and pepper them generously. Stir occasionally.
Cut 3 carrots (or like 10 baby carrots) into thick slices and drop into pan.
If the pan seems too dry and the onions are sticking, add a splash of some liquid (I used broth, water or wine would be fine.)
Add the shredded meat from about half a cooked chicken. Stir. (Add any leftover cooked veggies you would like to see out of the fridge – I had a braised leek, which added a lot of flavor, and some sliced of potato.)
Sprinkle in a little (probably less than a teaspoon) McCormick’s Montreal Chicken Grilling spice. (YES it has sulfites, don’t judge me.)
Add 32 oz of chicken broth (that’s a box of Swanson’s Natural Goodness.)
Add fresh green beans (2 cups?) Lower the heat to medium.
Add a few handfuls of pea pods (what are these things called, anyway? I love saying pea pods, for some reason.)
Simmer until the beans are as tender as you like them.
This soup is flavorful (from the onions, which pretty much carmelize) spicy (from the spice mixture, which is awesome, chemicals and all) and has lots of texture and interest from the zillion servings of vegetables. It’s forgiving, cook-time-wise, so you can prep the produce and chicken as you go, as opposed to having to have all the beans strung and the chicken shredded before you turn on the burner. This allows you to improvise throughout, and also helps with the cleanup, eliminating all those annoying little bowls of mise en place.)