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DECK THE HOLIDAY'S: 11/12/13

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

THE NOT SO ANCIENT HISTORY OF 10 OF THANKSGIVINGS FAVORITE DISHES!!

  On Thanksgiving, more than any other day of the year, Americans sit down and eat the same meal as their neighbors and countrymen. It’s tradition, after all! But we know our history: most of the Thanksgiving dishes we enjoy today weren’t at the original Pilgrims’ feast in 1621, or at least not in the way we enjoy them. How did we come up with the modern menu on so many tables?




1. Candied Sweet Potatoes






   Sweet potatoes are native to the Americas and their consumption goes back about 5,000 years, so it is no wonder they are associated with the American holiday, even though the Pilgrims didn’t have them in Massachusetts. But when did we start adding sugar to make them even sweeter than they are? The earliest recipe found is from 1889, in which sweet potatoes are made into candy.
The candied sweet potato is a Philadelphia confectionery. It is nothing but sweet potatoes carefully boiled and quartered, then candied in boiling syrup, but it is said to be dainty and tender and of a delicious flavor”.
   By 1895, recipes for sweetened sweet potatoes as a dinner side dish were showing up. Some call these recipes candied yams, although actual yams are a different plant altogether. “Yams” is an American nickname for the softer varieties of sweet potato.





2. Cranberry Sauce






   Cranberries were probably a part of the original Thanksgiving feast. The Native Americans used them for food, medicine, and even dye. Most importantly, cranberries were used as a preservative because they contain benzoic acid, so they added the fruit to meats and grains to extend their shelf life. General Ulysses S. Grant ordered cranberry sauce to be served to his troops in 1864, probably to prevent scurvy during the winter. It was first put into cans in 1912 by a company that eventually came to be known as Ocean Spray, a term that originally was used only for their canned cranberry sauce. .




3. Brown and Serve Rolls






   Although not confined to Thanksgiving, “brown and serve rolls” are sold by the ton by various manufacturers for the holiday. They originated in 1949 when baker Joe Gregor of Avon Park, Florida tried to please his customers who wanted their rolls warm for dinner. He worked on the problem for months until he accidentally produced a batch of half-baked rolls. He left the “ruined” rolls in the oven while he responded to a fire alarm (Gregor was a volunteer fireman) and when he returned, he reheated the rolls and realized what he had produced. Gregor sold half-baked rolls to his customers to take home and finish baking  before dinner. General Mills bought the process for $25,000, allowing Gregor to retire from baking. Recipes are available so that you can make your own rolls ahead of time and brown them just before dinner.




4. Apple Cider






   It is not known when the first actual apple cider was produced, but the invading Romans discovered it in use in the village of Kent when they invaded England in 55BCE. Cider spread through Europe during the Middle Ages. English settlers brought apple seeds to America, where the trees thrived. Other drinks, especially beer, became more popular, but cider is traditionally consumed in the fall to celebrate the apple harvest. That is how cider, especially spiced cider, came to be associated with Thanksgiving and Christmas.



5. Deviled Eggs






   The concept of deviled eggs goes back to at least Ancient Rome, when boiled eggs were topped with spicy sauces. Removing the yolks from boiled eggs, adding spices, and then returning them was common in medieval times. The word “deviled” was first used in print to describe a highly spiced recipe in 1786, and came to be used for any food that was “hot” like the devil’s domain.

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6. Roast Turkey





   There are only a couple of accounts of the Pilgrim’s feast written by participants, and at least one never even mentioned turkeys. The most famous remembrance was written twenty years after the fact by governor William Bradford and was confiscated by the British during the Revolutionary War. It was not recovered until 1854. Meanwhile, turkeys were roasted during the winter months by any Americans who had access to the birds. When the Bradford document became available, roast turkey became associated with the Thanksgiving meal. After all, the birds are much easier to raise on farms than the deer, swans, partridges, and  seal meat that were also on the Pilgrims’ menu.




7. Stuffing or Dressing





   Stuffing animals for roasting goes back to ancient times, with old recipes surviving from the Roman Empire. After removing the organs, the big hole left behind is an opportunity to add seasoning from the inside, and filling the cavity helps to even the cooking over a fire. In modern times, the Thanksgiving turkey is the only large animal that most people ever roast whole in their homes, so the custom of stuffing is linked to Thanksgiving turkey. However, it is often served without ever actually being inside the turkey. Modern instant stuffing is even served with no turkey at all! Stovetop Stuffing was invented in 1971 by Ruth Siems for General Foods (now Kraft Foods). The convenience of instant stuffing was an immediate hit when it was launched in 1972. The company sells around 60 million boxes every Thanksgiving.






8. Green Bean Casserole






   The green bean casserole that many people serve for Thanksgiving originated in 1955 with a recipe by Dorcas Reilly of the Campbell’s Soup Company, in collaboration with Olney and Carpenter, who were trying to promote their french fried onion business. The recipe caught on, and ensured the future of canned fried onions and the trend of using cream soup instead of homemade white sauce. Of course, you can make it from scratch without the processed name-brand ingredients.





9. Mincemeat Pie






   Mincemeat, a combination of meat, fruit, and spices not only tasted good to those who developed it, but preserved the meat for later consumption. Believe it or not, early mincemeat pies were baked in a coffin shape! One account has mincemeat brought back from the Crusades in the 11th century. Spiced meat was made into a pie for Christmas. The meat was combined with three spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves) to represent the three gifts of the wise men. The oblong coffin shape was meant to represent the cradle of the Christ child, and a representative doll was placed on top when the small pies were presented. Another account has the original pies shaped like coffins to represent Osiris, the Egyptian god of the dead who was celebrated on the winter solstice. Christians co-opted this tradition along with the other solstice celebrations for Christmas. Over the years, the amount of meat was diminished as we developed other methods of preservation, and now most mincemeat recipes contain only a bit of suet along with apples, raisins, and spices. However, you can still make it the traditional way with this 1796 recipe.





10. Pumpkin Pie





   The Pilgrims may have eaten cooked pumpkin, but they didn’t have it in a pie. The first recorded pumpkin pie recipe was published in France in 1653, where the fruit was called pompion. It spread to England and then to the New World, where the first American pie recipe (now called pumpkin) was published in 1796.

TOP 10 "A CHRISTMAS CAROL" MOVIES!







  We've probably all either read the Charles Dickens story or saw one adaptation / version of "A Christmas Carol".
    It has been done dozens upon dozens of times in some form with titles ranging from "A Christmas Carol", "Scrooge", and "Ebenezer" to more unique names such as "Scrooged" or "Mr. Scrooge". There are also versions with drastically different stories and titles like "Ms. Scrooge" or "An American Christmas Carol". I do enjoy most versions but since this is a top 10 I need to narrow it down to ten. Most of you have probably seen one of my top 10 because a few have played every year for decades.
   There have been female versions such as Ms. Scrooge (1997) (TV) with Cicely Tyson as Ms. Ebenita Scrooge and I believe there are a few others with titles I don't remember. Not to sound sexist but I don't care for these females versions at all. I'm not sure if any woman can fit the role of Ebenezer. Possibly with a newly written part just for women.
   Other female versions include Ebbie (1995) (TV) with Susan Lucci playing Elizabeth 'Ebbie' Scrooge. Lucci as Scrooge? I just didn't buy it. Then there's A Carol Christmas (2003) (TV), a Hallmark original movie with a very mismatched cast of Tori Spelling as Carol and get this, Coleman and Shatner play two of the Ghosts!
   On with the list! I'll just sort by year of release. I'll also list the cast for Ebenezer, Bob Cratchit &  his wife, Tiny Tim, Fred (Ebenezer's nephew), Fezziwig (Ebenezer's boss and "teacher" of sorts) and Jacob Marley's and the three ghosts.




1. Scrooge (1935)





Scrooge





   An old black & white version which I don't see too often but do occasionally catch it. This British production version stars Seymour Hicks as Ebenezer Scrooge, a reprisal of his 1913 silent role. He does an okay job but not my favorite black & white version. Straightforward adaptation of Dickens' classic.

Trivia  Tidbit
    The voice of the Ghost of Christmas Past is not that of Marie Ney, whose physical outline can be seen onscreen as the Ghost. Ney was a woman, and the voice of the Ghost of Christmas Past is that of an uncredited male actor.

Cast


 Seymour Hicks .... Ebenezer Scrooge
Donald Calthrop .... Bob Cratchit
Barbara Everest .... Mrs. Cratchit
Robert Cochran .... Fred
Philip Frost .... Tiny Tim
Oscar Asche .... Spirit of Christmas Present
Marie Ney .... Spirit of Christmas Past
C.V. France .... Spirit of Christmas Future


Directed by
Henry Edwards

Writing credits (in alphabetical order)
Charles Dickens novel A Christmas Carol
H. Fowler Mear

2. A Christmas Carol (1938)




A Christmas Carol





   This is a version that I've seen played every year since I can remember. It's your standard adaptation. The sets look cheap but what can you expect for 1938. Reginald Owen does a great job as Ebenezer Scrooge but he kind of reminds me of a Lollipop Kid munchkin in Wizard of Oz with an almost bald head and a little wispy hair. Not really special about it but still is one of the better black & white versions. This production also exists in a colorized version but I don't remember seeing that one.

Trivia Tidbit
    A very young June Lockhart plays a small role as one of the Cratchit daughters and both of her parents played the Cratchit parents which is kind of cool.
MGM released a record-breaking 375 prints of the film so that as many people as possible could see it during the Christmas season.
    This was the only film in which Gene Lockhart appeared with his wife Kathleen Lockhart and their daughter June Lockhart, Carl Barks' Uncle Scrooge McDuck was probably based physically on this version of Ebenezer Scrooge, with the fringe of hair and the small tuft of hair on the top of his head.

Cast


Reginald Owen .... Ebenezer Scrooge
Gene Lockhart .... Bob Cratchit
Kathleen Lockhart .... Mrs. Cratchit
Terry Kilburn .... Tiny Tim Cratchit
Barry MacKay .... Fred
Forrester Harvey .... Fezziwig
Leo G. Carroll .... Jacob Marley's ghost
Lionel Braham .... Spirit of Christmas Present
Ann Rutherford .... Spirit of Christmas Past
D'Arcy Corrigan .... Spirit of Christmas Future
June Lockhart .... Belinda Cratchit


Directed by
Edwin L. Marin

Writing credits
Charles Dickens (short story)
Hugo Butler (screenplay)


3. Scrooge (1951)





A Christmas Carol (Ultimate Collector's Edition)(B/W & Color)





    This is another black & white adaptation which is played yearly and is probably the most popular black & white version. This one has been colorized so that's the version we usually see. Usually the colorized version is played as an homage with Patrick MacNeeacting as host to add facts about it between breaks. Patrick MacNee, of Avengers fame, has a small role in the film as a young Jacob Marley. He probably hosts because he's the biggest star in his career; either that or he was the only cast member still alive. It's your standard adaptation.
Alastair Sim is one of the best Ebenezer Scrooges. He's very mean to start with and he's great to watch after the ghosts leave. He jumps around hysterically like an insane man and a rather unique scene where the maid screams and runs away from him, thinking he went mad. He's probably my second favorite Scrooge.

Cast
 Alastair Sim .... Ebenezer Scrooge
Mervyn Johns .... Bob Cratchit
Hermione Baddeley .... Mrs. Cratchit
Brian Worth .... Fred
Glyn Dearman .... Tiny Tim
Roddy Hughes .... Mr. S. Fezziwig
Michael Hordern .... Jacob Marley/Marley's Ghost
Francis De Wolff .... Spirit of Christmas Present
Michael Dolan .... Spirit of Christmas Past
C. Konarski .... Spirit of Christmas Yet To Come
Patrick Macnee .... Young Jacob Marley


Directed by
Brian Desmond Hurst

Writing credits
Charles Dickens novel A Christmas Carol
Noel Langley adaptation and screenplay

4. A Christmas Carol (1954) from the show "Shower of Stars"










    This version is only a 60 minute episode of "Shower of Stars" but worth a view. This was originally broadcast in color. This is important because RCA introduced the first color television, the CT-100 that year. It was filmed in color but only black & White prints exist today. Note Basil Rathbone as Marley's ghost.

Cast


 William Lundigan .... Host
Mary Costa .... Co-host (spoken credit)
Fredric March .... Ebenezer Scrooge
Bob Sweeney .... Bob Cratchit
Queenie Leonard .... Mrs. Cratchit
Christopher Cook .... Tiny Tim
Basil Rathbone .... Marley's ghost
Sally Fraser .... Ghost of Christmas Past/Belle
Ray Middleton .... Fred/Ghost of Christmas Present


Directed by
Ralph Levy


Writing credits
Maxwell Anderson adaptation
Maxwell Anderson teleplay A Christmas Carol
Charles Dickens story A Christmas Carol

5. Scrooge (1970)









    It's one of the very few musical adaptations of Charles Dickens' novel A Christmas Carol and the best one at that (forget Kelsey Grammar's recent version!). This version is basically the same as Dickens but with a few added scenes and, of course, the singing. This aspect drives some away from it but there is plenty of great non-musical scenes and the atmosphere is fantastic. The colors are greyer than most so it seems more real and darker for Scrooge's personality. This version is a lot darker, bordering on horror.
    Alec Guinness has to be the best and scariest Jacob Marley's Ghost ever. His ghost still creeps me out, especially his face on Scrooge's door knocker. Two other creepy scenes are one where we see thousands of ghosts flying outside Scrooge's window; supposed to be trapped in limbo. And we see Scrooge go to Hell, if you see it uncut - it's often cut on TV. The other scene is Scrooge in Hell.
    Albert Finney is THE best Ebenezer Scrooge I've ever seen. At only 34 at the time of production, the make-up artist did a phenomenal job on making Finney look like an old man but Finney's different mannerisms, movements and voice tones are great as well.    He also plays a younger Scrooge just as well.
    Richard Beaumont is one of the best Tiny Tim's as well. His songs are so sad.
Kenneth More is one of the MOST cheerful, boisterous and colorful Ghosts of Christmas Present. Just great!
    One character who's not part of any other Christmas Carol I've ever seen but I feel deserves mentioning is Anton Rodgers as Tom Jenkins, a broth maker and one of Scrooge's clients. He sings before Scrooge dies but after he dies he has his best song which he starts solo and slowly builds up until it's a huge musical number. The song is "Thank you very much" and Scrooge thinks it positive but really everyone's happy he's dead because their loans are no longer owed to him.
    If you haven't seen this version, see it now! The lavish sets alone will make you love it! The end sows tons of old toys like a huge three-foot wide toy carousel.


Trivia Tidbit
    Scrooge (played by then 34-year old Albert Finney) is actually younger than his nephew Fred (played by then 46-year old Michael Medwin).

Cast

Albert Finney .... Ebenezer Scrooge
David Collings .... Bob Cratchit
Frances Cuka .... Mrs. Cratchit
Richard Beaumont .... Tiny Tim
Michael Medwin .... Nephew Fred
Laurence Naismith .... Mr. Fezziwig
Alec Guinness .... Jacob Marley's Ghost
Edith Evans .... Ghost of Christmas Past
Kenneth More .... Ghost of Christmas Present
Paddy Stone .... Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come

Directed by
Ronald Neame


Writing credits
Leslie Bricusse
Charles Dickens novel A Christmas Carol


6. An American Christmas Carol (1979)










    A very non-traditional Christmas Carol in that it's set in America during the Depression with all different character names. Not sure why the names needed to be changed because they're basically the same characters but it doesn't detract from the story. It different enough to feel refreshing yet similar enough that it feels like an old friend.
Henry Winkler plays Benedict Slade, their version of Scrooge. His portrayal both looks and sounds unique for the role. Not that it's bad, just different. Here he's not a banker but a wood furniture business owner. Chris Wiggins (of Friday the 13th The Series fame) plays Mr. Brewster, the Fezziwig character but also pulls double duty as Slade's foster dad, as Slade was in a foster home as a child.
The ghosts are also unique. One an old man and one is a 1970s black man which is rare to see.
    Ending s also unique in tat the "Tin Tim" character is sent for surgery and another trouble-making boy at a foster home is helped by Slade because he reminds him of himself as a kid.
    The colors are very white so it has more of a bleak, lonely feel to it. Winkler isn't as cheerful as in other adaptations, after the ghosts leave. He went for the subtle approach.
Definitely worth a view!


Cast
Henry Winkler .... Benedict Slade
Dorian Harewood .... Matt Reeves
Susan Hogan .... Helen Brewster
R.H. Thomson .... Thatcher
David Wayne .... Merrivale
Chris Cragg .... Jonathan Thatcher
James B. Douglas .... Sam Perkins
Arlene Duncan .... Jennie Reeves
Linda Goranson .... Mrs. Doris Thatcher
Gerard Parkes .... Jessup
Mary Pirie .... Mrs. Brewster
Ken Pogue .... Jack Latham
Chris Wiggins .... Mr. Brewster


Directed by
Eric Till


Writing credits
Charles Dickens (story "A Christmas Carol")
Jerome Coopersmith (screenplay)


7. A Christmas Carol (1984)










    George C. Scott plays Ebenezer Scrooge in the traditional rendition of A Christmas Carol. George C. Scott is great as always. This adaptation is not seen enough on TV. If you come across it on TV, don't pass up on the chance to see this treat.


Trivia Tidbit
    Director Clive Donner was the film editor on Scrooge (1951).


Cast

 George C. Scott .... Ebenezer Scrooge
David Warner .... Bob Cratchit
Susannah York .... Mrs. Cratchit
Anthony Walters .... Tiny Tim
Roger Rees .... Fred Holywell/Narrator
Timothy Bateson .... Mr. Fezziwig
Frank Finlay .... Marley's Ghost
Angela Pleasence .... Ghost of Christmas Past
Edward Woodward .... Ghost of Christmas Present
Michael Carter .... Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come


Directed by
Clive Donner


Writing credits
Roger O. Hirson (screenplay)
Charles Dickens short story


8. Scrooged (1988)










    This is one of my favorite adaptations, partly because I'm a HUGE Bill Murray fan and because it's a comedy version which is rare.
   The story is very unique. It's a story within a story. Frank Cross runs a TV cable network and he planned a live adaptation of A Christmas Carol on Christmas Eve. Frank's childhood wasn't a pleasant and he lost his girlfriend, Claire, so he doesn't appreciate the Christmas spirit. Suddenly Frank finds Claire again and old feelings are awakened. But Frank wants both her and his career at the same time. With the help of the three ghosts of Christmas and Claire's love, Frank realizes he must change.
    Bill Murray is great as Frank Cross, the Scrooge character. Bill plays it sarcastically mean so it's both rude yet funny at the same time. There's an all-star cast of guest stars from Robert Mitchum as Scrooge's boss, Preston Rhinelander, Robert Goulet as himself (Christmas on the Bayou), Mary Lou Retton as herself, Lee Majors as himself (helping Santa fight a war), Buddy Hackett as Scrooge for the TV special, John Houseman as himself (narrator of the TV special), Bob Goldthwait as Eliot Loudermilk, a worker laid off by Frank, John Glover as Brice Cummings (Frank's new VP), Carol Kane as the Ghost of Christmas Present and tons more!
    The ghosts are unique. David Johansen is the Ghost of Christmas Past, a loud-mouthed, cigar puffing taxi driver. He is unforgettable. David Johansen is a former member of the 70s rock group; The New York Dolls and singing under the name Buster Poindexter, he had a big hit with the song "Hot, Hot, Hot." Carol Kane plays the Ghost of Christmas Present. Her unique voice adds to the humor as she kicks Murray in the gonads; she's hilarious! The Ghost of Christmas Future is a tall skeleton with a TV for a face which I also take as sort of a statement on society as well as Frank's network career.
Very good adaptation and deserves a view. The ending is so cheerful in a modern sense and Bill reaches out across being behind a came b interacting with those who were in the theater back in 1988. It ends with the Annie Lennox song "Put A Little Love in Your Heart" which always gets my eyes wet.

Trivia Tidbit
   At the end of the movie, when everybody is singing "Put a little love in your heart", Frank (Bill Murray) says (among many other things): "Feed me, Seymour!" This is a reference to Little Shop of Horrors (1986), in which Murray has a small part.
When The Ghost of Christmas Present first appears in the movie, she says to Frank Cross, "I'm a little muddled." This is a direct quote from Glenda the Good Witch in The Wizard of Oz (1939) when she first meets Dorothy in Munchkinland.
    All of Bill Murray's brothers - John Murray, Joel Murray and Brian Doyle-Murray - make appearances in this film.


Cast
 Bill Murray .... Frank Cross
Karen Allen .... Claire Phillips
John Forsythe .... Lew Hayward
John Glover .... Brice Cummings
David Johansen .... Ghost of Christmas Past
Carol Kane .... Ghost of Christmas Present
Robert Mitchum .... Preston Rhinelander
John Murray .... James Cross
Pat McCormick .... Ghost of Christmas Present (TV)
Brian Doyle-Murray .... Earl Cross rray)
Chaz Conner .... Ghost of Christmas Future (TV)


Directed by
Richard Donner


Writing credits
Mitch Glazer (written by) &
Michael O'Donoghue (written by)
Charles Dickens (novel A Christmas Carol) (suggestion)

9. A Christmas Carol (1999)










    This was a TNT/Hallmark TV movie. It seems that many do not like Patrick Stewart as Ebenezer Scrooge but I liked him. Most say he seemed too mean-tempered but I felt the opposite. I thought his meanness just didn't seem believable at times. But I still thought he did fine. I also feel that this movie stayed truer to the novel than most of movies.
Worth a view!

Trivia Tidbit
    Is the first Christmas Carol to incorporate computer-generated graphics. These are used most effectively in the scene where the Ghost of Christmas Present takes Scrooge on a whirlwind visit to a lighthouse, a ship at sea, and a group of miners.


Cast
Patrick Stewart .... Mr. Ebenezer Scrooge
Richard E. Grant .... Bob Cratchit
Saskia Reeves .... Mrs. Cratchit
Ben Tibber .... Tiny Tim
Dominic West .... Fred (Scrooge's nephew)
Michael Green .... Eli Fezziwig
Bernard Lloyd .... Marley's Ghost
Desmond Barrit .... The Ghost of Christmas Present
Joel Grey .... The Ghost of Christmas Past
Tim Potter .... The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come


Directed by
David Hugh Jones (as David Jones)


Writing credits
Charles Dickens (short story)
Peter Barnes (teleplay)


10. Disney's A Christmas Carol (2009)









   A Christmas Carol is a 2009 film written and directed by Robert Zemeckis. It is an adaptation of the Charles Dickens story of the same name and stars Jim Carrey in a multitude of roles, including Ebenezer Scrooge and the three ghosts who haunt Scrooge.
   The 3-D film was produced through the process of performance capture, a technique Zemeckis previously used in his films The Polar Express (2004) and Beowulf (2007).
A Christmas Carol began filming in February 2008, and was released on November 3, 2009 by Walt Disney Pictures.  It received its world premiere in London, coinciding with the switching on of the annual Oxford Street and Regent Street Christmas lights, which in 2009 had a Dickens theme.
   This is one of my favorite renditions and it's keeping true to the original version of the book by Charles Dickens. I really like the performance capture technique.

Trivia Tidbits
   The film was released in Disney Digital 3-D and was the first Disney movie in IMAX 3-D. It is also Disney's third film retelling of A Christmas Carol following 1983's Mickey's Christmas Carol and 1992's The Muppet Christmas Carol.

Cast

Jim Carrey as:
  • Ebenezer Scrooge, a cold-hearted, tight fisted, greedy man, who despises Christmas and all things which engender happiness.
  • Ghost of Christmas Past, the first of the three spirits that haunt Scrooge in order to prompt him to repent. He is depicted as a young, androgynous human with a waxy, candle-like body and a flickering flame for a head, who speaks in a dreamy, slow voice with an Irish accent, and sways about.
  • Ghost of Christmas Present, the second of the three spirits. He is depicted as a large, jolly man with red hair, a full beard, and a green ermine robe who ages rapidly while he is with Scrooge. He has a tendency to laugh heartily, even as he dies, and carries the sins of Ignorance and Want upon his person, in the forms of horrifying, savage children.
  • Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come, the third of the three spirits. It is depicted as a large shadow in the shape of the Grim Reaper cast across the ground or a wall, and occasionally emerges into three dimensions to point at something or to chase Scrooge in a large, shadow-like horse carriage.
Robin Wright Penn as:
  • Belle, Scrooge's neglected fiancĂ©e.
  • Fan Scrooge, Scrooge's late sister, who died prematurely after giving birth to Scrooge's nephew, Fred.
Gary Oldman as:
  • Bob Cratchit, Scrooge's abused, underpaid clerk.
  • Jacob Marley, Scrooge's former business partner.
  • Tiny Tim, Cratchit's youngest son. His voice is provided by Ryan Ochoa.
Colin Firth as Fred, Scrooge's optimistic nephew and only living relative.
Cary Elwes as:
  • Dick Wilkins, Scrooge's old roommate.
  • Mad Fiddler
  • Businessman #1
  • Portly Gentleman #1, a man who requests from Scrooge a donation to those less fortunate.
  • Destitute Man #2
Bob Hoskins as:
  • Mr. Fezziwig, the proprietor of a warehouse business for whom Scrooge worked as an apprentice.
  • Old Joe, a fence who buys the belongings of the deceased Scrooge from Scrooge's old maid.
Fionnula Flanagan as Mrs. Dilber.
Molly C. Quinn as Belinda Cratchit, Bob Cratchit's wife.
Ron Bottitta as:
  • Tattered Caroler
  • Well-Dressed Caroler
Directed by
Robert Zemeckis


Written by
Robert Zemeckis
A Christmas Carol written by Charles Dickens

ULTIMATE S'MORE CAKE!

   This recipe comes from www.fatgirltrappedinaskinnybody.com .  Another great cake recipe coming your way!









On Monday we celebrated 7 years of marriage. That’s something to celebrate. We’ve grown A LOT in these 7 years! See, when we went through pre-marriage counseling our counselors told us something we will NEVER forget:
“You two are the 2 most opposite people we have EVER seen in our 25 years of marriage counseling experience. Good luck”
I was a whopping 20 years old at the time and thought ‘whatever, I laugh in the face of a challenge.’ Stupid, stupid stupid. Those first couple years were rough. Rough in the sense that we learned very quickly that marriage takes work. Give me a topic, ANY topic, I can promise, with about 99% certainty we are different.
He’s a night owl, I like to get up at 4 am.
I’m a runner, he’s a biker.
I like vegetables, he likes steak.
He uses discernment when he speaks, I well, I don’t.
I fart, A LOT. He farts about once a day.
Just to give you a few examples…
But 7 years later I can say, with confidence, every ounce of effort has been worth it. I married the perfect man for me. He challenges me, encourages me, and just loves me for who I am, with all my flaws.
My Bae, you mean the world to me, I love you with all my heart. Happy 7 year Anniversary! Here’s to another 57…
And to celebrate, I made cake. I combined a few our favorite things: s’mores, cookies, cake, frosting and cheesecake. Because of course, we don’t have the same favorite dessert. I like cake and he likes frosting. But between the 2 of us, the plate will be licked clean.
7 years means I need to make a 7 layer cake? At least that was my logic behind NEEDING all the layer.
Here’s what you’ll need for this cake:
2 brownie layers
2 cheesecake layers
2 chocolate chip cookie layers
5 graham crackers (this is one of the ‘cake’ layers)
1 recipe for marshmallow frosting
1 recipe for chocolate Frosting



A few notes about this Ultimate Anniversary Cake:

1. These are the best brownies I’ve ever made. I’ve made Ina’s Outrageous brownies. And those are delicious, but they are VERY fudgy, and are not a brownie EVERYONE likes because of the oober fudgeyness. These King Arthur brownies, these are the perfect combination between fudgy and cakey. And they have that shiny, thin crunchy top, like a good brownie should. Make the brownies alone, and bake them in a 9×13 inch pan, or divide the batter in half, like I did for this cake, slice it into wedges and serve with berries, ice cream and chocolate fudge. Whatever you do, BAKE THESE BROWNIES!
2. The chocolate frosting, it’s like the kind you scoop from a jar, you know the stuff. Betty Crocker, Duncan Hines??? Come on, you know you probably have a jar in your cupboard right now. But this is 100 million times better. It’s a similar texture and consistency: smooth, creamy, rich. But no fake chemicals in it, yea! It spreads wonderfully too. As I was making it I told my husband “I found the only chocolate frosting recipe I may ever use again. It’s so perfect, why try anything else?” I mean, I know I’ll try others, but dang, this stuff is truly to-die-for and easy also.
3. I have 3 cake pans that are the same size (9 inch springform to be exact). So I used those 3 to bake the brownies, cookie and cheesecake, to make sure they were all the same size round. I lined the bottom of each pan with parchment paper to make it easy to remove each layer. And then I sprayed the parchment with non stick spray.
4. Everything on this cake is homemade, nothing from a box (ok, the graham crackers, but shoot, I’ve made those from scratch before…) But to make this easier, you can make the brownies form a box, or buy jar frosting. But let me tell you, this won’t be NEARLY as good.
5. In case your brownies or cookie get slightly crispy, it’s ok. The frosting and around the cake will help soften them back up as it refrigerates and sits. Let this cake refrigerate for at leats 1 day before serving for maximum flavor results.
I brought this to work, like I do a lot of desserts, and this is the only dessert EVERYONE has complimented, people are even posting pics on their face book pages. PEOPLE, this cake will blow your mind!









Brownie

Adapted from King Arthur Flour Fudge Brownie recipe
2 sticks unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder (I used instant coffee)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
2 cups chocolate chips (I used semi sweet)



Directions

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease 2 round cake pans (or a 9×13 inch pan for a standard batch of brownies).
*Grease the pan AFTER you add a piece of parchment, like the note above says.
In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, or in a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Return the mixture to the heat (or microwave) briefly, just until it’s hot (about 110°F to 120°F), but not bubbling; it’ll become shiny looking as you stir it. Heating this mixture a second time will dissolve more of the sugar, which will yield a shiny top crust on your brownies.
While the sugar heats a second time, crack the 4 eggs into a bowl, and beat them with the cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla till smooth.
Add the hot butter/sugar mixture, stirring until smooth.
Add the flour and chips, again stirring until smooth. Note: If you want the chips to remain intact in the baked brownies, rather than melting in, let the batter cool in the bowl for about 20 minutes before stirring in the chips.
Spoon the batter into the cake pans.
Bake the brownies for about 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it. The brownies should feel set on the edges, and the center should look very moist, but not uncooked. Remove them from the oven and cool COMPLETELY on a rack before frosting or cutting (if your making normal brownies)









Cheesecake

1 1/4 pounds cream cheese (20 oz), room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1/2 cup sour cream


Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese on medium until fluffy, scraping down side of bowl. Gradually add sugar, beating until fluffy. Beat in vanilla extract. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down side of bowl after each addition. Beat in sour cream.
Put a piece of parchment paper on the bottom of a springform pan, spray with non stick spray. Pour half of the filling in each pan Bake for 15 minutes, then turn the oven temp down to 325 and bake for an additional 45 minutes.
Remove pan from oven, let cool 20 minutes. Run a knife around edge of the pans to loosen from the sides; let cool completely. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until ready to use.
***UPDATE***
I’ve received some e-mails that the baking time for the cheesecake layered has resulted in over baked cheesecake. While I haven’t experienced this, try baking your cheesecakes for about 1/2 the time and check and see if they’re done… then continue baking if they need it.


Chocolate Chip Cookie

Used my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe , spread half of the batch in each cake pan and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes, until it’s slightly golden. Not TOO golden or the cookie will be crispy, and you want a soft cookie in the cake.


Chocolate Frosting
Recipe adapted from Sweetapolita


Ingredients

6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled (I let it cool about 1 hour, stirring occasionally)
4 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar (no need to sift)
3 sticks (12 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract


Directions

Place all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse to incorporate. Process until the frosting is smooth.


Marshmallow Filling

Recipe from My S’more Refrigerator Cake
1 jar (7 oz) marshmallow fluff
1 stick butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
To make the butter cream, beat together the marshmallow fluff and butter, on medium speed, until the mixture is smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Reduce the speed to low, add the powdered sugar and vanilla, and beat for another minute. Increase speed to medium and beat for another 3 minutes until it’s light and fluffy.


Assembly

Place one layer of brownie on a cake stand. Frost brownie with with marshmallow frosting. Place a cookie layer on the marshmallow filling. Spread cookie layer with marshmallow frosting.
Remove cheesecake from freezer, unwrap, and remove from metal bottom of the pan from each piece, then peel off parchment paper.
Place cheesecake layer on top of the marshmallow frosting.
Spread a layer of chocolate frosting on cheesecake. Layer graham crackers on the cheesecake. You’ll have to break up the crackers to make them fit. Spread chocolate frosting on grahams, then place the second layer of cheesecake on the chocolate frosting. Spread cheesecake with marshmallow frosting
Then place the remaining cookie on the frosting. Spread the cookie with marshmallow frosting and put the remaining brownie on the marshmallow frosting. Spread the remaining chocolate fudge frosting on top of the cake and on the side.


So it looks like this:








Refrigerate until ready to serve. Remove from the fridge about an hour before serving to help it come to room temperature slightly. Because this cake is SO dense, when it chills, it gets even denser and takes a little muscle to cut.










Yes, I came up with cake all on my own. Of course I found inspiration from other sites (and I credited sites I used recipes from), but in the end, this is MY creation based on my husbands deep love for S’Mores. He loves them, with all his heart! I made another s’more cake, last year for his b-day. Not NEARLY as intense as this one though :)