A Holiday Post and a Thank You

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First of all, thank you for all the kind words about my sister. I’m grateful for every kindness at a time like this.

Second, I plan to cook up a little treat for my family so we can have a little something while we open gifts on Christmas morning. Since my original copy of the recipe is not holding up all that well, I thought I’d post a(n altered) version of it here both for posterity and to share with all of you.

The original recipe called it an “Apple and Spice Dessert” but it’s really more of an apple cobbler with an especially tasty batter. Here it is:

Christmas Apple Cobbler

    • 1 1/2 lbs apples, peeled, cored and sliced
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • zest of one lemon
    • juice of one lemon
    • 1 1/4 cups AP flour
    • 1 tsp ginger powder
    • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
    • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
    • 1/2 cup butter
    • 1/3 cup sugar
    • 1 egg
    • 1/2 cup molasses
    • 1/2 tsp baking soda
    • 1/2 cup boiling water
    • Whipped cream for serving.

Preheat oven to 350F. Butter a 9×9 baking pan. (8×8 should work, too, but check that cooking time)

Mix the apple, cinnamon and lemon zest and juice, then spread it in the pan

Sift the next five ingredients into a medium-sized bowl

In a larger bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg and molasses. Beat until smooth

Dissolve the baking soda in the boiling water. Alternately add flour and hot water to the butter mixture, beating each to incorporate. Then pour resulting batter over the apples and bake for about 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool somewhat.

Cut into squares and serve topped with whipped cream.

The original recipe had less apple, more sugar, less lemon, and less spice. It also called for margarine instead of butter, which no. Adjust it however you see fit. This is a big favorite around here, especially with my wife. I hope you give it a try and enjoy it yourselves.

Third and last, every year I post a link to my favorite version of A Christmas Carol, which is the 1971 animated version directed by the brilliant Richard Williams. The animation is amazing, dark, and genuinely scary. This version really earns its ending, scaring the shit out of Scrooge and little-kid me, turning him to good and me into a weird obsessive who searches out this show every year.

The good news is that you can watch a legit copy of it through the service Hoopla, which I can access through my public library. If you can’t do that for whatever reason, it’s still available on YouTube.

Either way, it’s the best and scariest Marley ever. Check it out.

Whatever you celebrate, I hope this holiday season has been gentle with you and that things get better in the new year.

Quarantine Post 11: Noisy Dance Music and Altered Nature Sounds

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For today’s upbeat tune, I give you this:

There’s an odd story behind this video, according to my son. The song is from 1978. The video is much more recent, and was created for a completely different song. This YouTuber stripped out the original son, put in this goofy old disco tune, and got way more views than the original.

Silly and fun. I approve.

Next:

This is a simple idea that is satisfying beyond the all expectation: A microphone in a tuba, pointed at a little waterfall, at dusk

Quarantine Post 10: Fun Tunes and Beautiful Pictures

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This video hit YouTube last October, but it looks like it was designed for self-quarantine. It’s:

a group of friends
having fun
in the beautiful outdoors
with drinks
recipe included

Plus, the song is upbeat and a lot of fun. Perfect for today.

As for today’s pleasant distraction, if you’re a photographer (or you just like looking at pretty pictures) check out this list of Flickr Groups. Personally, I like Less is More and Catchy Colors, but the Portraits group is nice, too.

Quarantine Post 9: Tiny Desks and Rural Idylls

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Have some laid back tunes inspired by Thai Funk. I’m not sure about the guitarist’s wig, but the tunes are great.

If you’re looking for a soothing Youtube channel to watch, I recommend 李子柒 Liziqi. I have no idea how that’s supposed to be pronounced (or what the Asian writing means), but I’ve been calling it “Liz Icky” for about a year. It’s got natural beauty, cooking, hand-crafts, family, cute animals, the whole deal. Staged as hell, with impressive production design, but I appreciate what they’re going for.

Here’s the first episode the wife and I saw so many months ago.

Quarantine Post 7: So Many Cirques

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Again, no music video this time, because I’m posting Cirque du Soleil, and those guys are pretty much all music video.

First, from April 3:

Second, from April 10, which is today:

I’m scheduling this post to go online ten minutes after the second video goes live. Here’s hoping that works.

Is Cirque du Soleil planning to release a new video every week? If so, they’ll be making this series of Quarantine Posts super easy for me.