Embedded here are a bunch of Christmas favourites done by some of the best modern artists I could find1. No Boney M for my family this Christmas2! Let me know if there's anyone I've missed out! And no mum, Celine Dion doesn't count.
As much as I miss the genius of Jim Henson, I realised the other day that I will miss something else just as much as Jim's Muppet characters. I will miss the insane and brilliant pieces of comedy gold he used to create with Frank Oz.
Frank Oz is nowadays probably best known for being the voice of Yoda, but he's also a respected and talented film director. He's still entertaining, long after Jim Henson's death and I hope he continues to do so for a long time to come.
But what the world has lost since Jim's death is not only a talented puppeteer and performer, but some classic comedic pairings of his characters with those of Frank Oz. I cry a little inside when I realise that there will be nothing new created by these two fabulous men working together.
Let me give you some examples. First up the most obvious pair:
This is the only video in this collection that I'll forgive you for not watching in full. It's a scene from my least favourite of the Muppet movies (Muppets take Manhattan1 ) showing the "wedding" between Miss Piggy and Kermit the Frog, probably the most memorable Muppet pairing of all time (even if it's not one of my favourites). Though an unlikely pair, Jim and Frank made the pig's flamboyant declarations of love and the frog's seeming indifference oddly engaging and has created a love affair that is still going strong.
Here's my favourite pancake recipe. It's excellent with some good quality yoghurt and fruit instead of maple syrup.
Recipe: Oat Pancakes
Summary: These pancakes are tasty and healthy
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup milk
1 tbsp sugar
3/4 cup wholemeal self-raising flour
30 grams (1 1/2 tbsp) butter/marg
Pinch of salt
In a medium bowl mix oats, milk, sugar and egg. If you do this a while before the rest of the recipe, the oats get so soft it's like eating air.
In a large bowl pour self raising flour and a pinch of salt.
Pour wet ingredients into flour and mix well.
Heat a small non-stick pan on the lowest heat.
When hot, pour a serving-spoon or two of pancake mixture. Swirl pan to make even round pancakes.
The pancake will cook slowly. When the top starts to bubble, flip the pancake over.
Serve with yoghurt for a healthy alternative to syrup.
It's vitally important that you have patience with pancakes. Don't put the heat up too high! The slower you cook them, the fluffier and lighter they will be.
These pancakes seem like they will be bitty, but have faith - they are as soft and smooth as any other, more so! And they taste divine.
I've worked out the Calorie count for these pancakes. If you use 1/5th the mixture per pancake, you're eating roughly 890kJ or 215Cal. If like me you add 2 tbsp it's only an extra 10Cal per pancake. A 1/4 cup of choc-chips adds an extra 100Cal to each pancake.
I can't think of a way they can possibly top this clip. Brilliantly shot in High Def, beautifully choreographed, and perfectly synchronised. If you liked their treadmill clip (symbolically shattered half way through) you'll love how clever this is. It also knowingly nods to the Internet and Youtube crowd (did I see the mars rover? Something like the water bird that Homer uses to press the "any" key when he works from home? An OK Go concert rendered in Lego?).
What a joyful and exciting clip from a band that knows how to engage their audience. Bravo!