For a brief point in my childhood, this movie was almost taboo in my house. It wasn’t that the movie was Satanic or anything. My mom just didn’t care much for it and told us not to watch it. You know, so we wouldn’t waste our time. However, we took it to mean that the movie was evil and if we watched it, we’d be punished. Stop motion animation was so new to me, I was completely captivated each time I saw a commercial. It didn’t take long for us to ignore my mom and watch the movie. Before “This is Halloween” was even over, I was hooked and we’ve loved the movie ever since. My sister’s room is practically a shrine dedicated to Jack Skellington and there’ve been some years where we’ve watched Nightmare every night from October through December.
Out of all the characters, Sally is actually one of my least favorites. I know she’s just trying to be reasonable, but why does she have to be such a party pooper? She does have some good qualities, though, like how she’s not afraid to slip Deadly Nightshade into Dr. Finkelstein’s food and drink every chance she gets. And keeping a slotted spoon in her sock is absolute genius. I’m not too sure about eating something with ingredients like Worm’s Wort and Frog’s Breath, but I would like to give that soup a try.
Recipe makes about 6 one-cup servings.
1 pound dried split peas
4 tablespoons butter
1 cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped celery
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or parsley
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon lemon juice
8 cups chicken broth
1 cup half-and-half (optional)
Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 2 minutes. Add celery and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until onions and celery are soft. Add garlic and cook for 20 seconds. Pour in chicken broth. Add peas, salt, pepper, thyme or parsley, bay leaf, and lemon juice. Cover and cook for 1 hour or until peas are tender, stirring occasionally
Remove bay leaf. Puree the soup in a blender or with an immersion blender. If the soup is too thick, add some water. If you want a creamier soup, stir in half-and-half. Adjust the seasoning, if needed. Serve and enjoy.
Variations: You can soak split peas for 8 hours or overnight and they’ll cook a bit quicker (about 40 minutes). You can also use 5 cups of fresh or frozen peas. You’ll only need to cook these for about 10 minutes before pureeing.
I don’t know how popular this soup would be in Halloween Town, but the ghosts and witches here like it. It’s good, and green, and won’t knock you out and give you a heck of a headache. I can understand how The Nightmare Before Christmas has become the phenomenon it is. Just like mashing Halloween and Christmas, it’s magical, spooky, and a little weird. That’s why it’s always near the top of our “must watch” list for the holidays.
Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!