Today, June 29th, is Ray Harryhausen’s birthday!
To celebrate I watched The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms. This is the first movie in which Ray did the animations all by himself. The story was inspired by The Fog Horn, written by his old friend, Ray Bradbury.
The beast is actually a dinosaur called the Rhedosaurus that was frozen in ice for over 100 million years. I thought it was interesting that when the Rhedosaurus ate a policeman, it looked a lot like the T-Rex eating Gennaro in Jurassic Park. Steven Spielberg is a big Harryhausen fan.
My favorite part is the ending. The Rhedosaurus is destroying an amusement park. The hero scientist and a sniper ride to the top of a roller coaster to get a clear shot. I wanted them to miss.
In 1953, it cost $210,000 dollars to make The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, which is a fraction of what a monster movie would cost today.
Here a link to a little documentary about the making of this classic.
Today I made Triple Berry Jam with blueberries, strawberries and raspberries. Delicious!
Homemade jam tastes so much better, and it’s fun to make. To get started, you need a few canning tools and supplies. They’re pretty affordable, and you can use them again and again.
With your canning tools ready, here’s the recipe I modified slightly from Pomona’s Universal Pectin. Check out their website for more great recipes.
Note: To make calcium water, use the packet of calcium powder and directions that come with the pectin.
Fill your Granite Ware pot 3/4 full with water. Set to boil.
Also fill a small pan with water. Set this to boil too.
Thaw frozen berries in microwave on timed defrost.
Mash berries with a potato masher. It’s easier to do this in small batches. Watch out, berry juice can stain pretty good.
Put mashed berries in a pan. Add the lemon juice and calcium water. Cook on medium heat. Stir constantly.
In a small bowl, mix pectin and sugar. When the berries start to boil, add the mix. Turn heat on high and stir for 1 minute. Then reduce heat to low and stir occasionally. Simmer for a few minutes.
By now your small pan of water should be boiling. Slip the jar lids into the boiling water. Reduce heat and simmer about a minute. This will soften the rubber on the lids to create a better seal. Using the magnet from your canning kit, remove and dry the lids.
Set out your jars. Using the funnel from your canning kit, fill each jar to 1/4 inch from top with hot jam.
Screw the jar lids on tight.
Place the jars on the Granite Ware rack, and insert the rack into the pot of boiling water. Make sure the water completely covers the jars. Put the lid on the pot.
Set timer for 10 minutes.
You can use those 10 minutes to clean up. Cleaning as you go makes things easier. Or you can clean up later, which is what I usually do. Today, I played DragonVale and practiced cartwheels in the living room.
Ding! Turn off the heat.
Using the vinyl-coated tongs that came with your canning kit, carefully remove the jars from the pan.
Let the jars cool at room temperature. As the jars cool, the lids will pop down. If you're nearby, you'll actually hear the "pop." That’s how you know they’re ready.
Put the jars in your refrigerator. Let them cool overnight. You’ll have fresh, delicious jam in the morning!
Now just put the jars in your refrigerator. Let them cool overnight. You’ll have fresh, delicious jam in the morning!
Teen fantasy novelist and TEDx speaker. I love nature, books, movies, origami, singing, cooking, knitting, roller coasters, dogs, and a lot of other things.
|Nara Duffie: The Monster Realm