Friday, December 23, 2011

castles in the sky

Hi friends! I hope you all have a very merry Christmas this weekend, and are continuing to have a happy Hanukkah. I always think it's great when these two holidays fall around the same time, not only because it makes both of them feel more festive, but I also just love having an excuse to add latkes to the standard Christmas dinner fare. In addition to potato latkes, I have a great, if somewhat unconventional ricotta cheese latke recipe as well, both of which are as delicious for breakfast as they are for dinner.

Like many Jewish families, mine always spent Christmas day at the movies. Since I now spend it with my husband's family, however, for whom Christmas is a very big deal, this year, you're more likely to find me making latkes on Christmas than in the theater. But I will tell you that I do intend to spend Monday at the movies, and at IFC in particular. For those of you who live in the NYC area and are looking for some great films to watch - on Christmas day or otherwise - I would highly recommend checking out the schedule for the Castles in the Sky: Miyazaki, Takahata, & the Masters of Studio Ghibli, a comprehensive retrospective of films from Japan’s famed Studio Ghibli animation house, playing now through January 12.

Most people are familiar with at least a few of Studio Ghibli's offerings, Howl's Moving Castle, Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away being some of the most popular, but there are other, earlier films that are just as wonderful, and which are rarely seen outside of Japan. Personally, I'm especially excited to see My Neighbor Totoro - undoubtedly one of the most fun and magical children's films ever made - in the theater, but Kiki's Delivery Service, Nausicca and Whisper of the Heart are all also favorites that I wouldn't mind watching again, particularly on the big screen.

Regardless of how you spend your holidays, I hope that they're both wonderful and festive, filled with good food, family and friends!

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