January 28 is National Blueberry Pancake Day.
In this clip from the 1969 short film Winter of the Witch, Hermione Gingold plays a witch who serves up enchanted blueberry pancakes that not only make people happy, they make them hallucinate bright colors and music. Well, it was 1969.
Clip from Winter of the Witch (1969)
If you’re my age, you might remember seeing this delightful film in elementary school, shown with a reel-to-reel projector while the teacher rested her head on her desk and took a nap.
Watch the whole thing on YouTube! It’s totally worth the 22-and-a-half minutes. Here’s the basic plot: When young Nicky and his mother move into an old house, they are at first dismayed to discover a witch living there. “As if we didn’t have enough problems already,” sighs Nicky’s mother. Confined to the attic, the witch begins to brood over the sorry state of the world. She decides to make blueberry pancakes as “the final solution to the unhappiness problem.” Before you know it, Nicky’s mother has opened a pancake parlor serving the magic blueberry pancakes and spreading happiness to all.
It reminds me of an old Mary Tyler Moore movie from the same era, What’s So Bad About Feeling Good?, in which a toucan spreads a virus that makes everyone feel good.