Two questions that have been swirling in my brain for the last few days: 1) Why was Gene Kelly in the movie version of Xanadu?; and, more importantly, 2) Why did I spend valuable time watching it last weekend?
The answer to 2 is easy but I don’t know about 1. I don’t recall hearing about any addictions, bankruptcies or other tawdry scandals involving Gene Kelly that would explain his participation. You know the story, he lost his house to that little gambling issue and now has to scramble to pay Tiny and the gang before they break his feet. I guess it will remain a mystery.
The answer to 2 is nostalgia plain and simple. And it sucked over an hour of my life last weekend (thank god for the DVR or it would have been even longer). I can’t even tell you how bad this movie is and that is saying a lot. I have a high tolerance for musicals and deep affection for Olivia Newton-John. I saw Grease four times at the theater and wrote my first love letter to John Travolta (which I addressed simply to “John Travolta” and popped in the mailbox). Olivia Newton-John was my first concert at age 11 and, if you think it didn’t involve a headband and leg warmers on my part, you would be wrong. Have I mentioned how thankful I am that my embarrassing years pre-date camera phones and the digital world in general? Let me just sum up the movie by saying that there are a lot of goofy special effects, ONJ gets lots of costume changes and Gene Kelly rollerskates. Any more detail would cause me to spork my eye out.
BUT I saw this at the theater and worshipped the soundtrack. One of the songs is even on my Ipod. I memorized all of the lyrics with my childhood best friend Wendy. She lived next door. Neither of our mothers was particularly known for her cooking but, on special occasions, Wendy’s mom would whip out a Sara Lee coffee cake. And we LOVED it. We knew we were special. I had no idea for years that people could or would make homemade coffee cake.
Years later, as a full fledged adult, I bought one and baked it. And it wasn’t the same. Funny how that works. The cake we made this week reminded me of those “special” coffee cake days only this one kicks it’s a**.
I decided to go for the muffins. I made half blueberry/lemon and half cranberry/lime. Spouse and I both slightly preferred the cranberry while Will opted for the blueberry. I think my frozen blueberries were too bland. I tried to cram as much batter into my twelve muffin tin so I didn’t have nearly enough surface to hold all of the crumb topping. I used maybe half and we still liked it. I wasn’t successful in getting all of the batter in so I ended up throwing the rest into a small springform.
Thanks to Sihan of Befuddlement for choosing this one. I thought it was a great coffee cake alternative. And, for the record, it easily could have been breakfast.
Next week: coconut and macadamia nuts. I am still working on this one…