We are on the final stretch of the packing in that we are moving in with my mum and step-dad this weekend. I have had no news as yet on a tenant but at least I can get the carpets cleaned and have the place all ready to go as of next week. One thing that packing does, certainly when you are lightening the load like I am, is it makes you go down memory lane a million times. I managed to sell most of my DVDs and I realised that I had a fairly substantial collection. I also realised that I had a genuine love for 80’s dance movies. So it was funny when the kids had a dance off recently and they invited me to compete that I seriously sat at my desk imagining myself as Ariel from Footloose, Alex from Flash Dance or Baby from Dirty Dancing.
What was it about those woman? I truly, truly wanted to be them. I wanted their outfits, I wanted their bodies, I wanted their attitude and most of all I wanted their small breasts. Only a woman who has small breasts can get away with little single tops like Baby wore when she was practicing her lifts in the water with Johnny or a shoe string strappy god awful 80’s prom number like Ariel wore at the barn dance or that bib number that Alex wore when she slipped off her tuxedo jacket in the fancy restaurant.
Having watched all of the three movies recently I actually sat there and died a few thousand deaths as I cringed through much of it. Not Dirty Dancing though – Dirty Dancing seems to have aged better than the other two – though when Baby first saw Johnny through the windows of the restaurant and he swiped the serviettes on the table and said to the waiter who turns out to be a real waste of everybody’s space, “You just put your pickle on everybody’s plate, college boy, and leave the hard stuff to me,” I did cringe a little bit then. What was it about those movies that were so bloody popular and that so many girls wanted to be those women?
In hindsight the girls were quite out there – I mean Ariel, even though she was the preacher’s daughter, was not exactly the preacher’s daughter in the way she really put herself out there. She was only meant to be in high school and she acted like she was in her thirties and had been around the block many times via a very large roundabout. Alex was only meant to be 18 and I know she was a tough little engineer who loved her steel toed boots and overalls, but she was also an exotic dancer at night, could do amazing things with some lobster and her tongue and could quite casually strip off her underwear whilst chatting at the end of a first date. Even Baby, who was the most naïve of the three of them because she wanted to join the peace corps still snuck into Johnny’s Bungalow, got all sexy, rubbed her hand over his tight butt and said in a husky voice, “Dance with my Johnny” before getting her kit off and getting horizontal for the evening. I mean, where the hell did the innocent 16-year-old go to? One moment, she is goofy and carrying watermelons, the next moment she is seducing a leather jacket wearing entertainer by rubbing her hand over his rear.
Despite the flaws in the movies and despite the multiple cringes watching them 30 years on there is something that still appeals to me about them. These girls weren’t perfect but they were tough and somehow, if you could forget that they all seemed to be sexually rampant, they made you believe that anything was possible. Especially if you had black legwarmers, a cool black leotard and some of those awesome flesh coloured tights. Who can ever forget little exotic dancing steel pipe wielding Alex winning over the snobby, nose blowing people from the Conservatory of Dance? I would have killed for that outfit.
No matter how corny, I think dance movies are always about dreams coming true. The girls are usually gorgeous (if a little bit rough around the edges) with small breasts and they come out on top at the end, always overcoming some obstacles and usually proving that they are up for it, which if you have passed the age of consent is absolutely fine by me.
I think they are pretty good ways of teaching us that “Nobody puts Baby in the corner” whilst wearing a lovely little frock that flips up so beautifully when you twirl and shows off your perfect undies (not a 4-year-old pair of Bonds undies with built in air-conditioning). It’s the movies – everything is perfect in the movies, even the imperfect bits.
Archie and Rissie reneged on their offer for me to be a competitor and made me a judge instead which put a cruel finish to my daydreaming. I think they did the math and realised that the dance competition was really going to suck when all three of us were competing against each other. Pity really as I would have given them a serious run for my money in my black leotard and leg warmers.
I made this soup this week. So easy, so yummy. It also importantly got Archie and Rissie’s seal of approval. They even requested it two nights in a row. I tend to make a double batch and have some portions frozen. Use a good quality vegetable stock powder or stock and season well and you don’t need to add anything else.
Pumpkin, Sweet Potato & Potato Soup
1 whole butternut pumpkin – peeled, seeds removed and diced
1 large Sweet Potato – peeled and diced
2 large Potato – peeled and diced
3 large white onions – peeled and roughly chopped
Vegetable stock powder
Head the onion in some water in a saucepan and generously sprinkle some vegetable stock in with it. Heat until onion becomes translucent. Add vegetables, cover with water and add more stock powder. If you would prefer to use vegetable stock use that instead of the water and stock powder.
Bring to the boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Let cool a little and either blitz with a handheld blender until smooth or put in batches in a kitchen whizz.
Serve as is.
(Archie and Rissie approved – also great to freeze in batches for easy lunch or dinner)