This Sunday, I hosted the Patrick Swayze Memorial Brunch. It was fun. A lot of fun. But it was also more than fun. It was strangely, unexpectedly moving.
The Arugula Files commented this weekend that Dirty Dancing is an “absurd” movie. And it is. I can’t think of a better word to describe the movie. So many things about it don’t make any sense. In the real world, would a 35 year old dance instructor ever find love with an 18 year old resort guest? Would the dance instructor ever care about dancing “the last dance of the season” at a resort that just fired him? Would he care if he did a half-ass job dancing at a neighboring resort?
No, no, and no. And yet, in the world of Dirty Dancing, all these illogical plot devices make sense. You accept them and allow yourself to be caught up in the schmaltz, the drama, and the poetic movement of Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey on the dance floor.
In honor of Patrick Swayze’s death, I decided to go as girly as possible with the brunch. I made watermelon mimosas, as a tribute to that famous scene, and which were lovely and refreshing.
I knew I wanted to make cupcakes (how could I not?), but I had a difficult time choosing a recipe. After all, how does one convey the spirit of Dirty Dancing in cake and frosting? In the end, I decided to do something girly, very girly, as this is the movie that captured the hearts of little girls across the country.
Chocolate and strawberry seemed like especially girly flavorings, so I made up a batch of devil’s food cupcakes with strawberry buttercream frosting. I liked the symbolism of the “devils” food (sounds, a little “dirty,” doesn’t it?) and the buttercream was an appropriate, feminine pink.
So there it is. A memorial celebration fit for Johnny Castle.
Recipe: Watermelon Mimosas
1/2 seedless watermelon (approximately 3 lbs of watermelon)
1 bottle sparkling white wine
Remove watermelon from rind; cut into 1 inch chunks. Puree in a blender or food processor – or, if you lack either of those appliances, place chunks in a large bowl and mash into a pulp using a potato masher. Strain through a fine mesh strainer, and pour into a measuring cup (for easy pouring. This made approximately 2 and 1/4 cups of juice).
Pour however much champagne you want into a wine glass or champagne flute. Top with watermelon juice, to taste.
For me, this made around six mimosas. But I like them . . . um, generously proportioned.