Recipes Inspired by Musicals: Grease

Sunday, October 6, 2013




When I was growing up, seeing a movie on opening weekend wasn’t as big a deal as it is today.  And living on a farm meant we drove to the city only when we could combine seeing a movie with other errands.  So by the time I saw a movie, it had usually been playing a while.

One exception was when Grease opened in June, 1978.  Everyone knew it was going to be the movie of the year.  “You’re the One That I Want” had already been released, and was a hit. John Travolta was starring in it! 

So how did I get there on opening weekend?  I was a member of the high school French club, and with our teacher, Mr. Karn, we were planning a year-end activity.  He encouraged us to have a French-themed dinner at the school.  But the girls in the French club – there were only girls in the French club – begged him to take us to Grease.  He good-naturedly agreed, thereby making the formerly impossible happen – making the kids in the French club cool.


But that isn’t the end of my associations with Grease.  After high school, I went on an exchange trip to France, staying with a family about an hour outside of Paris.  At the end of the month, the North American students put on a show to thank our French host families.  The highlight of that show was a reenactment of “Summer Nights”.  (I was one of the Pink Ladies.)  Our French families cheered us, clapped their hands, and sang all the English words along with us.  Great music truly is universal.

We all have a movie that defined our teenage years, and Grease was that movie for me.  And “Summer Nights” was my favourite song.  In it, we hear about Danny and Sandy’s romance from both of their points of view:

“Summer lovin’ had me a blast
Summer lovin’ happened so fast
I met a girl crazy for me
Met a boy cute as can be

“Summer days driftin’ away
To, oh, oh those summer nights
Well-a, well-a, well-a huh.”

And what did they do on those summer nights?

“Took her bowling in the Arcade
We went strolling, drank lemonade…”

These pink lemonade bars are dedicated to happy teenage memories. What movie do you remember best from your adolescence?


For a full list of previous recipes inspired by musicals, check out my recipe index!

Pink Lemonade Bars
(adapted from The Spiffy Cookie)

For the base:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
zest from one lemon
pinch of salt
1 cup flour

For the filling:

2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (1 – 2 lemons)
3 Tbsp seedless raspberry jam (if the jam is too thick, heat it gently over low heat until it loosens)
1/3 cup flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line an 8 x 8” baking pan with parchment paper.

For the base, beat the butter in a stand mixer.  Add sugar, lemon zest and salt, and beat until combined and fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes.  Add the flour, and stir until mixture is just combined.  Press in the prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes.  Let cool while you make the filling.

For the filling, whisk together the eggs, sugar and lemon juice.  Add jam and mix well.  Stir in the flour until just combined.  Pour the filling over the base and bake until just set, about 25 minutes.  Let cool completely before cutting and serving.


23 comments:

Valerie said...

A Pink Lady!, Beth, you rebel, you. :D Grease is a timeless movie - I think it's wonderful that just about every age group knows every single song by heart.
My favourite high school/adolescent movie was Kenneth Branagh's Much Ado About Nothing. It truly ignited my love of Shakespeare. (The soundtrack is still one of my all time favs!)

vanillasugarblog said...

I cannot let go of summer.
I sit here typing this as the heater is on.
LOL
I never got to make lemonade bars this summer :-(

Gloria Baker said...

Love these bars! !

Natalie Aguirre said...

Interesting what we take for granted, like going to the movies. And my husband will love these bars. Will try to make them soon.

Kitchen Riffs said...

I haven't thought of Grease in years! Great choice for your musical-themed recipes. These pink lemonade bars are inspired - really good stuff. Thanks so much.

Belinda said...

Who can ever forget Grease? Great inspiration!

Julie said...

I love Grease! One of those movies, I can watch over and over. Delicious bars! Have a great week!!!

Andrea_TheKitchenLioness said...

Beth, I have never seen pink lemonade bars and these look just wonderful - what a fun post that combines wonderful memories with these fun looking bar cookies!

Joanne said...

I LOVE Grease! I saw it on Broadway years ago. Such a classic. Love that you made these bars in memory of them!

Barbara said...

One of our zumba teachers played a song from Grease yesterday. Everyone in there knew the lyrics.
It was a a hit long after my time, but I still enjoyed the movie. Nice recipe to pair with it, Beth.

Kathy said...

Loved Grease! The music was so uplifting…my favorite character in the movie was one of the Pink Ladies(Stockard Channing), such a good actress. The movie that defined my HS years (now I’m going to date myself) was West Side Story! I was just entering my Freshman year. Just loved that movie…saw it three times the week it came out!
Your pink lemonade bars look wonderful!

grace said...

i liked grease (though not as much as dirty dancing or footloose) and i'm pretty jealous of you! sweet pink lemonade bars (literally!). :)

Denise Browning said...

What a great idea, Beth! These bars look quite moist and delicious.

Pamela @ Brooklyn Farm Girl said...

I love Grease, was obsessed with the soundtrack for many years as a kid, so I'm loving this recipe! Thanks for the smiles! :)

CQUEK said...

I really want some! Oh yes I like John.

Katerina said...

I love Grease and they all look so young back then, but they were young! The Blue Lagoon was a movie I remember very well from my teenage years. So romantic. I love your lemon bars Beth! They must be very refreshing!

Claire Davis said...

This is a fun post! Love hearing your memories of Grease. The bars look so delicious. The movies I remember most from my childhood would have to be Moon Spinners and Summer Magic. Oldies but my sisters and I were obsessed with Haley Mills! Reminds me of lazy Sunday afternoons after church. I must have watched them all a thousand times :)

Stephen Tremp said...

Pink lemonade bars sounds like an awesome treat! I know my kids would love them. And good think I like that song as its now stuck in my head.

Jemi Fraser said...

I remember seeing Grease in the theaters too - they were jam packed for days! Great show and great memories :)

Angie Schneider said...

Love the movie too! Those pink lemonade bars look really nice.

I Wilkerson said...

This is such a fun series! My daughter did Grease in the HS musical two years ago and I probably went five times!

Paula Montenegro said...

To this day that movie makes me happy, and the music! It was played in school musicals for decades, and still is probably. Lovely bars Beth! At first I thought the topping was quince jam.

Sue said...

Pink lemonade bars sound so yummy!

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