Friday, October 10, 2014

The Saga of Evelyn and Arnie

Evelyn had the body of a cheerleader when she got married. Everything about her was perky including her perfectly formed cupcake breasts. 

Arnie had tight abs, bodybuilder pecs and big biceps when he got married. He loved wearing a speedo and he wore it well. 

Together Evelyn and Arnie had beautiful nights together. They oohed and aahed in unison until the first signs of dawn. 

Neighbors listened through the walls and were jealous they never oohed and aahed as well as Evelyn and Arnie.  

In the morning Evelyn and Arnie went to work tired. 

As the years wore on Evelyn developed flabby thighs. Her belly was no longer cheerleader tight.  It had a donut appeal. Her perky cupcake breasts sagged and bounced aimlessly if she didn’t wear a bra. 

Arnie fared no better.  His tight abs gave way to a sagging sugar beer belly. A 32 inch waist was long gone. Elastic waist pants replaced the speedo. He needed a man-bra.

At night they slept soundly.

Then one day Evelyn received a gift certificate for being Employee of the Month. When she went to the store to redeem it she couldn’t find anything she wanted. 

As she was leaving the store she noticed a display for the Fitbit, the activity tracker that measures steps taken.  On an unexplained whim she bought two.  

For weeks the Fitbits stayed on the counter between take-out containers of eggplant parmesan and orange bacon chicken. 

One bright sunny Saturday they decided to open the Fitbits.  They gasped at the suggestion of 10,000 steps per day. But since they had them they decided to give them a one week trial. 

One week became two… then three… then four… 

They walked together. They walked alone. In rain. In snow. They walked.  
They walked to the farmers market and bought organic food.  

Evelyn’s thighs got thinner. Her belly less doughy. Her breasts stopped wandering aimlessly without a bra. 

Arnie’s sugar beer belly got less jiggy.  He stopped sporting elastic waist pants.  His man boobs got more manly. He secretly bought a speedo.  

The other night while watching “Modern Family” Arnie looked at Evelyn and she looked at him.  There was a spark, a familiar spark reminiscent of how they used to look at each other.  

Before “Modern Family” was over Arnie turned off the TV and took Evelyn’s hand. He led her upstairs. 

The next morning they went to work tired.

They now easily surpass 10,000 steps each per day, and on the weekends between many oohs and aahs they hit 16,000 steps each. 

For Evelyn and Arnie the Fitbit revitalized their marriage. 

Ooh.  Aah. 

Saturday, October 04, 2014

The Perfect Party Pistachio Cake

I love cake. 

I love ice cream.

I love a scoop of ice cream resting comfortably on a slice of cake as my utensil-of-choice gently slices through for a perfect ratio of cake to ice cream. I slowly bring it to the tip of my lips. I part my lips and savor the glory that is ice cream and cake. It’s a party in the mouth.

Mmm, mmm good…

Way back in the 70s my mother made a Pistachio Cake that was totally delicious.  It was a simple cake, and the recipe came from one of the popular women's magazines of the day.  I assume it was the 70s but it could easily have been from the late 60s.  Through the years whenever she made it I would, as a husky boy with a huskier appetite, devour piece after piece with the appropriate amount of vanilla ice cream. 

When I moved to California the Pistachio Cake became a fond memory, and truth be told, I never thought about making it myself.  I don’t know why. It just happened. 

After my mother died I was going through her recipes, all neatly typed on 3x5 index cards, and came across the Pistachio Cake recipe.  My fingers trembled at the thought of making it. In my hand was the secret recipe. I could feel the happy memories engulfing me. I even had a tear release itself from my eye. A tear of pistachio joy. 

In my snotty way I have considered myself a real good cook, a real good baker who only uses fresh ingredients and makes everything from scratch. In my kitchen the rule is no “package” ingredients whatsoever,  It would be like Picasso using a paint-by-numbers kit. 

Now I make one tiny exception:  The Pistachio Cake 

I’ve made it for friends and they all love it and they’ve asked for the recipe. So without any further explanation I have decided to share it with all of you: 

1 pkg. white cake mix
1 pkg. Royal Instant Pistachio pudding
4 eggs
3/4 cup Crisco Oil
3/4 cup water
4 tsp. almond extract

Combine all in bowl. Beat for 3 minutes.

Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes. 

When cooled cover with powdered sugar. 

If you really want to give it an even more 60s/70s throwback feel instead of vanilla ice cream use a big scope of Cool Whip.  

The Pistachio Cake is a perfect way for me to remember my Mom… maybe your Mom too.