Ya Know…

As I sit here covered in bruises from hockey, body slathered in Tiger Balm for my achy muscles I can’t help but wonder…this exercise stuff is good for you? I know “they” say it is and I do it 6 times a week but oye I don’t think my butt should be this sore. :) And just when you start to get less sore, you up your weight on everything and the evil cycle starts all over again.
Speaking of evil and exercise, there is my gym. When I lived in my apartment, we lived down the street from an athletic club. It was pretty pricey but it offered many a service and had a nice variety of classes. The people at the front desk greeted you in a genuine way. They happily gave you your towels and asked if there was anything else. Everyone covered themselves up(no bare midriffs and what not) and no one could talk on their cell phones. They also had a good variety of people who worked out there, from the senior citizens I used to take water walking with(when I was injured) to super buff to just your average Joe…all of whom were there to work out, not hook up with people.
But when we moved north I had to say goodbye to that place and find new place to sweat at. Where we live now has limited resources and so I could not be picky about my gym. My gym is not a chain and for all practical purposes it should be called the Barbie and Ken gym. Because really, that is who works out there. Perfect plastic people who are the type who wear make up and a barely there tops and bottoms. I have one girl that I swear she is doing a stripper routine before she gets ready to hop on the treadmill. Oh sure, I know she is “stretching” but I have never seen anyone feel themselves up while stretching. This of course causes every male member of the gym to stop and stare. I get all the men to stop and stare too…along with the women. You see, there are about 5 women over the size 4 at the gym, I being one of them. They have no problem letting you know either. It’s no wonder larger people don’t want to work out.
The first day I started at that gym a woman on the treadmill stared at me and finally said, “good for you for finally deciding to get a grasp on your health.” The woman, approximately the size of my leg had no idea how badly she was about to be bitched out. I said, “excuse me?” She seemed a little shocked that I would be annoyed…after all she was just supporting the fat girl, right? “It’s just good to see that you’re finally taking care of yourself.” I stared at her and asked, “when was the last time you did a calculus problem?” She seemed beyond confused. “I ask this because it has been proven that if you do a calculus problem a day it helps to ward off Alzheimer disease. I do one everyday. And so, though you may have a better body than mine it really wont help you when you are sitting around at age 60 and you don’t remember who your kids are…but hey, you’ll look good.” This was said at a loud tone. She got off the treadmill and left.
Then there are the actual employees who don’t even bother to look up from whatever they are reading or talking on their cell phone when you check in. I could give my card to whomever and they could care less. The juice bar lady is by far my least favorite. One day I wanted to know what was in the pineapple smoothie(as I am allergic to some fruits). “A lot of calories” was all she told me. Another woman working with her at least was shocked that the girl said that and quickly listed the ingredients for me.
Despite all the love I get from this gym, I still go. And why? Food. Food. Food.
Food, like this luscious butterscotch pudding that I am quite sure was far more calories than that pineapple smoothie.
I have said it before and I will say it again: Life is too short to think that a sugar-free, fat-free chocolate pudding cup is dessert. This butterscotch pudding, you know the one with actual butter and Scotch(and a little Grand Marnier :) ) is worth every minute I spend on the elliptical trainer. It’s worth the evil grin my trainer gets when he knows he is going to hurt me(but in a loving way). It’s worth the feeling like my lungs are going to explode when I am trying to chase the puck down the ice faster than the guy on the opposing team.
So I will go to my gym and ignore the lovely comments that are sometimes said to me. Because yes, I have far more padding, but at least I am not a bitch because all I get to come home to is 6 almonds and vegetable broth soup…mmmm. :P

Butterscotch Pudding

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup whipping cream
1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups whole milk

4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, room temperature
1 TBSP Scotch
1 TBSP Grand Marnier
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Stir 3/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat to high and boil without stirring until syrup turns deep amber color, occasionally brushing down sides of pan with wet pastry brush and swirling pan. Remove from heat. Add cream (mixture will bubble vigorously). Stir until smooth. Set caramel sauce aside.
Mix brown sugar, cornstarch, and salt in heavy medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in milk. Stir over medium-low heat until mixture thickens and boils, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in caramel sauce.

Whisk egg yolks in large bowl to blend. Gradually whisk 1 cup warm caramel mixture into yolks. Gradually whisk yolk mixture back into caramel mixture in saucepan. Bring to simmer over medium heat. Gradually whisk in butter, Scotch, Grand Marnier, and vanilla.

Divide pudding among 8 parfait glasses. Chill until cold, at least 6 hours and up to 1 day.

Souce: Bon Appetit Magazine, Decemeber 2002

P.S. Don’t forget to enter to win the Northwest Noshings Drawing.


  1. Vallarta Tiffany says:

    LOVE this post girl! :) One of my girlfriends who reads your blog too just sent me an email asking if I read it yet… VT

  2. Love the story peabody! And its true, the only reason I run is so I can eat! And you know anyone under a size 4 is missing out on the good stuff!

  3. For bumps and bruises, try extract of Arnica Latifolia.
    Gel or pure, it will help break up dead blood under your skin. (Topical application only, please). I have taken it as a tea, but can’t endorse it as well as the topical application.
    YMMV, no endorsement.

    Best of health,


  4. Three cheers for Peabody! Hurray for doing calculus! (I couldn’t do it well when I took it in college and I’m sure I couldn’t at all now) and just what is it that makes some people think they should open their mouths to comment? Hurray for your response! Hurray for butterscotch! ;-)

  5. Ooooh that looks SO yummy!! I have to keep my exercise up to eat my desserts, but it’s so worth it, and actually if you find the right exercise then it doesn’t feel like a chore. I am really into cardio dance and it’s FUN and lets me chow on cupcakes. Bonus!!

  6. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, sometimes I just want to jump into the photos you post. That pudding looks lucious!
    And I pay a fortune to go to the gym I do because there are very few of “those size 4″ women (or men)…just lots of normal folks working out.

  7. Lady, you and I are similarly NOT size 0-4 :) I like my friends to be sturdy enough that they don’t get swept away in the wind anyhow! ;) My preference for working out is to have fun while doing it… so hiking, biking, skiing, volleyball(ing), trail running. But there are times when I have to work out indoors (um, most of winter) in order to maintain my fitness for those more “fun” activities so I don’t go killing myself – ha ha ha. I wish I could make you my workout buddy, then we could bully all of the beautiful and vain people because their lives are so empty and void of happiness ;) Seriously though, that gym sounds like a downer, sweetie. Those aren’t your types of peeps. xxoo

  8. That is just so not going to be any good for me. But do I care? Er, no. Pass it this way, please.

  9. Never forget that dessert is a food group too. I exercise at home so I don’t have to put up with the gym scene.

  10. A. That pudding looks amazing.
    B. Your blog makes me question veganism every day because of food like that pudding.
    C. Dammmn that was a good answer to the stick on the treadmill. Keep up the wit–she deserved it!

  11. okay, I seriously didn’t know that there were real life size four people. I thought that all the hollywood stars just had half of their bodies airbrushed out of everything. And anyone who goes thru that kind of crap 6 days a week deserves a bakers dozen of these gorgeous butterscotch puddings. (don’t tell anyone, but sometimes I go to my gym just to sauna, shower and use all their luxury products, and I only feel slightly guilty that I haven’t actually done any excercise)

  12. whoa… this looks amazing! you gotta learn to love the gym a little bit if you’re gonna eat a few of these! great blog, btw… first timer.

  13. and here i’ve been trying to psych myself up all day to get back into the gym after a far-too-long hiatus. fortunately, my gym is a pretty laid back place with more than 10% normal-looking people.

    i can never find a butterscotch pudding recipe that i enjoy and care prepare properly. one more for the list!

  14. Yup – I’m with you. The real reason I exercise is so that I can indulge in delicious food. The thought of an ooey gooey delight like your pudding makes a workout more bearable. I’ll try and visualise your gorgeous photo when I’m on my spin bike tonight!

  15. You are too funny. For me, getting slammed around the ice isn’t my idea of fun, but I’m delighted it works for you. I agree with you on eating butterscotch pudding and then living with the sparse meal at home. Dessert rules!

    Natalie @ Gluten a Go Go

  16. I’m surprised that woman is still living…
    Honestly, what’s wrong with people?

  17. Nothing soothes an achy body like butterscotch poodin’

    Wow- your former gym sounds awesome! Unfortunantly I have to stick to working out at home or jogging around green lake. All gyms around here are total meat markets that have me shuddering at the thought of them.

  18. This is quite possibly the best post I HAVE EVER READ!!!

    You go, Peabody!!!

    Woot, woot, woot!!!

  19. Your former gym sounds really awesome and your current gym sounds horrible! Good for you for being able to put up with it (though people shouldn’t be acting like that in the first place to be put up with). I can’t believe what that woman said to you.

  20. Really, the people at your current gym suck! I’m sorry you don’t have a better one that you can go to. I can’t believe they would talk to a customer like that. What rotten attitudes.

    I too go to a chain gym, and although some people do look like barbie and ken (I’ve totally seen the stripper stretching routine, as well as the male equivalent ), there is a nice mix of people of all ages, ethnicities and weights, as well as fitness levels (weight does not automatically correspond to a fitness level, you can be skinny and totally out of shape).

    As far as making desserts with “real” ingredients, I admit that I am guilty of cutting butter and sugar from things, but I try not to compromise taste when I do so, and many times recipes are too sweet for me anyways. Then of course if something is really good and really rich, well, I eat a bit of it and give the rest away at work. And at the end of the day, if I eat half of it myself, I follow your trick and head to the gym. But I will say that one of those lemon yogurts, the kind with all the sugar in them, make a delicious dessert when partially frozen in the freezer. They dont taste “fake” and are spectacular served in a ramekin with some berries and a dusting of powdered sugar.

    Oh, and good for you for taking on those peoples’ rotten attitudes, if I went somewhere and they talked to me like that I would probably never go back.

  21. Oh, and the part about the calculus problem? Pure genius! (I wish I was good enough at math to do that…).


  1. […] The images are always a treat, and the recipes are droolworthy, as Valli would say. Check out the butterscotch pudding…but be warned…you are going to want some after that and Jello will not cut […]

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