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. I think I’m allergic to gyms! Seriously, I always sign up, then I never go, then I feel really guilty… and I now I read your post and I start hyperventilating! Barbie and Ken make me uncomfortable! But this butterscotch pudding.. awwww… this is good!

  2. I’d happily do a twenty minute stint on the treadmill for one of those. I know what you mean about people in gyms though.

  3. OMG, that pudding looks ever so tempting and “dirty”!!! I love that ooey gooey butterscoth dribbling out of the pot! Your pictures are mighty awesome!



  4. I, too, am a huge believer in real ingredients – I don’t think I’d eat dessert if it didn’t smack of butter and brown sugar and cream.

    Good for you for being such a jockette – exercise for the sake of eating makes good sense to me. Now I just have to persuade myself to follow through and do it!

    [BTW, although I think your butterscotch pudding is beyond beautiful and that the recipe sounds excellent, if you or any other readers are ever jonesing for B-scotch but short on time, I have a pretty darn good microwave version on my blog.]

  5. Oh do I know what you mean about gaining weight. And here you go tempting me. Yikes that looks sinful.

  6. Way to go Peabody! Haha! Loved that story! My gym is fairly similar but I definitely agree…you work out so you can eat well! The pudding looks amazing…I have a crush on butterscotch!

  7. You are my idol, is all I can say!

  8. Gyms – I have not seen one of those in a few weeks. I know what you mean about barbie and ken. I always wonder how women can workout plastered in perfect amkeup and hair sprayed to the last strand.
    Anyway, I love this dessert – gooey, creamy and full of sweetness!

  9. I’m dying to know whether that woman has started to do a calculus problem a day now ;)

  10. I like this post!!! I think it’s AWESOME that you spoke back to that rude woman!

    That butterscotch pudding looks divine. :)

  11. Thats a puddding.Hmmm butterscotch. Maybe I’ll revisit this and make me and my baby some. I stopped going to that type of gym and the weight flew on( other factors too). Im trying to get back into some sort of workout with belly dancing at a female gym but my schedule sucks.. Even at my thinnest those smug size 2 or male anorexics always had a comment. Drove me crazy. Thats my body and I was fine with it.

  12. HA! Fabulous snarky response! I’d love to meet you one day!

    I’m quite familiar with that type of gym. I live in South Florida… the mecca of plastic surgery, where some women’s full time jobs are their bodies. I’m always the one in the gym that looks homeless in my sweats and tshirt… and I just don’t care.

    Just remember… beauty is temporary but stupidity is forever.

    Lovely dessert!

  13. Can I say ‘OMG’? I love that last photo – I’m trying not to lick my screen here!

  14. Thank goodness you bitched out that woman, Peabody – she definitely was a “witch-with-a-B” ;0)

    And HELL YES for REAL butterscotch pudding!!

  15. Good for you in not letting those rude people scare you off!!!

  16. I’m originally from Oregon but now make my home in The Netherlands. I am by no means a skinny minnie and it was such a shock to come here and see super tall men and women who were so stick thin I could count their ribs both in front and back..they are all like that here. I have counted in my year being here exactly 5 overweight people. I am the biggest person where ever I go and there was a news article that my husband read to me when we first got here that said dutch people are more willing to forgive someone if they worked in the redlight district than if they were overweight. They look really scarey here to me and it’s taken alot to hold my head up high but I do it. I’m working on loseing the weight but I dont deny myself things either. Good for you fro saying something and I love the pudding!!!

  17. Ha! Ha! I bet that woman has never even seen real butterscotch pudding, let alone tasted it. I refuse to substitute ‘unhealthy’ fake low-fat ingredients for the real stuff; I just try to eat less, which is difficult. If I were a lousy cook, it would be easier. ;) Good for you!

  18. Bring it on Peabody!
    How come after you took her through the calculus problem you didn’t challenge her to chase the puck down the ice with you! Oh, beautiful!!
    And bring on the pudding, I’m all for it.

  19. Oh holy YUM!!! : *)

  20. Amen. I will never give up the foods I love and the joy I get out of eating just for what some consider the “perfect body”. I’d rather enjoy my life than suffer through it and be miserable every day.

  21. I just can’t stop drooling. I am so gonna have to make this one :)

  22. What a horrible woman! I’m never going to be a gym queen that’s for sure. Lovely pudding, I made it last year for the first time, love it. mmmmmmmmmmm. :)

  23. how in the world would you beable to play hockey if you had a body that was so thin that if the puck whizzed by you you’d fall over!! no no, you have a strong health body and that’s all you need to have. the pudding looks wonderful!!

  24. Invite Barbie out to play some hockey, and snap her like a little twig in front of Ken. Then force feed her pudding while she’s gasping. Not that I daydream about these things…

  25. You go gurl ;)

  26. Love the recipe, love the photos! Never ever anything fat-free, no-sugar, no-this or no-that for me. I use to be a ……….. who ate 6 almonds and broth. Now I am a ……….because of hot flashes. Nobody can win around me. Maybe if I made the pudding all would be well!

  27. I am built for comfort and not for speed, as they say.

    Say, what exactly are the derivatives of polynomial functions? I’ve been wanting to ask you this.

  28. I love, love, love your attitude! Your gym sounds heinous. That’s why I work out at home. Your dessert looks much better than a pineapple smoothie sounds.

  29. I can’t believe the people at your gym! I worked out at 24 hour fitness for a while after college, and quit because it was kind of like that. How obnoxious! My gym now has been voted the most gay-friendly gym in Chicago, so it’s full of guys hitting on each other. Makes my workout entertaining! :)

  30. Good for you telling that woman off. I’ve long accepted that I won’t be a size 0 – but hey I get to eat everything! That butterscotch pudding looks yummy!And a big NO to sugar free, fat free etc. Bring on the real stuff!!!

  31. I’m proud of you for having the courage to speak up. Seriously. I don’t know that I would have had the nerve.

    I go to a gym at work. All body shapes and sizes, all ages. We’re exercising during our lunch breaks and such, so everyone is there to work out as efficiently as possible and not pick up tonight’s date. I’m even more grateful for it after reading your post.

  32. This looks delicious and definitely worth the time I spend running all the time! I love butterscotch. I totally agree with your philosophy about desserts- if you’re going to have dessert, make it worth the calories and eat something truly delicious!

  33. Hehe you go girl!
    Now I am not a little girl, I am quite big, but am probably in alot better shape than most of the extra skinny people I know, so I’m with you all the way!
    Especially if you make me this for dessert. :-)

  34. Bless you! This post is absolutely hilarious! When was the last time I did a calculus problem…? I don’t think I’ve ever done one…. yea. I’m serious.

  35. Plastic people?!? LOL I can relate. Good for you for telling that woman off! I know too many people who are so anxiety ridden about their weight that they analyze every last bite of food that they eat, not to mention judge everyone around them who doesn’t do the same. I just try to do my best to be healthy and not worry so much!

  36. Lovely dessert and yes, you’re right, it is worth all the suffering in the gym.

  37. You go, Peabody! I am always amazed at the sheer rudeness of some people. Good for you for putting that Barbiebot in her place.

    BTW, that butterscotch pudding is worth a few hours at the gym! ;)

  38. the pudding looks delicious

    you use tiger balm?! i thought only asian people use tiger balm ;) racist, i know, but i’m asian so i can say that ;) that stuff works miracles…

  39. those experiences at the gym are ridiculous!! haha, your calc response was priceless : D

  40. haha, i was so into the story I forgot to comment on how beautiful those pudding shots came out. And I go to the gym for the very same reason… to indulge later : )

  41. The only time I’ve been to the gym was to gain some weight when I was about 14 years old. I would work out and go home only to eat as much as I pleased. It did work and I gained some weight this way because of the bigger appetite. Speaking of appetite, your pudding looks really tempting :D
    Also I have an award waiting for you on my blog so come and get it :).

  42. Wow, sounds like a fun place to work out:) My gym is full of apathetic employees and the sink in the ladies’ room as been broken for a year, but at least the clientele aren’t jerks…at least not most of them.

  43. AMEN sister!!!!!! And that is just one of the reasons I LOVE your blog :)


  44. I can’t believe that lady said that to you! The only people I might say that to would be a close friend or something like that. Wow! My gym is full of “real” people with only the rare Barbie.

    I’ve never had homemade puddings, only custards and store bought pudding. I bet this is fantastic. I looks wonderful!

  45. Way to go on this blog story!! My girlfriend has said for the past 15 years, “the only reason that I work out, is to be able to eat anything that I want to eat!” And she does!

  46. That drippy butterscotch makes me swoon.

  47. What a bunch of stupid skanks! I’m glad you told the treadmill one off. The pudding looks delish.

  48. The gym I am at right now is pretty much like your old one, very laid back and easy going with a multitude of different people, but there are the occasional Doofus Barbie and BuffDweeb Ken ho keep me very entertained on the treadmill! Like you, I can’t do diet anything…that’s I workout and your pudding just added another 5 miles tomorrow morning!!

  49. PREACH IT, sister.

    I’ve had better luck at all-women’s gyms and at the YWCA, which has more senior citizens and fewer buff-heads than the YMCA!

    That pudding looks sooo good.

  50. Hear, hear! You are so right — life IS too short to be lived without butterscotch.


  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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