Thursday, October 6, 2011

…On Daughter’s desserts and the old-age Battle of the “Bulge”

My daughter the pastry chef, the one who’s built like a supermodel and habitually avoids sweets unless she’s pre-menstrual and out of wine, e-mailed me pictures of her work to print for her portfolio. Pictures of layers of chocolate cake floating in a sea of fudgy ganache and topped with toasted marshmallow pillows that vaguely resemble little life preservers, of personal pan-sized warm apple-crisp with a scoop of fresh ice cream (real cream) melting into a fruity, cinnamon-y goo, of cheese cake covered in blood-red glazed strawberries and a dollop of snow white crème fresh, of golden custardy tarts languishing in a kiddie pool of macerated wild berries, and another unknown delight that resembles an ice cream sandwich, or maybe a Napoleon, dusted in powdered sugar and wearing a caramelized pecan top hat, and plated next to a tantalizing little scoop of something soft and creamy whose seeming lightness will, undoubtedly, translate to me ten pounds heavier if I continue looking at it. Damn that girl! I stuffed the prints in my briefcase and went back to my barely palatable desk lunch.
And while perusing a venue’s catering menu for an upcoming holiday party as I gulped my pre-packaged kit salad with its warm, soggy croutons, flavorless pressed chicken cubes and allegedly low-fat Caesar dressing (is there such a thing?), it dawned on me that soon I’d be playing helper to my daughter’s annual holiday baking escapades. It’s October and my sort-of-diligently upheld 2011 resolution of low-fat, low-carb diet and regular cardio exercise is officially doomed. Pumpkin pies and hand-dipped chocolates loom large on my dietary horizon; time to take my annual oath off life support. Pull the plug. I’m done.

But, wait! It’s October! There is a minuscule glimmer of hope for my pre-thirty pipe-thin pipe dreams, a long-shot of resurrecting my diet and exercise maintenance regime and – dare I speculate – amping up my workouts and – gasp! – achieving my coveted measurable one-inch girth loss from my grandmotherly, cellulite-riddled frame, and not just off my boobs either. I happened upon the perfect, target-area specific, weight loss aid and, since my credit cards are maxed, I know JUST the person to help.

I last wrote to him decades ago in my pony-addled youth, and I know that, if he answers my heartfelt and worthy request, I’m going to have to exercise patience along with my regular bike rides while waiting for him to deliver. But, financial woes aside, I have been a very good girl this year and, besides, the worst that could happen is he doesn’t respond and I re-pledge my allegiance to spin classes and Slim Fast in 2012. Right? Right.

So, here goes. Let me know if you think I have a shot.

Dear Santa,

I encountered a strange and intriguing item in my last Groupon junk e-mail, a ‘hot’ little number from the U.K. called "HotPants". No, Santa, these aren't the "hot pants" that my mother refused to let me wear at the onset of my burgeoning, pre-pubescent sexuality in the mid '70's because she was adamantly trying to protect my virginity - her idea of 'hot pants' back then was a freshly-forged chastity belt. These "HotPants" are new technology designed for weight loss and cellulite reduction. They're supposed to keep your muscles toasty warm while you exercise which increases perspiration so you sweat out all the icky toxins that coagulate excess fat cells and stuff them into the fissures of the disconnected connective tissue just beneath the skin surface of feminine hips and thighs making it necessary for every woman over a certain age to forego short shorts and embrace heavy support hosiery and Amish-style maxi skirts. Sort of like wearable bikram yoga. Like I said, Santa, intriguing.

However you judge present requests as frivolous or not, believe me, Santa, a pair of “HotPants” is absolutely necessary to my mental and physical health and well-being. You see, my daughter, the pastry chef, is rolling out a new dessert menu. For the last few weeks I've been playing sous chef and taster (I'm a very good mommy). Now the waistbands on my new slacks are tighter and I'm terrified of my bathroom scale. It just sits there all white and innocent on the floor, smiling wickedly at me as I step into the shower with thinly veiled malevolence. I know the instant I touch a toe to it, that little wheel will spin me into a brown sugar-soaked vortex, never to return until I'm the size, semblance and consistency of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man. So, I was thinking that you might swing by London and snag me a pair of "HotPants" for my stocking stuffer this year. (I’ve got a Groupon for 53% off.)

You might consider picking up a pair or two for yourself, too. “Chef” is working on a new chocolate-oatmeal-fudge-nut cookie recipe to leave by your glass of lactose-free milk this Christmas Eve.

Thank you, Santa, and my best to Mrs. C and the Elf-kin.

Glenda Kay

P.S. If the "HotPants" don't work, I’ll need the name of a really good plastics guy…or a pony.