Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Gratituesday: Tennis

A coworker invited me to take a tennis class with her a few months ago, and the lessons started last night. I remembered how much I loved taking tennis at Coles (RIP, Coles. You were so beloved.), but of course I got all anxious ahead of the class and convinced myself I would hate it. Happily, I loved it just as much as I did in New York. It was such a tremendous joy.

My wrists are a little sore from it (although to be fair, my right wrist has been acting up lately anyway), and I can definitely feel that my form isn't as good as it was in 2015, but it felt much more natural to me starting than it did back then. It's also a little more expensive here, but my hope is that the little group I'm playing with can take what we're learning in the lessons and perhaps take it up ourselves at a public court one day soon.

It was also a little surreal to walk around the fitness center where the lessons are run. It reminded me so much of the first gym I ever belonged to, Club Fit, which was fancy enough to smell good and have a little cafe where I would eat veggie burgers with Shelby and her mom. I did not realize, then, how fancy this gym was. In fact, I kind of forgot how fancy it was as I went to increasingly less fancy gyms, starting with the Sarah Lawrence gym, moving on to to New York Sports Club during their decline, and finally ending up at Coles, which had a pool and tennis courts but no climate control and a terrible smell of mold and body odor.

I didn't realize what a privilege it was to have had a membership there, to have had parents picking up my tab and wanting only the best for me, a chunky teen just learning for the first time to portion control and use a weight machine. There was so much I took for granted in my childhood. There is still so much I take for granted every day. Walking around the pleasant-smelling River Valley Club, I was reminded of home in so many ways.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Weekend Wanderings: Whoopie Pies at King Arthur Flour

This weekend, R. and I went to King Arthur Flour to take a class on whoopie pies! It was my Valentine's Day gift this year, and we had such a wonderful time. It was one of the most fun things we've done in a while.

The class was three hours long, and we made two different types of whoopie pie: Classic Chocolate Whoopie Pies and Mini Coconut Whoopie Pies with Lime and Raspberry Filling. Both turned out really delicious, but the classic chocolate was the clear winner! The class moved pretty quickly, with the instructor showing us how to do each recipe before setting us free to try it on our own.

She showed us how to measure ingredients by weight instead of volume, which I'd never done before. Measuring baking ingredients by volume instead of weight can really affect your final outcome. For example, measuring flour by volume can lead to a difference of 20% depending on how you do it. Using a scale for your measurements also makes things go much faster. You can bet we registered for one! (And of course the stand-up mixture was always on our list. And a few other King Arthur items. 😀)

Overall, the class was a ton of fun, and R and I loved collaborating on the baking. We ended up with 15 big whoopie pies and 15 small ones between us, so obviously my coworkers enjoyed a bunch on Monday. We had such a blast that I would 100% recommend taking a class to anyone visiting the area. You can check out the schedule here, and I'd recommend booking early because they usually sell out. Most classes are between $75 and $150, and in addition to being loaded up with new skills, great tips, and lots of baked goods, you also get a free coffee, a 10% coupon to the store, and a bowl scraper.

I can't wait to take another one soon!