I jog an average of three miles, three to five times a week. I do this for cardiovascular health, and more importantly, to counteract my habitual cup cake, chocolate, and ice cream abuse. Think of it as gourmet math. I can pawn 40 minutes of jogging for eight bite-size pieces of dark chocolate - to be consumed at strategic moments throughout the day. I can also swap 40 minutes on the elliptical for a scoop or two of my favorite ice cream, a tri-berry scone from Two Little Red Hens in Brooklyn, or Salt Caramels from Lucky’s…Hell, throw in a bike ride to work and back and I can have all three. Gourmet math would be a wonderful system if it were not for it one critical flaw, my mother.
This week I visited my mother upstate and with her boyfriend Dave out of town, we were free to run wild in the kitchen, and run wild we did. Like two witches at the cauldron, we churned away at the stove making custard after custard too freeze into ice cream. The ice cream machine cranked and grunted as we watched with childish delight the creamy and swirling liquid thicken into a frosty marshmallow-like consistency. We made four flavors:
The vanilla was flawless,
the coffee aromatic,
the lemon light and puckery,
and the butterscotch almond a buttery dream.
The next morning I woke to the caramelized aroma of toasted sugar and butter and found my mother in the kitchen making ice cream cones. Later that day, with my niece, nephew, and brother, we devoured the cones and most of the ice cream. That night we returned to a nearly empty freezer; the only flavor left was a previously made container of Roasted Banana Ice Cream. We did the only thing we could do; we ate it.
For most people, this two day ice cream fest would have be enough to fulfill a month’s allocation but, for me and my mother we still had one day, three flavors, and an stack of ice cream sandwiches left to go. Why quite when you are on a roll?
After calculating the number of extra calories consumed in ice cream while at my mother’s house, Gourmet Math determined that, I would have to run three miles, at least three times a day in order to break even with this degree of calorie consumption. Who has the time for such measures? And, what is an ice cream eating peasant to do in such extreme circumstances? These question and others even mildly resembling them are clearly pushed to the back burner while visiting my mother. Lets just say, I have a lot of extra running to do in the coming weeks.