The gym has the perfect amount of noise for reading.
Sometimes at home it’s just too quiet. And then I can hear myself breathe, which then makes me imagine all of the respiratory diseases that could potentially be lurking within my pleural cavity. (This also explains why I can’t run without my iPod. It’s not the music that I need, it’s the inability to hear myself huffing and puffing around Central Park.) Non-ideal.
Or it could be too loud. Roommates fighting with boyfriends or watching Glee at record-breaking decibels. And then, of course, there’s the huge crane that’s lurking increasingly dangerously close to my window, and which unnerves me to no end.
But the gym? The gym has the whir of treadmills and the whiz of stationary bikes, all of which are perfectly boring and ignorable noises that distract me from trying to measure my lung capacity as I pedal along.
That is, until yesterday when the man at the bike next to me spent the entire 20 minutes of his workout yelling into his cell phone.
Which he then followed up with four minutes of trying to hit on me.
(Note to my male readers. Screaming at your coworkers or employees or wife on a cell phone at the gym is not attractive. It will not cause me to want to sleep with you. I promise.)
(Especially if it’s your wife.)
“Don’t you find it hard to read while you exercise?”
That was his opening line. I wanted to reply not until you got here.
But I didn’t.
I have class.
Instead I think I said something about how it distracts me from the pain. Quick smile. Then back to reading.
He did not take the hint. He proceeded to ask me about what I did, where I went to college. And then, upon hearing that I’m a medical student, tried to convince me to go into dermatology because then I’ll make more money.
I think it was after this that he realized he’d blown his chance. Because while I can control my voice and the words that come out of my mouth, my disdaining eyes are completely autonomous. I don’t even want to know the disgusted look I shot him. I’m sure it was ugly.
All I know is that almost directly after that, he wished me luck. And moved to another machine across the room.
Joanne: 1, Obnoxious Annoying Skeevy Men: 0
Now. If he had tried to chat me up about cookies or cakes or whether an oven really needs to be at 500 degrees in order to make a good pizza. That would have been a different story.
And if he had offered me one of these cookies? There might have been a marriage proposal. On the spot.
That’s how good they are.
These are another one of the desserts I made for the little dinner party that I cohosted last weekend. And they were insane. I came thisclose to not even bringing them because they were so good I wanted to hoard them and eat them all myself.
The combination of ginger and vanilla and carrot is just so utterly addictive that you’re going to find it hard to eat just one. In fact, I’m pretty sure everyone at the party had two. At least.
I’m posting them now because I think they’d make for the perfect Father’s Day present. Especially if you’re interested in winning Daughter/Son of the Year. With these in tow? It’s in the bag.
Carrot Cake Cookies
Makes 18, adapted from Martha Stewart’s Cookies
For the frosting:
8 oz cream cheese
5 tbsp butter, softened
2 tsp vanilla paste or vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
For the cookies:
1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup), melted
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg yolk
3/4 cup AP flour
1 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup packed, finely grated carrots
1/3 cup raisins
1. Preheat oven to 350. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Make filling – combine cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium-high speed until well-combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Mix in vanilla. Gradually beat in confectioner’s sugar until totally incorporated. Increase the speed and beat until smooth. Mix in lemon juice. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
2. In the meantime, whisk together butter, sugars, and egg yolk in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, ginger and salt. Add flour mixture to butter. Stir until combined. Mix in oats, carrots, and raisins.
3. Drop dough by level tablespoons, 2 inches apart, onto prepared baking sheets. Flatten with the palm of your hand. Bake until the edges are crisp, rotating baking sheets halfway through, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.
4. Try to pair up cookies according to size so that they approximately match each other. Flip one of each pair over, bottom side up. Dollop out the cream cheese frosting or pipe onto each flipped over cookie. Top with remaining cookie and press gently to spread the filling to the edges. Serve immediately.