Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Orange Mystery Bread

Aaah, Friday, the last day of the work week when we are allowed to wear jeans at the office. It’s a day that I look forward to. Not only is it jeans day, it’s also Breakfast Club. It’s the day when I arrive at work to a bountiful buffet of breakfast. It’s ready and waiting for me to swoop in with my plate and rescue it from the land of “Pick me! Pick me!” The delicacies change often and I leave with a plateful of food, sometimes returning for round two…and three. (It’s a good thing I run marathons or I might be 200 pounds.)

On this particular morning I was greeted with a mound of shining silver, slightly unwrapped exposing a loaf of evenly sliced orange bread. I wondered what it was and decided to take a chance. Who knew what kind of bread was lurking on the breakfast table. And it was orange on top of that. What was it doing associating itself with biscuits and pastries? It’s breakfast after all.

Once back in my office, with nothing left on my plate but the slab of orange mystery, I decided to try a bite. I could smell the spices before it reached my mouth. As I tasted the mystery bite, I was pleased to find that it was sweet with a kick of spice. It was actually quite delicious. It was extremely moist and light as a feather. I wasted no time in taking another bite. Before I knew it, my orange mystery bread was all gone. I snuck back down the hall for another slice before it was too late to snatch another piece. I escaped back to my office and saved my second slice for dessert later in the afternoon.

Once my second slice was safely sitting in my office, I went on a mission to find out what it was. After a bit of questioning, I discovered that my office neighbor brought it in. His wife had made two loafs for our breakfast club. I thanked him profusely for bringing in this delicious treat and inquired as to what it was. Come to find out, it was Pumpkin Spice Bread. I had never heard of such a thing. Who knew that pumpkin, the orange gourd that I avoided so many times as a kid (and, yes, I avoided Pumpkin Pie, too), was as delicious as the bread that I so furiously devoured. I have since become a fan of all things pumpkin, including the pie. And thanks to my exuberance my office neighbor brought me a few extra slices to enjoy once again. Now, if only I could learn how to make it myself…

Peppermint Chocolate Chip Milkshake

It was the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I had spent nearly two days lying around recovering from a very bad half marathon on Thanksgiving morning. A friend called and tried to convince me to make the trip to see his new apartment. An hour later, I nearly had myself talked off the couch. About another half hour went by before I finally made it to the car and headed in his direction. I drove for about an hour and then decided that I had gone too far. I called my friend and he gave me directions back to where I should be, which was near a Chick-fil-a. I’m glad I called him because he had decided to make a quick run to Wal-mart. I drove all that way and he wasn’t even home!!

While I waited for him to return, I went to Chick-fil-a for lunch. I mean, I had only eaten once, maybe twice, or three times if you count the cookies I ate in between, and it was nearly 4 o’clock. I had to do something to fill the time.

As I approached the register, something caught my eye. It was tall and pink with dark pieces floating throughout, topped with whip cream and a cherry. What was this beautiful creation staring me in the face? Why, it was the new Peppermint Chocolate Chip Milkshake. Oh. My. Goodness. I had to have one. I know the doctor told me to go an insulin resistant diet and I was quite sure this wasn’t on the menu, but it is only offered for a limited time. I wanted one. It looked delicious. I decided to indulge myself once more before I said goodbye to sweets for good…or for a while… a very long while.

My friend and his daughter arrived as I finished my meal. Little A went to order an ice cream cone for herself and her dad. I went to order the Peppermint Chocolate Chip Milkshake. As they licked away at their cones, I patiently waited for my hand-spun milkshake to be delivered. When it finally came, I couldn’t wait to taste it. My eyes lit up. There were tiny peppermint pieces decorating the top almost as if they were cheering in support of the cherry. Little A asked for the cherry and I graciously gave it to her. Then I dove in with my straw and the merriment began.

It was delicious! Every sip was laced with tiny peppermint and chocolate pieces. It was a delicate balance of vanilla, peppermint, and chocolate. Each flavor melded together, blending easily with the other creating a superb combination. It tasted old-fashioned. It tasted like Christmas. It was amazing! And believe it or not, I actually shared it with my friend and Little A. It was too good not to let others join in. I was spreading the joy of Christmas, up until Little A started hogging my milkshake. Hello, you’ve got your own cone. She finally let go and returned to her own ice cream cone. All was well again.

I’m not going to think about the fact that I’m not supposed to have that much sugar. I’m not going to think about the fact that I had already hit my limit of sweets for the day. I’m not going to think about the fact that it had 930 calories. No, I’m only going to think about how delicious it was in that moment as I spent time with my special friends as we indulged in our love of ice cream. I had so much to be thankful for and the milkshake was like the cherry on top.