At my 2nd to last PT appointment, I told Young PT that I want to bake something for him and his family. He said it would have to be for the entire department. Okay. How many is that? He asked around and came back to me. Two dozen. I can do that. What do you want? Cookies, bread, rolls, muffins, cupcakes? Cupcakes. Chocolate cupcakes. Without gluten. Because his daughter is allergic to gluten and so is one of the PTs.
One of the assistants overheard all this and insisted that he personally would eat 20 of the 24.
At the end of our session, when Young PT usually names the exercises he wants me to do for the following week, he added Baking to the end of the list.
My husband, the wonderful alien, was disappointed that the PT gang wanted a full two dozen. The recipe makes one dozen. That meant I’d make it twice and he wouldn’t get any. But there are leftovers from the last time I made chocolate cupcakes in our freezer. No way would he miss out!
The day of my final appt arrived. It was also the day I was to deliver the wine glass and spoon and back issues of Toastmasters magazine to our club’s Sergeant at Arms. And, I’d found a spare double boiler in the basement to give Young PT. He likes to cook, and most people don’t have double boilers, but this recipe is easiest if you have one. I also decided to bring plastic eating utensils for the PT staff to eat their cupcakes. This meant I needed both saddlebags and a box for the cupcakes all strapped onto the back of my bike.
Most people aren’t used to seeing me in my full biking regalia. My helmet looks like a motorbike helmet complete with face guard. I got my nose broken and my jaw cracked when I got hit by the car two years ago, and I want protection. I also wear wraparound sunglasses to keep pebbles out of my eyes with rear-view mirrors attached the eyeglass ear-struts. My Sergeant At Arms did a double-take and then a nice recovery. “You look cool.” He even commented on my shoes, which are heavy duty protection, as well.
Finally I got to PT. Young PT wasn’t there. I gave the cupcakes to the assistant who had promised to eat 20 of them. I told him he only gets 4. He claimed not to remember that I was bringing cupcakes at all.
I was starting to feel like I was in one of those Twilight Zone episodes where the protagonist has been transported to an alternate universe that looks the same, but everybody behaves differently, and eats dinosaurs for dinner.
Then Young PT showed up, and said he’d be with me in a few minutes. He came back. He didn’t have a lesson planned for me. Instead he asked what I wanted help with. That’s what I truly value about him – he can help modify yoga poses or Pilates exercises or tasks around the house. He bummed me out by refusing to help with backbends. He thinks people over 60 should only do backbends over a ball. But – this is end game. I need to keep my body going in maximum comfort for the rest of my life. If that means backbends must be done over balance balls, so be it. He was happy to have the double boiler. Then, he thanked me for doing the assigned exercises. Definitely alternate universe stuff. “I didn’t do them for you.”
He looked relieved. I’d have adopted him in an instant, if he’d been available. Instead, I said, “This is probably the last time I’ll see you in this lifetime. Thanks for doing a great job.”
He said, “Maybe we’ll see each other on the sidewalk some time.”
He asked me to fill out an evaluation form. I’m one of the success stories, so I was glad to do it. I walked in there weak and in pain 2 months ago. Now I can ride my bike everywhere, swim half a mile, and walk two miles without problems. I do my strengthening and stretching exercises every day because they work.
A few days later, Young PT emailed me “Staff, Wife and Daughter loved the cupcakes.”
I noticed the absence of the personal pronoun, so I emailed back, “You’re welcome.” I may not have adopted him, but I can show him manners.
Chocolate Mousse CupCakes
This recipe makes 10 to 12 cupcakes. Be sure to use the paper liners.
1 lb of dark chocolate, finely chopped (or semi-sweet chocolate bits)
1/4 lb (1 stick) of butter
1 tablespoon of almond flour or almond meal
Preheat the oven to 425 F.
Put paper liners into 12 cupcake molds.
Melt the chocolate and butter together in the top part of a double boiler, (or you can melt them in an ovenproof bowl in an oven or microwave.) Stir the melted ingredients until smooth. Allow to cool slightly while frothing the eggs.
Whisk the eggs until the mixture is thick and pale yellow (Can be done with a mixer or a blender). Shake in the almond flour or meal and continue whisking until the mixture looks even. Stir in the cooled chocolate, a little at a time.
Pour the mixture into the cupcake molds and cook it for 6-8 minutes (note: this time varies with the oven – it can be up to 15 minutes – you want the cupcakes to have a shiny center about 1" in diameter.) The edges should look like they have a cooked skin. The center will be wobbly. Cool, then cover it and leave it in a cool place. Store in the freezer. They will warm up with a liquid center in about 30 seconds in a microwave.