I was in the frozen yogurt store Erev Shavuot, buying yogurt to make a cake for dessert, when I bumped into my cousin Danny Gluck. He started to say how his daughter Rylee loved … and I thought he was going to say frozen yogurt. To my surprise he said she loves reading my column each week. He went on to say that she’s disappointed when I skip a week. To say I was surprised, was an understatement. Rylee is only 8 and in the third grade. She is a voracious reader, and is at the top of her class. When she’s not reading mysteries, she loves reading “Jerry stories” in The Jewish Star. I’m truly honored and grateful that Rylee Paige Gluck is my biggest (and perhaps youngest!) fan.
Talking about the yogurt store, (which happens to be steps away from the LIRR Hewlett station), how crazy is it, that the LIRR is now reduced to providing us with “late notes” begging indulgence from bosses, partners or employees. Feels like I’m back in elementary or high school (in BTA and Central Brooklyn, they were called “admit notes”) hoping to come up with an excuse (valid or otherwise) whenever I found myself in hot water. What makes it even harder to deal with, is that so many of us run crazily to catch our LIRR trains twice daily, arriving breathlessly and sweating, only to reach Penn Station in the morning or home in the evening hours late and soundly demoralized and defeated.
One evening two weeks ago, I noticed my husband Jerry, conspicuously limping on the platform and gingerly attempting to navigate the steps to the street below, appearing to have aged 25 years during his train ride back to Woodmere on the LIRR. He explained that he was running full throttle (for a 62 year old) down Seventh Avenue to Penn Station, from his office, attempting to avoid other pedestrians and tourists, as if he was running on an obstacle course. All of a sudden, he unexpectedly found himself launched airborne, as if shot out of a cannon, landing with a thud on his knees and hands on the sidewalk.
Jerry was stunned as he initially had no idea what had happened; a concerned crowd began to gather around him offering to help him up and asking if they should call an ambulance. It turns out that Jerry failed to observe a homeless man sleeping on the sidewalk and flew over him, as if the sleeping man had executed the technically perfect open field tackle, dropping Jerry like a tackling dummy. Of course, I panicked that he had killed the poor guy, instead of inquiring about Jerry first. Jerry reassured me that the man was fine.
“He must have been terrified,” I said. “No,” Jerry answered. “He sort of lifted his head, not aware that he had effectuated the most beautiful open field tackle on Seventh Avenue in quite some time.” Jerry went on to proudly explain that he had employed technically sound technique while being tackled, protecting his face and coming down on his hands and rolling as he learned to do while playing football in Marine Park with his Yeshiva Rambam classmates; they played almost every Sunday through elementary school. Yet Jerry maybe, for the first time in his life, felt older; no longer youthful, based on how concerned everyone appeared when running to Jerry’s aid.
Jerry has been a really good athlete his whole life and has fallen dramatically and spectacularly many times off bikes, while skiing and hiking, etc., and had never elicited the level of concern on the faces of others who had witnessed Jerry’s Evil Knievel-like landing. Jerry immediately jumped back on his feet, not showing any evidence of pain to those who witnessed his fall, and continued, running, almost without missing a beat, to Penn Station, to prove to all and perhaps especially himself that he can still keep up and maintain his place in the herd racing heedlessly in New York.
Although his pain was palpable, he refused to show it until he got home and his knees had swelled up. I told him that he needs to learn to look ahead and down when he walks or runs. I explained that he tends not to be observant and that he can trip over things. But then he reminded me of the time, back in 2004, when I was waiting for a train and gazing transfixed at the cover of a newspaper. It was a full page picture of Brad Pitt, in a skimpy costume for his starring role in the movie “Troy.” Let’s just say he had my full attention. Before I knew it the train doors had already opened, and the doors were now closing, so I ran towards the doors and tripped as I flew onto the floor of the train and the doors closed on me. I was half in and half out. Everyone jumped up to help me but I was humiliated, so I shook it off and said I was perfectly fine.
As I sat down, the pain in my knee was so intense that I started to sweat profusely and almost blacked out. I still blame Brad Pitt for the pain in my knee, which recurs from time to time all these years later.
Since this article started in the yogurt store, here are two wonderful frozen yogurt recipes that can be made without an ice cream machine. It comes from Gemma Stanford of Gemma’s Bigger Bolder Baking.
Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
2 cups frozen strawberries 10 ounces (You can freeze fresh strawberries or buy them frozen)
2 Tbs honey or agave nectar
1/4 cup plain yogurt ( Greek, non fat or full fat)
1/2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
Add the frozen strawberries, honey or agave nectar yogurt and lemon juice into a food processor. Process until creamy, about 2–3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure there are no lumps left. Transfer it into an airtight freezable container and freeze for a minimum of six hours, but preferably overnight. Store in the freezer for up to one month.
Chocolate Banana Frozen Yogurt
2 frozen medium bananas
2 Tbs honey or agave nectar
1/4 cup plain yogurt, (Greek, non fat or full fat)
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
Add the frozen bananas, honey or agave nectar, yogurt, cocoa powder and vanilla extract into a food processor. Process until creamy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the ball to make sure there were no lumps left. Transfer it to an airtight freezable container and freeze for a minimum of six hours for preferably overnight. Store in the freezer for up to one month.