I posted no Thursday Things last week. There were no Things for me to post about last Thursday. Instead, there were doctor’s appointments, ice packs, and tears.
I woke up Thursday morning and could barely move. And when I did, the amount of pain I felt made me want to never attempt to move again. I didn’t know what was going on and I didn’t know what to do.
After multiple, painful visits to the doctor I was told I have a pinched disk in my neck, a by-product of the workouts that I do. The doctor gave me some medication and said that all I could really do was take it easy and wait for it to calm down. I was miserable.
Why I am telling you all of this? You don’t come here for my sob stories. You come here for butter and sugar and pictures of tasty treats that I put in my face. We’ll get there.But in order to put those tasty treats in my face I need to be able to move my arms. I need to be able to stir and mix and pour and frost. I also need to be able to lift and pull and push and dip and punch. I need to be able to exercise. I need to feel good about my body and about myself.
Here’s the thing, I eat. A lot. Everything that I post on here has passed my lips at least once, if not more than that. I have an insatiable sweet tooth. But I am also health conscious. I love vegetables and fresh fruits and care about what goes into my body.
I also take care of my body, or at least try to. I love exercise almost as much as I love cookies. Sometimes, I like working out more than sugar and sometimes I choose a brownie over biking that extra five miles. I’m only human. Working out isn’t just a way to quash the guilt I might feel from eating an extra spoonful
or six of cookie dough. When I exercise I feel capable and in control and happy and strong. I love feeling that way. I need to feel that way.
But, right now I don’t feel that way. I feel slightly miserable. I was ordered to abstain from working out for the next week, and that’s scary. Scary because I won’t be able to bike or lift or do yoga or any of the other things I love to do. Scary because I won’t be able to sweat off my cappuccinos and cupcakes. Scary because I won’t, and don’t, feel strong.
I know that in the grand scheme of things, a week of missed workouts won’t be that bad. But what if the problems flare up again? What if I am put back on the sidelines? But, I am trying not to think about that. I am trying to focus on how much better I feel. How yesterday I could stand for more than 10 minutes and get dressed without yelping in pain. How I was able to mix ingredients without my arms being numb.
This Swedish Visiting Cake was perfect yesterday for a few reasons. It was simple – only requiring me to dirty one mixing bowl. It was quick – I was in and out of the kitchen in under 45 minutes. The name – I like to think that my neck/back issues were merely “visiting” and I won’t be seeing them again for a very, VERY, long time. Oh, and it was delicious.
1 cup sugar (plus some to sprinkle on top right before baking)
grated zest of one lemon
juice of one lemon
2 eggs, room temperature
¼ tsp. salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted and cooled
¼ cup sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 350. Butter a 9in cake pan, spring form pan, or cast iron skillet, set aside.
In a medium bowl mix sugar and lemon zest together with fingers to infuse lemony goodness into the sugar. Whisk in the eggs one at a time until light and fluffy. Whisk in vanilla, salt, and lemon juice.
With a spoon/spatula stir in flour until just incorporated. Stir in butter.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Top with sliced almonds and sprinkle with a handful (or two) of sugar.
Bake for 20-25 minutes in preheated oven. Cake will be golden brown and will start to pull away from the side of the pan just ever so slightly.
Allow cake to cool before running a butter knife around the edge of the pan.
Cake can be served warm or at room temperature.