Until a couple months ago, I was living in the gymnastics dark, unaware I could participate in this–frankly, awesome–sport as an adult. (Thanks, Amelia!) And now that I know, I’m eager to make up for lost time.
I was competitive as a child, although my average skills never quite matched my intense love for the sport. I went to gymnastics camp and met Dominique Moceanu, though, and favored a burgundy crush velvet leotard and matching hair scrunchie–legitimizing qualifications if ever you heard them. And then I went away to school, and transitioned into flinging myself off of 1 and 3-meter diving boards instead. Later, in college, after a beverage or two, I liked to throw messy back walkovers on whatever surface was available to me: grass, or sometimes, hotel hallways. I am still a frequent handstand-and-cartwheeler in the sand, because life is short.
That brings us to the present. I have attended four classes now, and joy is the simplest way to describe it. Just walking into the gym–the primary colored mats and barrels, the expanse of trampolines, the foam pit–seems to dissipate stress.
My body is remembering front extension rolls (a series of which left me feeling terribly motion sick after my first class), back bends, kick overs, headstands, and almost back handsprings. Week to week, tangible improvements. I’m sore the next day (who knew the body contained so many distinct muscles?), but still I want to practice handstands against our apartment door: “You need to be looong,” instructs Rodrigo, pulling out the word to match his arms stretched high above his head. “Practice being looong.” So I do.
I’m not a naturally gifted athlete, and I would rather shop for tomatoes than go on a hike, but for some reason this gymnastics business has become a highlight of my week. It quiets all the overwhelmed, busy thoughts in my head.
Last week, we front flipped. With each turn, I stared down the alley of floor in front of me and in that suspended moment, nothing mattered except the anticipation alive in my fingertips. With each turn, I slid into a long-strided run, just before the mat pike-punching hard to launch my body upward with everything I had. It’s an act of faith, really. A hard tuck, willing mind and body to follow in a neat circle through the air, hoping that–this time–I’ll land on my feet.
And now, to the giveaway, a first on The Roaming Kitchen!
I’ve been a fan of Good Eggs basically since they arrived in Brooklyn. For those unfamiliar, Good Eggs is a curated online marketplace, delivering local and seasonal produce, high-quality dairy, meat, and fish, and bakery and pantry items right to your door. Their mission–to promote sustainable food systems and support local farmers and producers–is what caught my attention initially, but it’s the convenience of shopping on the site, the quality of their products, and their stellar customer service that keeps me coming back week after week.
In my experience, Good Eggs is like a well-stocked farmers’ market, but one that also sells coffee, pie dough, and ramen stock, and I can shop in my underwear, and it only takes a few minutes, and a friendly person bikes everything to my apartment. I get to feel good about myself–look what a responsible food shopper I am!–and meanwhile I didn’t even have to put on pants. Good Eggs wants to bring local food to a wider audience, and that’s something I can get behind.
At the moment, Good Eggs operates in Brooklyn, Los Angeles, New Orleans, and the Bay Area seven days a week, so this giveaway is open to anyone living there. I have three $20 gift certificates to give away, so simply leave a message in the comments telling me your favorite seasonal produce, and how you like to prepare it. I will pick three winners on September 1st, and then you can get shopping!
I do my fair share of blueberry-by-the-handful and peach-over-the-sink eating in August, but once I’ve gotten my immediate fill, I turn to heat, and its power to raise these fruits to new and delicious heights. And while I love pie as much as the next girl, the truth is–pie takes work, pie requires planning. Crisps, on the other hand, can be banged together in minutes. With a crisp, there is no fuss about pectin or thickeners. A crisp is the ideal, simple summer dessert.
If you don’t have vanilla powder in the cupboard, use one scraped vanilla bean. (Or, skip the vanilla in favor of cinnamon, nutmeg, or cardamom.) And feel free to use stone fruits and berries you have on hand: raspberries, apricots, nectarines, blackberries, currents, and cherries would all work well. If you don’t have coconut flour, you can use all regular. Conversely, if you are gluten free, stick with the coconut flour. Personally, I like the mix of the two, which yields a quiet coconut flavor that plays well with fruit.
Serve with ice cream, cream, yogurt, or as it is. I love it cold for breakfast the next morning. Serves 8.
- 3 cups blueberries
- 3 large peaches
- 1/8 teaspoon vanilla powder (or 1 scraped vanilla bean)
- 3 tablespoons (40 grams) + 5 tablespoons (75 grams) sugar
- 1/3 cup (45 grams) flour
- 1/3 cup (40 grams) coconut flour
- 6 tablespoons (80 grams) cold unsalted butter
- Heat the oven to 425F/218C. Meanwhile, wash and dry the blueberries; pick out any very sad looking ones. Add the blueberries to a large mixing bowl. Peel the peaches over the mixing bowl, to catch any falling juice. (The riper the peach, the easier it will be to peel. You could also keep the peels on, if you prefer.) Discard (or snack on, I won’t tell) the peach skins, and then slice each peach into the bowl. Add the vanilla powder and 3 tablespoons of the sugar to the bowl; use your hands to gently toss the vanilla and sugar with the fruit.
- In another, medium bowl, whisk together the remaining sugar and the two flours. Cut the butter into the bowl. With your fingers, smoosh the butter into the dry mixture, until you have some pea, some lima bean-sized, scraps of butter.
- Pour the fruit (along with any collected juices) into a 12 x 9-inch (or the equivalent) casserole dish. Scatter the crisp topping evenly over top of the fruit. Move the casserole into the oven for 30 minutes, until the fruit is bubbling and the top is golden brown. Allow the crisp to cool for 10 minutes (if you can) before enjoying.