a middleSage publication

How did I get here? A paradigm shift….

How did I get here? A paradigm shift….

food52_03-20-2012-7445I was writing a post on gracefully growing older and I had a sudden urge for Coconut Macaroons….being in my 50’s is kind of like being pregnant…I get sudden food cravings and all activities must stop until I make it.  This may have something to do with my 30 extra lbs right now…but I’ll save that for another time.  Seriously, this is the BEST coconut macaroon recipe. EVER.

I assembled all the ingredients for my favorite recipe and ….crap I’m one egg short of a full recipe.  The smart thing to do was add eggs to my grocery list and make the cookies another day.  Going to the store for just eggs when I’m doing my full out grocery shop in two days didn’t make sense….must. practice. self control.

So I hopped in my car to drive 1/2 mile up the street….I know I could have walked…did I mention the 40 extra lbs…I know I said 30 before, but I lied…it’s really 40…I’m going to Walmart for eggs after all…I must be desperate.  I had my Yoga pants and a sweatshirt on….no makeup and my hair was on day 2…enough said.

I pulled into the parking lot, put the car in park and noticed this “old guy” driving real slow in the parking lane in front of me….As I sat there for a moment explaining to my dog I only needed eggs and I would be right back the “old guy” pulls in next to me and gives me his best (Joey from Friends) “How you doin?”

That’s when my paradigm shift became apparent to me.

Back CameraSee, I drive a PT Cruiser Convertible.  My license plate says Honey because that’s what my grandkids call me….I think it screams quirky old lady….I have noticed, however, that when I drive this car, especially with the top down, the reaction from those “old guys” is to approach me as if I’m fresh bait.  Last summer, I drove to Michigan to stay with my Son and his family to “help out” (ok, I really just played with kids all day….not really helping out, more like helping myself out) since they had just had their 4 child…A GIRL this time…YAY for me….any way, I digress…Even while driving around town with my grandkids, as long as I had the top down….there were those “old guys” talking to me…My oldest grandson asked “Honey, do you know that guy?”  Nope, he’s just friendly I guess.

My memory took me back to the mid 80’s when my girlfriend (now, blogging partner) would go out for a drink after work and you could see the men begin to circle in….now, don’t let me paint a picture for you that isn’t accurate….these men weren’t all GQ types….but they were a lot younger than the “old guys” trying to engage me now.

9-19-2006-064Gone are the days of a drink in one hand, a cigarette in the other perfectly manicured hand and a big head of curly hair that’s been painstakingly straightened.  Gone are the days of high heels and short skirts and gone are the days of men trying to score.


Oh my, how my paradigm has shifted (along with a lot of other things that gravity seems bent on destroying).  Just the memory of those days can wear me out….I don’t even put my shoes on after 9:00 p.m. let alone go out and about.  The perfectly manicured hand has turned into “Grandma’s Hands”.  The hours of painstakingly straightening a big mop of hair has turned into a wild mass of curls.  High heels have been replaced by sneakers and yoga pants and I haven’t had a cigarette since 1995!

But as I drove away in my quirky convertible with my emergency eggs, ready to get back to my emergency macaroons, that freshly pressed southern gentleman….ok, I lied he’s really just an “old guy” issuing me an emphatic “how you doing?”  I realized the paradigm had shifted alright and those “old guys” still made me feel a little younger….and they might not have been that old.




  1. Haralee

    29 March

    I want the recipe!
    I know what you mean about a convertible. I think the roof missing takes a barrier away and makes you seem more approachable. I have a convertible and people will say “nice car” or just “hello” a whole lot more than when I drive my other car that has a roof even though it is really cute.

    • Barbara Joy

      29 March

      Crazy…Now if convertible weather would actually get here for the spring I’d be really happy! Thanks for stopping by and reading! Here’s the recipe…it’s from the FOOD52 Blog. Those people are genius’ over there!Makes about 22 cookies

      4 large egg whites
      3 1/2 cups unsweetened dried flaked, not shredded, coconut (also known as coconut chips) or 3 cups sweetened, dried shredded coconut
      3/4 cup sugar
      2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (available kosher for Passover, or can be omitted)
      Slightly rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt
      Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper. Combine all of the ingredients in a large heatproof mixing bowl, preferably stainless steel because the mixture will heat faster than in glass. Set the bowl directly in a wide skillet of barely simmering water (if your bowl bobs in the water, simply pour some out). Stir the mixture with a silicone spatula, scraping the bottom to prevent burning, until the mixture is very hot to the touch and the egg whites have thickened slightly and turned from translucent to opaque, 5 to 7 minutes. Set the batter aside for 30 minutes to let the coconut absorb more of the goop. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Position racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Using 2 tablespoons of batter, make attractive heaps 2 inches apart on the lined cookie sheets. (You can also make these smaller and bake for less time, in 1-tablespoon heaps.) Bake for about 5 minutes, just until the coconut tips begin to color, rotating the pans from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through the baking time to ensure even baking. Lower the temperature to 325 degrees and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until the cookies are a beautiful cream and gold with deeper brown edges, again rotating the pans from top to bottom and from front to back halfway through the baking time. If the coconut tips are browning too fast, lower the heat to 300 degrees. Set the pans or just the liners on racks to cool. Let cool completely before gently peeling the parchment away from each cookie. The cookies are best on the day they are baked — the exterior is crisp and chewy and the interior soft and moist. Although the crispy edges will soften, the cookies remain delicious stored in an airtight container for 4 to 5 days. Upgrade 2.1: Chocolate-Topped Coconut Macaroons. Do this for any version of Coconut Macaroons: While the cookies are still hot, top each with a little piece of your favorite milk or dark chocolate. Or drizzle a little melted chocolate over each cookie. Upgrade 2.2: Coconut Macaroons with Lime Zest and Cinnamon. Stir 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons freshly grated lime zest into the batter before scooping it. Using a fine grater or Microplane zester, grate a little cinnamon stick over the cookies just before serving.

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