“I do not wear shorts.” It is a simple, cut and dry rule. There are not a lot of sub-sections or appendices to get caught up in. I mean, shorts can easily be interpreted as skirts which end above the knee: acceptable, but only when chaperoned by a pair of opaque tights (or in a bind, two pairs of slightly sheer tights which together make an acceptable screen). But generally, the no-knees-seen-rule is easy to follow as there is either a knee to be seen or there is not, period.
This rule was not created to satisfy any sort of religious convention, it was not aimed to keep me modest, nor was it paying homage to the demure yet girly attire of housewives of days gone by. No, I am all for mini skirts on thin leggy girls and daisy dukes on girl’s with, well, Daisy D’s legs. I am pro-legs. I was just not pro my legs.
It was last year, in Uruguay, when riding to the beach that I considered just how ridiculous this rule had come to be. There I was, biking down the crumbling lane in a fishing village flashing the cows as the wind lifted my flowing knee-length skirt well above those not-to-be-seen-knees. I just knew those cows were lowing to the ditty that begins with “I see London” and ends with “underpants.” Heifer humiliation, all because the rule had been in effect for so long that I no longer owned one single pair of shorts. And let’s be honest here, even if I had it is not like I would have packed them or worn them if I had. In all reality, this really stemmed from the place that required the no-shorts-rule in the first place… the leg place.
Something had to change, specifically me legs had to change, the cows (of all creatures) demanded it. So I took action once I got home and promptly ordered up Tracy Anderson’s metamorphosis. She certainly demands a lot for a pint-sized blonde in tights… legs, arms, bum, abs, and on top of that a cardio dance session but it does get the job done. One year to the day, 227 of those work outs, what feels like 200 poached eggs, and a whole lots of bouncing comboed with ‘spirit fingers’ later I have lost over 20 pounds, whittled 3.5″ off those pesky hips, gone down at least one bra-size and am now the proud owner of not one but two pairs of shorts. It actually did not take the full year to accomplish all that, but I am now reflecting on it. Sometimes accomplishments such as this are not really celebrated because they happen over time: one inch here, a pair of shorts worn in Kenya there… I am smaller, stronger, healthier and have now amended the rule to” I do not wear shorts with high heels”… baby steps people, I am working my way to a no-rule place with Tracy in tow.
So, today I celebrate with the lowest fat dessert I could think of, meringues. Well, meringue kisses with chocolate chips. I gave up chocolate chips for the 40 days of lent since no matter how much tiny toned Tracy smiles out at me from my tv screen while flexing her perfect abs in what my husband call her “tiny pants,” I can’t help myself, those little chipits call my name from inside their bag, inside the cupboard, they want me to eat them. So, for lent, I let them and all their chocolatey goodness go. Tracy may not be able to keep me in line, but Jesus, well, He did the job. But, now lent is over and my wee semi-sweets and have been reunited so I felt I could not bake a proper celebratory treat without inviting them to the party. So here they are:
Chocolate Chip Meringue Kisses
4 large egg whites
3/4 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp salt
2 tsp cornstarch
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 225F, place one rack in the upper middle and the other in the lower middle position. Line two baking pans with parchment paper.
In a small bowl combine the cornstarch and sugar, set aside. Put the egg whites, vanilla and salt in a large bowl, whip for about 30 seconds until soft peaks form. Reduce speed to medium and slowly add the sugar mix to the whites in a steady stream over about 30 seconds. Once combined, stop the beaters and scrape down the bowl. Resume beating on high for about another 30 seconds until stiff glossy peaks form. Fold in the chocolate chips and place the batter in a piping bag with a plain tip (or a Ziploc with one end trimmed off). Pipe small mounds, about 1 1/2″ wide onto the parchment. You should end up with about 48 small cookies.
Bake for one hour, rotating the pans at the half-way point. At one hour, turn off the oven and allow them to cool in the oven for at least 1 hour. My oven really holds heat so for the first 15 minutes after I turned the oven off, I propped the oven door open slightly with the handle of a wooden spoon. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely. You can store these in an air-tight container for 2 weeks.