The Passion Of The Martha- Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies- 25 eggs, 18 1/2 cups of sugar, 15 1/2 sticks of Butter, and 20 1/4 cups of flour used so far- 160 recipes to go!

April 5, 2010

Martha's Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies

André's Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies

There are very few things in the world that cannot be made better with cream cheese frosting.

This cakey and tender cookie is no exception. I find there are two kinds of people in this world. Those who like carrot cake and those who do not. Personally, I have no use for the haters. I believe that baby carrots dream of growing up and working in a carrot cake one day. Seriously, to a carrot, wouldn’t appearing in a carrot cake be like debuting on Broadway? Think about that that next time you walk through the produce section at the Piggly Wiggly. If you are quiet enough and listen very carefully you can hear a faint strain of  A Chorus Line’s ‘God, I Hope I Get It!’ coming from the carrot section.

This recipe is almost identical to any carrot cake recipe out there, with the exception of rolled oats added to the mix.  The oats absorb most of the moisture and lend it a more cookie-like texture. Cream cheese frosting is layered between two of the cookies. The taste is unbelievable. I served them to my partner and his family at Easter dinner and they were a huge hit.

Drooling yet?

Easter is one of those holidays that Catholics kind of go crazy over. Lent is over. Time to let your hair down a little. Eat a little meat on Fridays again.

When I was living in Jersey City I lived behind a Greek Orthodox church. I remember on Good Friday (the day Jesus died, for you non-Catholics) there was an evening procession down the street where the congregation followed an elaborately flowered casket into the church. There were children dressed in black and all the women were veiled. Sobs could be heard echoing over the monotone Greek prayers that emanated from the elderly priests at the front of the procession. Candles burned, chants were repeated ad nauseum, and women wailed. It was like the most depressing Mardi Gras parade I had ever seen. I thought it was, perhaps, a really elaborate funeral for a favorite local until my neighbor explained the church was conducting a burial for Jesus. “Hmmm. Better late than never”, I thought to myself.

On Easter Sunday, the doors of the Greek church flung open, church bells rang, a marching band marched the two-step out of the church followed by women and children dressed all in white. They danced to the beat of the drums. The casket emerged once again from the church, it’s lid removed to reveal its empty interior. There was no Jesus in the casket. Where did he go? Why, he rose up to heaven to be with his daddy. Opa! Everybody dance down the street! Eat grilled lamb and spanikopita for he has risen.

It was a remarkable event to witness. I did not join in the festivities because, sadly, I’m not Greek. I’m also a pretty rotten Catholic and most good Catholics can smell a rotten one in their midst.

It got me thinking that I needed to do something to celebrate the day. Something religious…but what?

I could go to church and receive communion, but church is boring and none of the priests spoke English well enough to be properly understood. That’s the problem with the priesthood, besides the whole Pass-The-Molester stuff in the news. Priests take a vow of chastity. No sex… None… Zip… Goose Egg… Zero… As far as recruitment goes, this is not a great selling point. I imagine many of the recruitment conversations go like this.

“It’s a great job. You really only have to work on Sundays and be on call during the week. You get a lot of quiet time and really nice place to live. You can drink at work, in fact it’s required,  and people will think you have supernatural powers. You have a great boss. More of a silent partner type, really. Oh, and by the way, you can’t have sex… ever…  Wait…WAIT!  COME BACK! I didn’t get to tell you about the vestments!  THE VESTMENTS!”

As a result, the church has gone into third world countries and pulled out young men ripe for the seminary who love the Lord and three square meals a day very much, but no one in the congregation can understand a word they’re saying.

So, church was out. Hmmmm. What to do?

Mel Gibson had a little movie that was getting a lot of press at the time and the Catholics were just raving about it. I checked the listings and knew that if I hopped on the PATH train, I could be at the movie theatre in Battery Park just in time to get a good seat.

The PATH train which stands for Port Authority Trans Hudson, is the train that runs between the New Jersey river bank and Manhattan. The train made its first stop under the World Trade Center below many, many feet of concrete. It was now exposed, the great towers were gone and the train pulled into the empty vast pit of twisted metal and crumbled concrete. I took this train almost everyday and it always gave me an uneasy feeling to emerge from the dark tunnel that ran under the Hudson River, into the open air of what once was one of the tallest buildings in the world.

Hopping off the train, I jogged over to the theatre right on the North edge of Battery Park. Bought a ticket, debated buying popcorn (this wasn’t a very concessions friendly movie), took my seat, and prepared to be inspired by Mel Gibson’s The Passion of The Christ. I looked around the packed theatre. It was filled primarily with Latinos and Latinas still in their Easter Sunday clothes. The script of the film was written in Latin, Hebrew, and ancient Arabic so they were just as much at a disadvantage as I was.

The film was violent. It can best be described as watching two hours of torture. Mel Gibson had created a snuff film based on the New Testament. There was blood, lots of it. There was screaming and unspeakable acts of violence depicted in the most graphic of details. The man in front of me was on his cell phone explaining the entire film to his mother as it unfolded. I would have asked him to be quiet but his conversation was more enjoyable than what was happening on the screen. Women in the audience gasped . Families were saying prayers during the crucifixion. I could hear the gentleman-with-the-cellphone’s voice crack as he was explaining to his mama that Mary was very sad for her son.

“Pobre Maria! Pobre Maria!”

“Poor Mary! Poor Mary!”, he sobbed into his cellphone.

I sat there thinking I had just bought a ticket to crazy-town. This could not be happening. These are the same people that would be protesting the networks if this sort of violence ever showed up on their TV screen, yet here they were with their small children who, by the way,  were screaming in terror that they wanted to go home and hide from the scary Hebrews.

This was the last sort-of religious observation of the holiday I ever made.

Does this make me a bad Catholic? Should I go to mass and nod into a dull trance of boredom? Should I watch more Mel Gibson films? Did I miss the spiritual undertones in the Lethal Weapon or Mad Max series?

Maybe cooking fried chicken, mashed potatoes & gravy, and cheese biscuits to share with loved ones is more along the path of righteousness. Isn’t it about being thankful and rejoicing in the life we have? Isn’t it a time to look at our lives and recognize that any day on this side of the flower bed is a blessing?

Rebecca Wells wrote a line in a play that has always stuck with me in regards to religion and spirituality.

“You have to do a whole lot of prayin’ to realize that you’ve been praying all the time.”

Maybe whipping up a batch of Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies should count as a religious observation.

Well, dammit, they are heavenly. (ba-ding-bang!)

5 Responses to “The Passion Of The Martha- Carrot Cake Sandwich Cookies- 25 eggs, 18 1/2 cups of sugar, 15 1/2 sticks of Butter, and 20 1/4 cups of flour used so far- 160 recipes to go!”

  1. Don Adams Says:

    OMG, André! You ARE a Catholic! You took the PATH train and bought the ticket to crazy-town — and then you ask, “Does [my humane response] make me a bad Catholic?”

    Mazel tov on the carrot-cake-cookie insight: the perfect observance. May this spring show you the right side of many flower beds, and thanks again for your blog!

  2. Tommy Says:

    The Amish call these whoopies, probably because they pass for sex inbetween child-making rituals. They’re that good.

  3. Russ Says:

    “Maybe cooking fried chicken, mashed potatoes & gravy, and cheese biscuits to share with loved ones is more along the path of righteousness.”

    Amen, brother. Amen.

  4. Mary Gemmell Says:

    Always appreciate your take on the Catholic Church. It is always so funny. Keep up the good work. I resemble some of your remarks.

  5. Wow, I don’t know that the priest thing has gone that bad. I mean, I know priest supply is low in the Europe and US, but never thought that there are priests who give sermon which no one can barely understood. LOL!

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