If You Can’t Take The Heat, Stay Away From The Cookies! – Snickerdoodles- 60 eggs, 48 3/4 cups of sugar, 40 sticks of Butter, and 43 3/4 cups of flour used so far- 143 recipes to go!

June 7, 2010

Martha's Snickerdoodles

André's Snickerdoodles

The origin of the name, Snickerdoodle is a bit convoluted. According to The Joy of Cooking the name is derived from the German Schneckennudeln (Snail Noodles). This is in reference to the trails of cinnamon left on the cookie’s surface after baking. The thought is that these trails resemble the noodle-like trails left by snails on pavement. It could also have its origin in the Dutch Snekrad (Snail) again referencing the snail trails.  Another suggested origin is that its just a fun word adopted by New Englanders to describe this delicious cookie, and yet another origin story ties it to an American Folklore character named Snickerdoodle from the turn of the century.

All origin stories aside, this is a wonderful cookie and is loved by many. It’s terrificly simple to make and there are many recipes floating around as to how to make a proper Snickerdoodle. Martha’s recipe calls for simple ingredients: butter, sugar, flour, eggs, baking powder, and cinnamon. The dough is formed into 1 inch balls and rolled in cinnamon & sugar. These flatten as they are baked and have a crisp outside crust with a light and fluffy center. They are delicious with milk and are a hit with young and old alike.

My partner, Dan took these to work to celebrate a coworker’s birthday. I am finding that there is no shortage of events to bake cookies for. This week I need to tackle three different birthday events and one housewarming.

I have been very busy lately. In addition to this blog, running my home,  dealing with a job that seems to be in a perpetual state of chaos, and preparing to go back to school, I am also the chairman of my workplace’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, and Allies Employee Resource Group. The acronym for this mouthful is the LGBT ERG. When you work for a corporation you learn to come up with an acronym for everything.

I generally don’t blog about my day-to-day activities because:

a) My life is boring.

b) I want people to come back and read more stories.

This past weekend, however, there was excitement. As chairman of our LGBT ERG, I was contacted by the local Pride Festival and asked if my company would be interested in participating in this year’s festival. I had their representative present the idea to our group and then went about obtaining approval to participate from the powers that be at my company’s HQ. We landed on the decision to host a booth to be opened from 11:00AM – 7:00PM where we would distribute free samples of our product and encourage festival attendees to enter into a drawing for some of our products by filling out a brief survey. My company has never really marketed to the LGBT community and so I thought this was a terrific opportunity for us to “get to know one another.”

In addition to the booth, my company agreed to allow us to march in the newly reinstated Gay Pride Parade.

This was going to require work. There was much to organize and we had less than three weeks to put it all together. I had contacted a mardi gras supply company and ordered beads for marchers to throw to the parade-goers. I had handed out assignments to other members of our ERG to get signs made and organize attendance.

Everything was falling into place. That was until the festival had to change venues. Due to excessive rain at a recent rock & roll concert, the grounds of the Pride Festival were so damaged they would not be able to accommodate another event without it turning into a mud pit. The venue had to be changed to a city park a few miles away. The parade was to march through downtown ending at the festival grounds. Now that the venue had changed, no parade route was available. The parade was cancelled… and I was stuck with enough beads to start my own mardi gras krewe.

We decided to hand out beads in addition to our free products at our booth. This would only drive more traffic and help us gather more information about the LGBT consumers, right?

The day of the festival arrived. I had moved the boxes of supplies the previous afternoon with the help of one of our members and his trusty pick-up. All I had to do now was set up our display, open a few boxes and start pitching for my company. I had a string of twelve volunteers who showed up for their respective two-hour shifts. Everything was going great. People were stopping by, picking up their free swag, filling out surveys, sharing stories, and generally having a good time.

It was a hot day. Towards the end of the day the temperature approached the high 90s. I had been drinking plenty of water and had been feeling pretty good. Around 3:00, I developed a bit of a headache. I excused myself from the booth and headed over to the medical tent. I was told that they were in the process of closing medical to move closer to the center of the park. I was handed an ice pack and told to place it on my neck. They could not distribute aspirin or ibuprofen but if I gave them $2.00, they’d run over and buy me a bottle of water.

Clearly they were of no use. I went back to my company’s booth. A new volunteer had just arrived. I didn’t know her very well but she seemed sweet and eager to help. To her disappointment I had decided to close the booth early because I wasn’t feeling well and knew I was only going to get worse.

I was waiting for my volunteer with the pick-up to arrive so we could move our boxes of supplies out of the festival. He had stopped by the booth with his partner earlier but was now no where to be found. I became anxious. I was starting to feel quite ill. I stepped into an air-conditioned tent and stood before the cool fan when I was overcome with a sense of nausea. I vomited discretely in the corner. I knew I was only going to decline more. I went back to our booth. Still no sign of out volunteer with the pick-up and he wasn’t answering his phone. I began dismantling the booth.

Then suddenly everything went black. I couldn’t breathe. I collapsed onto a chair gasping for breath. I began sweating profusely. I was burning up and yet I was shivering with chills. A group of women with Justin Bieber hairdos pulled up in a golf cart flatbed. They helped me onto the back and took off at a speed that sent me shooting off the end of the flat bed at the first curb. Luckily, I landed on my feet. At this point I didn’t know what was going on. I headed back to my company’s tent with the group of female Justin Bieber look-alikes shouting after me. I saw our  volunteer with the pick-up had arrived and told him to pack up the supplies and take them home.  I’d call him in the morning. I turned to the leader of the Justin Bieber Ladies Auxillary and asked her to call an ambulance. She sat me down and I immediately popped up making a B-Line towards the port-o-johns. Another wave of nausea was about to run its course.

Through the thin plastic walls of the ungodly hot port-o-potty, I could hear the volunteers calling 911. “He’s disoriented, irritated, and throwing up.” they reported.

I thought to myself, these ladies just about killed me trying to drive me to the closed medical tent.  Hell yes, I’m irritated!

I emerged from the port-o-john and was escorted back to the air-conditioned tent. I could no longer really see anything clearly or understand what was going on at that point. I remember looking up and seeing the president of the festival kneeling next to me. I remember thinking to myself, he doesn’t have time to deal with this in the middle of running the festival. I remember him kissing my elbow for some reason. I imagine it was the only part of me not sweating. I remember them removing my shirt and placing it on my back while they poured cold water on me. I remember having a box of rotting garbage thrust in front of me. I didn’t need to vomit until I got a whiff of the garbage at the bottom of the container.

I remember one of the paramedics being named, Pete and the other one looking like Samuel L. Jackson in Jackie Brown. I remember them removing my clothing and placing ice packs over me. I remember looking over at a couple in the crowd taking photos and laughing as I was wheeled through the  parting sea of festival-goers. They must’ve thought I was just a guy who drank too much and passed out in the heat.

I closed my eyes at that point in hopes that I would just pass out entirely.

I don’t remember the ambulance ride.

At the hospital, I was given fluids intravenously and injected with a nausea prohibitor. The diagnosis was heat exhaustion and was told that I was going to have to be more careful in situations that would put me in the sun for extended amounts of time.

I was released from the hospital three hours later. My partner, Dan had been there to make sure I was okay. He joked that he knew I was going to be alright when he heard the paramedics describe my condition as irritable and disoriented. If I had been pleasant and optimistic he would have known there was a real problem.

I received a call from my physician today. He had read my chart and told me that if my core body temperature and blood pressure had climbed any higher, I would have gone into cardiac arrest. Why he told me that I don’t know. It didn’t make me feel any better.

People have been asking me how I feel, today.

Here’s the list:

I feel like a tube of toothpaste that has had everything squeezed out of it. I feel embarrassed and a bit weak. I feel loved and cared for. I feel a bit betrayed by the Sun and am approaching hot days with a higher degree of respect in the future.

I feel very appreciative for all the people who took care of me.

I feel like I’m going to sue if that couple posts that photo anywhere where I can find it.

I feel a bit old and a little sad.

I feel happy to be alive.


10 Responses to “If You Can’t Take The Heat, Stay Away From The Cookies! – Snickerdoodles- 60 eggs, 48 3/4 cups of sugar, 40 sticks of Butter, and 43 3/4 cups of flour used so far- 143 recipes to go!”

  1. gloria Says:

    Those cookies look delish. I have Martha’s cookie book and I love it. Too hot to bake today though. I just found you blog via our Modesto newspaper and thought I would check it out. I like it and have followed you to see your progress as you go along baking through Martha’s wonderful book. Take care and thx for sharing.

  2. Carol Says:

    I’m so thankful you’re ok, Andre, but so sorry for your ordeal. And Snickerdoodles are my favorite cookie.

  3. molly Says:

    Oh man, Andre’. I am so sorry you went through that ordeal. I was in and out of the heat Saturday, too, and it was intense. Hope you’re continuing to take it easy.

    Love you!

  4. Alyse Says:

    So sorry Dré. I’m glad you are feeling better. I know you, you were probably doing 50 things at once in the heat and not resting very long. Slow down bro!

  5. Don Adams Says:

    Only now catching up with your blog, André, after a busy week, and hope you’re feeling younger and happier and thoroughly recovered. Is humidity any consolation? Never mind…

    Most of all I was touched by your description of the feeling of helplessness in public, relying upon the kindness of strangers (even those with bad haircuts) and realizing that others just see a photo-op.

    Here’s to summer with lots of shade and juleps (not the thin lips of Aunt Nazi: yes, I read ahead!).

  6. Jan Crosetto Says:

    Andre – we love your story and cookies! We saw you in the article, “Blogging All Things Delicious” in the Kansas City Star. We have perm to reprint the article in our English-teaching magazine. Can we get hi-res photos of your wonderful cookies to go with the article? Thx and happy baking!

  7. I am requesting permission to use your snickerdoodle cookie image in my cookie brochure. I am a very small business and do not want to hire an expensive professional photographer. My husband and I are starting up a small cookie fundraising brochure for elementary schools. Do I have your permission to use your image?
    Thank you for your time,
    Christina Wilson

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