So Berry Martha!- Chocolate-Strawberry Thumbprints-191 eggs, 151 cups of sugar, 144 3/4 sticks of Butter, and 184 1/4 cups of flour used so far- 67 recipes to go!

March 10, 2011

Martha's Chocolate-Strawberry Thumbprints

André's Chocolate-Strawberry Thumbprints

So, picture it. It’s the week before Valentine’s Day (yes, I’m that far behind on writing my posts) and I’ve been invited to a co-worker’s home for an office party. What to bring? What to bring?  Everyone is expecting cookies, needless to say, but I wanted to bring ones that seemed appropriate to serve with cocktails,  ones that appealed to the holiday and had visual appeal. Chocolate-Strawberry Thumbprints were the perfect choice. Simple buttery chocolate cookies are rolled in granulated sugar and pressed with the tip of the thumb before being baked to dark, sweet and crisp perfection. A mildly sweet cream cheese filling is piped into the indentation of each one and topped with finely chopped sugar-macerated strawberries. The cookies are sweet, but not too sweet and the strawberries and cream cheese filling lend these cookies the look of a refined hors d’oeuvre rather than a simple cookie. The distinct colors of red, white and black go beautifully with the romantic holiday and the taste is certainly reminiscent of chocolate-covered strawberries- a Valentine’s Day favorite.

As you can tell from the photo, I plated them with plenty of fresh strawberries. I think the touch of green from the stems filled the platter nicely and made for a beautiful presentation. So, there you go- Chocolate-Strawberry Thumbprints- a perfect cookie for when adults gather.

At this particular party there was a drink being served called a Flirtini. It went really well with the cookies. A little too well. It’s made of lime juice, raspberry vodka, triple sec, with a touch of grenadine and a spritz of sparkling wine.  It’s served in a martini glass with a few fresh raspberries floating on top. Although it’s a bit of a frou-frou drink, it’s still mostly booze, hence the name- Flirtini. After three or four of these I almost went home with my friend’s neighbor’s snowman. Don’t judge. He’d been checking me out all evening.


The rest of this post will be fairly tasteless and consist of a topic most people will find abhorrent. If you wish to, you have my permission to stop reading and go check out another website. I understand there are plenty of sites with kittens doing really cute stuff on the internets.

Every now and then I get a topic stuck in my head and I feel a need to write it out no matter how inappropriate the subject matter. I apologize, but this is such a post.

Over the course of my forty-three years I’ve met a lot of people in the medical field. From psychiatrists to trauma surgeons- pediatricians to veterinarians. My favorites, though have always been those that work in emergency rooms. These particular healers, whether nurses, doctors or surgeons see some pretty awful stuff and yet are expected to keep their cool in the most chaotic of situations. I always suspected in order for a person to cope with these situations, facing human mortality each and every day,  delivering the saddest of news to a grief-stricken families, piecing back-together torn and broken patients of all ages, races, and economic situations- they would have to have a really terrific sense of humor.

To test this theory I decided to pose a simple question to every person I meet that works in an emergency room setting. The question is fairly direct and has little to no merit.

What is the largest or most unusual thing you’ve ever pulled out of a patient’s butt?

Sure enough, ninety percent of the time, the professional’s face lights up and without missing a beat they list a string of items retrieved: dildos (manual and battery-powered), food items, produce, wine bottles, condiment and jelly jars, drinking glasses, strings of rubber balls, small domestic animals, small feral animals, sports equipment, tampons (bad aim, I guess), eyedroppers, garden tools, hardware, rope, rolling pins, jewelry, matchbox cars, small appliances, lighters, press-on nails, objects d’art and salt & pepper shakers to name a few.

During a recent visit with a friend who’s a trauma surgeon, he whipped out his phone to show me the lateral abdominal X-Ray of a man in his mid-sixties who arrived in the E.R. with his concerned wife. The wife explained that her husband was suffering from a terrible case of hemorrhoids. After viewing the X-Ray, my friend was able to quickly and easily ascertain that the “Hemorrhoids” were triggered by a twelve-inch, battery-operated phallus lodged just below his liver.  My friend explained that the lining of the bowels are unbelievably stretchy to which I, gawking at the graphic X-Ray responded, “Obviously!”

I think my E.R. friends are appreciative of being able to share this sort of thing with someone who actually wants to know. I mean, think of it. How often does something like this happen in your workplace? And if it did, wouldn’t you want to tell someone? I soon discovered medical personnel in emergency rooms love these stories. They trade tales of rectal extractions like baseball cards. The thought of doctors casually chatting about the industrial flashlight they pulled out of old Mr. Cooper makes me giggle incessantly. This is testament to the fact that I’m still a pathetic juvenile in many ways.

Having posed this question to many medical professionals, I should offer a warning before you do the same. Stay away from the specialists, even the gastroenterologists. They won’t budge and they won’t share a thing. In fact, they usually walk away in disgust. That’s okay because specialists aren’t particularly interesting people to chat with anyway. If you can find an emergency room doctor or nurse who’s been hammering away at their job awhile, and, even better,  have a few drinks in them,  then you’ve hit a gold mine of rectal extraction stories.

Of course, having heard enough of these tales now, I have to wonder- who are these people that keep putting stuff up their butts? I mean, seriously, how bored do you have to be? I’ve often found myself sitting at home, nothing interesting on T.V., bored out of my mind, itching to do something, but it never occurred to me to start digging around the kitchen for stuff  to get crazy-intimate with.

Still, there are enough of these stories circulating that make me think there’s a demographic out there that see the entire planet as a series of challenging suppositories. What makes it worse, the way I figure it, stories from the E.R. only make up a small percentage of the people who get themselves in serious “oops” situations. They don’t account for the real pros out there. This, of course,  makes me think about them. Can you imagine going grocery shopping with one of these people? Or a trip to Home Depot? The thought makes me shudder a bit. I can’t help but think they appreciate the art of puppetry for all the wrong reasons.

I guess this strange practice is akin to mountain climbing, except for people that don’t get out much. Mountain climbers have always attested that they climb the mountain because it’s there. I guess the same rings true for these daring “adventurers.”

Then I begin to think about taxes. I pay taxes. You pay taxes. Our tax dollars support our local E.Rs. I want to know what percentage of my taxes have gone to performing rectal extractions over the years. Based on the number of stories I’ve heard, I imagine there’s a dollar figure attached to that. As a tax-payer I propose a new way to pay for these procedures by way of a new reality television show, much in the vain of Hoarders or Wife Swap. Think of it. A gentleman and his wife show up in the E.R. with a terrible case of “Hemorrhoids” and the triage nurse tells him that they can treat him for free but only if he agrees to be featured on next week’s episode of Whoops!; Real Stories of Rectal Extractions. I bet he’d think twice before eyeing that Swarovski paperweight. The revenue generated from the show could pay for hundreds of extractions and raise awareness around bowel safety with some sort of fun and creative campaign. I’d certainly buy the clever T-shirt they’d be sure to produce.  I imagine the Arts & Entertainment channel would find a time slot for it. It’d be no worse or more exploitive than what they’re currently airing.

So, I hope you found this post informative, if not a little uncomfortable. I feel like I just stepped onto Sedaris’ territory this time. I doubt if he’ll sue, though.

I guess the moral would be not to put stuff up your butt.

Read a book, go to the movies, take a walk… or better yet… bake some cookies.

I’m going to wash my hands now. They feel kind of icky after typing this post.

One Response to “So Berry Martha!- Chocolate-Strawberry Thumbprints-191 eggs, 151 cups of sugar, 144 3/4 sticks of Butter, and 184 1/4 cups of flour used so far- 67 recipes to go!”

  1. Mary Gemmell Says:

    Like I told you…the oddest thing I had ever heard was a light bulb. Oh well I guess someone had to do it.

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