I went to the doctor's office recently. I saw the same woman that I see every year for my annual grope and poke. We make polite chit-chat about my family while she makes sure I'm clean and cancer-free. She looks puzzled whenever I try humor to ease over the awkwardness of the situation. I think she has no sense of humor. Anyway, I had seen her just 4 months previously and was back to ask about a different, but related topic.
Having had a nurse dispense with the weight, temperature, and blood pressure (all fine, thank you for asking), she starts to ask me about my lifestyle. "Do you smoke?" No. "Do you take any prescription medications?" No. "Do you do any recreational drugs?" she asks, with her voice lilting up a bit, as if to suggest that I could trust her if I chose this moment to break down and confess my crack cocaine addiction. NO.
"Do you have a dancing partner?" Yes, I say, my voice rising a bit, as if to suggest that the chart surely contains the information that I've been married over 20 years and have 4 children. I am an active dancer.
"And is your dancicng partner....male?" Eybrows crinkling together, forehead furrowed, I reply in a testy voice, "That would be my husband."
I fumed through the rest of the visit, seething inside over the indignity of people who refuse to remember you, even though you see them repeatedly, and the embarrassment of such politically correct questions designed not to offend anyone. Except they do offend me.
I crossed the street from the doctor's office to the grocery store. Time was tight and I needed to get dinner fixin's. I headed straight for the meat counter, looking for boneless, skinless chicken thighs. I didn't have the time to do all the tedious prep work so I was prepared to pay a premium price for someone else doing that work. Aha, one last package. I grabbed it and then dropped it right back. Why did it go "squiiiish?" What does it mean "injected with up to 15% solution?" Solution of what? Botox, to make an aged chicken look plump and fresh? Or water so I can pay boneless, skinless chicken prices for water? Argggh!
I headed over to the produce section. A helpful young man was stocking the packaged, dried fruit section so I asked him where the California dried apricots were. "Oh, we don't carry those." I spotted them on the shelf and grabbed a pack. Then I asked a different produce guy where the unsalted pistachios were. "Oh, we don't carry those." (I'm sensing a trend here.) Seeing the growing thundercloud on my face he hastily amended with, "but if we do, they'd be in the baking aisle."
So I head over to the baking aisle. I see, of course, zero unsalted pistachios but I do note that they're clearing out the Nestle's peanut butter and milk chocolate chips. What a shame. Of course a bag had to go in my cart. Which, of course, was one of the mutant carts that pulls wildly in one direction. I was not in the mood to wrestle with it further. I bought my chips and apricots and left.
Storming into the kitchen I snarled at my husband, "I don't care how hot it is; I need to bake cookies." My husband is a wise man with a strong sense of self-preservation. "Cookies sound great, honey," said he.
I knew I needed chocolate cookies. The delicious ones I'd seen on Technicolor Kitchen were out of the question as someone else was on the computer. Grrrr. So I used my old, standard chocolate chip cookie recipe, dumped in 1/2 cup of cocoa and the newly purchased chips. While I mixed and baked I mentally wrote a letter to the doctor's office.
Please attach the following information to my chart:
I am a happily married, heterosexual who does not smoke or do drugs. Should I ever decide to cheat on my husband, take up smoking, mainline heroin, or take dance lessons with a goat, I'll let you know. In the meantime, DON'T ASK! That way I can pretend that you actually know who I am.
Do you think I should send it?
Chocolate Fix Cookies
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsweetened baking cocoa
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups Peanut Butter and Milk Chocolate Chips
1 cup chopped pecans
1- Preheat oven to 375 deg. F.
2 - Sift into a small bowl the flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa.
3- In a large mixing bowl combine the butter and sugars. Beat till creamy and fluffy. Add vanilla extract and eggs. Beat well. Gradually add flour mixture; mix well. Stir in the chips and nuts.
4- Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased baking sheets.
5- Bake for 8-9 minutes, just till the top is set. Don't overbake or you'll have pucks.
6- Let cookies rest on the sheet for about 2 minutes (they'll continue baking), then remove to a cooling rack to finish cooling.