I’m not winning any awards for having the best health insurance right now. It only kicks in to cover true catastrophes, which are defined to include things like getting hit by a helicopter while being bitten by a dragon. But it’s a short term thing and I can always go to the $40 urgent care clinic if I have to.
I just really don’t want to. They have a boombox in the waiting room that blasts Cyndi Lauper and Annie Lennox at decibels high enough to kill bacteria.
But about a month ago, my sternum started hurting. Sometimes it felt better (red wine), but other times it felt like Attila the Hun was camped under there, whacking at my bones with a dull machete. So this week I went to the clinic and the doctor told me I was fine; I had just sprained my chest.
It was something fancier than that but it’s hard to memorize your diagnosis when the chorus to “Total Eclipse of the Heart” is coming at you from a subwoofer.
The doctor asked me how the chest sprain had happened, and honestly I had no idea.
Doctor: Tell me about your physical activity lately.
Me: Um. . . minimal.
Doctor: How minimal?
Me: Well, recently I’ve had a couple dreams where I’m ice dancing with Javier Bardem to an instrumental version of “Fields of Gold”. . . so it’s possible I’ve been flailing around in my sleep.
Doctor: Okay. Well, people who get this tend to be athletes–professional rowers, that sort of thing.
Me: Rowers. . .you mean ladies who get up at 4 in the morning so they can haul a boat 30 miles down the Charles River before breakfast?
Me: Yeah, at 4 a.m., if I’m lucky, I’m having my hair braided and my skates laced by Javier before it’s time for our number, and then–
Doctor: So. . . not from rowing, then.
Me: Not from rowing.
She gave me medicines that totally work, though. And then another great thing happened: I was cleaning out the refrigerator and I found this bowl. Scott says it was, at one time, “sausage gravy.”
We agree it’s probably growing penicillin now. This is good news. Making my own antibiotics could save me a trip to the clinic in the future, and that’s very important to me.
Almost as important as what you can bake if/when you find Javier in your kitchen poking around for some breakfast.
Biscuits with chocolate chunks and dried cherries.
They’re quick and easy to prepare. That’s less time in the kitchen and more time for you two to discuss Spain’s parliamentary representative democratic constitutional monarchy, or what have you.
These biscuits aren’t sweet, despite the chocolate. They still have that savory biscuit bite to them because you’re using bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, and the cherries are a little tart.
Do not eat them with sausage gravy unless you’re. . . really sure about it.
Chocolate & Cherry Biscuits
2 c. flour
4 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 c. shortening
3/4 c. whole milk
1/4 c. bittersweet (I used 60%) or semisweet chocolate chips or chunks
1/2 c. dried cherries
1 egg (optional: for brushing on the top of the biscuits)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl (flour, baking powder, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt). Mix in the shortening (use your hands to combine the dough) until the dough looks like coarse crumbs.
Add the milk and stir or mix the dough with your hands until it sticks together. Add the chocolate and cherries and mix until evenly distributed.
On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for 10-12 strokes. Do not over-knead.
Roll or pat to a 1/2 inch thickness. Cut the dough with a biscuit cutter (which you can dip into flour in between cuts, if it begins to stick) or slice into squares with a sharp knife.
Place biscuits on an ungreased baking sheet. If desired, beat the egg with a little (1-2 tbsp.) water or milk, and brush onto the top of each biscuit with a pastry brush or your fingers. (This will give the biscuits a shiny rather than a matte finish.)
Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden. Serve warm, optionally with butter and honey.