Some dried purple flowers fell into the shower drain from my head this evening. It occurred to me they could have been stuck in there for some time, and unbeknownst to me, took a quiet ride through my daily life like little stowaways buried under red curls. Which tree I brushed to get them in the first place, I have no idea. The surprise I got in the shower is almost the exact same surprise I feel when I realize I know the answer to some medical trivia asked of me on rounds or by patients. Where did this knowledge come from? How long has it been tucked into some neural fold, under a shrub of red curls, a little stowaway fact that has clung to me with no conscious effort of my own? My learning process in medical school, I suppose, is a lot like walking through a grove of tall flowering trees in the rain. Petals do stick to you among the many that seem to fall underfoot. I much prefer the gentle imagery of medical school like a stroll under flowered boughs to that of the violent fire hose analogy medical students evoke when trying to make excuses for why they can’t remember important things. Thank you, little thoughts like dried flowers, for pressing yourselves into the folds of me as though between the pages of a book—so that years later I might marvel at the rediscovery of a familiar spring.
Raspberry Orange Cookies
Adapted from the inside of a box of butter I bought recently, meant to recycle, but didn’t. Thankfully I rediscovered the box and these cookie instructions in a perfect moment of hunger and boredom. The rest is now history.
1 cup butter, softened
1 ½ cups flour
½ cup powdered sugar
¼ cup corn starch
2 tsp orange zest
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp vanilla
6 TB raspberry preserves
Place butter in a large mixing bowl and whip until creamy. Add in the remaining ingredients. Drop 2 tbsp, 2-inches apart, onto a piece of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees 12-15 minutes, until edges are lightly browned. Let cool. (Don’t worry, I didn’t let any wildlife, flora or fauna, fall into the cookie dough from my tangled do.)
(The instructions actually said to wait to add the raspberry preserves until you’ve already formed the cookies and then to press a thumb print impression in the top of the cookie dough and then add the preserves with a little dollop. I don’t think mixing hurt anything, flavor-wise, but they certainly weren’t as pretty.)
I suppose it might ruin the romance of this little blog vignette if I mentioned the whole truth, that a dead beetle also dropped alongside the purple flowers into the shower drain. Not all that we carry without our knowing is so pleasant a surprise.