Archive for June, 2013

Margaret’s Malted Milk Cookies

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies

I like malted milk balls. I have been looking for a cookie that is really malty. Here is one that I got from a friend at church. They are firm and traveled well to the emergency department where they were greeted with enthusiasm. If you like your malt more chocolaty, throw in a cup of chocolate chips.


Child Magazine’s cookie contest in 2003 via Margaret


30 cookies


1 cup butter, softened

¾ cup firmly packed brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2¼  cups all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons instant hot chocolate mix

1 teaspoon baking soda

½  teaspoon salt

2 cups crushed malted milk balls (Leave pieces large.)

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees.

2. Cover baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

3. In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugars.

4. Beat in egg and vanilla.

5. In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, hot chocolate mix, baking soda, and salt. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture.

6. Stir in malted milk balls.

3. Shape dough into 2 tablespoon balls. Place 2 inches apart on baking sheets. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until firm to the touch. Cool for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


Quiddich Bag

Written by Tad. Posted in Trauma Strap Bags

My daughter volunteers for the International Quiddich Association. * After helping out with their World Cup earlier this year, she ended up with a banner that

she turned into some cool bags. Here are some picture of one of them that I think turned out especially nice. Quiddich fan or not, don’t you wish you had one?





My Fuckin’ Parents

Written by Tad. Posted in Kooks

About 4:00 in the morning, the paramedics brought in a twenty-six-year-old man who had been beaten by bouncers who kicked him out of a bar where he had apparently caused a commotion. Police, called to the scene, may have also added to his injuries when he became combative with them.

He was a thin man who was very drunk and uncooperative. He had clearly been beaten about the face, which was swollen, discolored and scratched. He had bruises and scratches on his shoulders, back, arms and legs. He refused all efforts to calm him down. He was uncooperative as we tried to convince him to let us evaluate him to make sure he had no serious injuries. No matter what was said to him, he would strike out at the questioner and say something like, “F— you!” Almost every sentence or proclamation included the “F” word.

Since he was not competent to refuse care, I could not just let him leave as he asked to do. At this point, I had to make a decision. If there was little likelihood of a life threatening injury, we could restrain and/or sedate him until he sobered up. However, if his injuries might be life threatening, then I would need to do more to diagnose and treat him. Since this patient was so uncooperative, I would have to use more aggressive means to control him so he could be x-rayed and scanned.

I decided to just keep an eye on him. I asked the patient if he had anyone sober who could come and take him home. He said he did. I asked him who. He said, “My fuckin’ parents!”

“Your what?” I asked. He repeated his disrespectful answer. Then, he sat up, looked me in the face and went off on me personally. He started by telling me he could tell I was a “fag.” He pointed out my blue eyes (I actually have green eyes) and my ponytail as evidence that I was “a queer.” He then said, using most offensive words, that he could tell that all I really wanted was to have sex with another man but had never been able to do so. “I can tell just by looking at you!”

I walked away from him so he didn’t have me as a target for his nastiness but it was not helpful. He talked with everyone the same way. He said foul, hurtful and untrue things about Hispanics, blacks, women, everyone. He was taken out of the trauma room, placed in a regular room and was assigned someone to sit and keep an eye on him.

A while later, I started to wonder if I had made the correct decision about just letting him sober up. Rather than relaxing and falling asleep, as most drunks usually do, he just got more obnoxious. He refused to stay in bed and he actually became more violent. While standing in his boxers at the bedside, he screamed that everyone there had touched his private parts and molested him. He said he was leaving. Four security guards and a sheriff deputy stood in the hall outside his door. They asked me what they should do about him.

The patient was still way too drunk and injured to be allowed to leave. Yet, my impression remained unchanged that he could safely be observed until he was sober. I told the officers to put the patient in four point leather restraints and then stay out of his sight so he was not tempted to insult anyone.

A while later, I was informed that his parents had arrived. I went in the room, wondering what I would find. They told me he had no medical problems and confirmed that he was an alcoholic and had been through rehab several times. As we talked, the patient would interrupt, repeating his accusations about having been sexually molested while under our care.

“Oh, shut up!” his father scolded.

I explained that their son was being held, against his will, because he was injured and too drunk to be safely discharged alone. I told the parents they could take him home if they were willing to take responsibility for him. Otherwise, our plan was to keep him until he cooperated with the scanning and x-rays and was sober enough to be sent out alone.

The parents didn’t even need to discuss the situation. They declined to take responsibility for him and went home.

The patient finally fell asleep. He woke up a couple of hours later and was much more pleasant. Now, it was “Yes, sir” and “No, thank you.” He agreed to x-rays, which, fortunately, didn’t show anything broken.

When it was time for him to be discharged, he wanted to know where his wallet and cell phone were. No one had seen either of these items when he came in and we were unable to find them. As I was giving him his final discharge instructions, I was very careful to not say anything judgmental. However, when he accused us of stealing his belongings, I pointed out that, perhaps, he had some responsibility in keeping track of his items.

As he turned and walked out, he said, “You are a douche bag and I hope you die today.”



Can’t You Get Someone to Do Something for Her?

Written by Tad. Posted in Kooks

A twenty-six-year-old man with mental problems was taken by his family to emergency psychiatry. Before they could get him inside, he broke away and ran off. The sheriff was called. They chased him down and, in order to subdue him, shot him with a TASER. By the time they got him under control, he was not breathing and they rushed him in to us. We did our very best to revive him but were not able to do so.

The worst part of my job is telling people their loved one is dead. When I got to the family room to do my duty, I met a middle-aged mother and several other people who turned out to be siblings, cousins, uncles and aunts. I briefly reviewed what had happened then told them he was dead. When this happened, the mother, who was sitting right in front of me, screamed, threw herself on the floor and started to flail around. Everyone else (and I mean EVERYONE) immediately pulled out their cell phones and started dialing. One aunt, as she dialed, pointed to the mom and said something like, “Can’t you get someone to do something for her?” A younger brother, also while trying to dial, started hollering at the sheriff deputy who was standing in the hall outside the room, blaming him for the death. It was the most surreal situation, standing there, watching everyone dialing and talking on his or her cell phone while the grieving mother moaned on the floor.

I finally pointed out to every one in the room that all they were doing was calling on their phones while the mom was crying on the floor. I recommended they put away their phones long enough to give her some comfort. There was some half-hearted effort to respond to my recommendation.

I told them I was very sorry then excused myself to go back to seeing my other patients. A while later, as I was writing up a note on the computer across from the dead man’s room, I heard the mother, from behind the curtains, hollering in Spanish, commanding her son to get up and walk.


Wasabi-Lime Lace Sandwich Cookies

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies

My wife was in a weird mood one night and went online looking for bizarre ingredients in cookies. “Wasabi peas!” she thought and Googled away. Much to her surprise, up popped this recipe. What fun cookies! They have unusual ingredients. Rather than the usual creaming of butter and sugar, you actually boil the butter, sugar and corn syrup before stirring in the flour. They look interesting and the lime butter cream icing just makes them. Go for it!



½ cup wasabi peas, hammered into coarse pieces

½ cup pecans, coarsely chopped

¼ cup Rice Krispies, optional

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup butter

1/3 cup brown sugar, packed

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ cup butter, at room temperature

2 cups powdered sugar

2 tablespoons lime juice

½ teaspoon lime zest


Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

Place the wasabi peas in a plastic bag. Use a kitchen mallet or rolling pin to hammer them into coarse pieces.

Combine the peas, pecans and Rice Krispies in a bowl. Set aside.

Combine ¼ cup butter, brown sugar, and corn syrup in medium saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil while stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Stir in vanilla.

Stir in flour until smooth.

Stir in wasabi peas, pecans and Rice Krispies.

Using a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop, place balls of dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets, spacing 2 inches apart.

Bake 11 to 12 minutes until flat and lightly browned. Cool on sheet 10 minutes. Transfer to rack and cool completely.

Combine ½ cup butter, powdered sugar, lime juice and lime zest in a large bowl. Whip with an electric hand mixer until light and fluffy.

Spoon a generous amount of lime butter cream filling onto the bottom of one cookie. Spread the filling to the edges, then top with a second cookie and gently press them together. Repeat this process with the remaining cookies.


The author of this recipe says that these cookies soften and taste the best when made a day in advance. I found this to be very true.

I made a quadruple batch to take to the emergency department. By the time I baked the last batch, the dough was cooling enough that they didn’t flatten well and had to be pressed down before baking in order to come out flat.

One of the places I found this recipe on the Internet, they omitted the butter from the cookies. I am glad I caught that, as they probably would have been a flop.


Gator Bag

Written by Tad. Posted in Trauma Strap Bags

When on vacation in the Florida Keys last week, we were always on the lookout for wildlife. We saw many birds and fish and even got a good close look at some manatees. We had our eyes open for alligators and were amazed that, when we finally found one, it had a Tad Bag in its mouth!

Actually, the story about the trip to the Keys is true but this is another fun picture sent in by Daniel, the guy who helped keep me from going insane when I was learning to use our new computer system.

Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze

Written by Tad. Posted in Cookies

I don’t know where I got this recipe so I can’t give anyone credit. Sorry. They are tasty but very soft and tender. If you like your cookies to be cake-like, these are for you. The glaze here is doubled from the original as I always run out of glaze and I don’t want you to have that same frustration. 


2½ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

4 ounces butter, softened

2 cups sugar

2 eggs

15 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese

3 tablespoons lemon juice

zest of one lemon

3 cups powdered sugar

6 tablespoons lemon juice

zest of two lemons


Heat the oven to 375 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Beat in eggs, one at a time, until incorporated.

Beat in ricotta cheese, 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, and zest of one lemon.

Stir in dry ingredients.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of dough for each cookie onto baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes, until slightly golden at the edges. Remove from the oven and let rest on the baking sheet for 20 minutes.

Combine powdered sugar, 6 tablespoons of lemon juice, and zest of two lemons in a bowl and stir until smooth. Spoon about one teaspoon onto each cookie and gently spread toward the edges. Let the glaze harden for about 2 hours.


If She Feels Hungry, Getting Dissyness

Written by Tad. Posted in Kooks

I work in a place where we may see patients from almost anywhere in the world. This richness in humanity is one of the reasons I have stayed working at the same place for almost a quarter of a century. Interacting with people from all over the world is interesting and enriches me. It also presents significant challenges

A Bangladeshi man brought in his elderly mother for evaluation. He made some notes, which he gave to me so I could understand what had been going on with her. He said she had been suffering for forty years with these problems. She had just arrived from Bangladesh a few days before and he brought her in for evaluation. Here is the note he gave me, transcribed as best I can from his neat handwriting:















You can see that this sort of presentation would be a challenge for any doctor but, as an emergency physician, I need to see through the forty-year-old things and make sure I don’t miss anything that needs to be discovered today. These people and this note represent a part of what makes my job so interesting.

Yellow Bag with Tabs

Written by Tad. Posted in Trauma Strap Bags

As I have pointed out before, the trauma straps I use to make my bags have a buckle on one end and a tab on the other were the strap is folded back and sewn to itself. I have enjoyed using those tabs as design elements. Here is the first all yellow bag with multiple tabs.

Secret Service in Town

Written by Tad. Posted in Uncategorized

President Obama was in our fair city this week. I became aware of this when it was pointed out to me that there was a Secret Service agent hanging out in our intake room. Since we were one of the designated hospitals to which he might be taken if need arose, they had checked the place out and an agent was hanging out there the night before the visit.

Since it was Thursday night, my cookies were to be had. One of our clerks asked me if she could take one to the agent. After he ate a Wasabi Pea Lace Cookie (recipe to be posted next week) I went to see if he liked it. He said he had never eaten a cookie like that before and said he really liked it. I told him about my blog, pointed out that Michelle Obama’s favorite cookie is one of my postings and jokingly told him to make sure she was aware of that.

He spent quite a while reading my “Kooks” postings and seemed really excited to read about all the crazy stuff we see in the emergency department. It is fun for me to share my cookies and stories with visitors like this.

Copyright © 2014 Bad Tad, MD