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Strawberry Cake and the Occasional Malapropism

Posted Feb 10 2009 12:47pm

Part of entering any field, health care included, is learning a new language - acquiring a collection of terms used to describe various scenarios that you could already very well describe in your own words. It strikes me as a combination of necessary efficiency (after all, it is quicker and easier to say "the patient is experiencing hemoptysis" than to remark "the patient is spitting up lots of gross nasty looking red blood and is probably sick"), and a wee bit of establishing an in-group (because really, when you say "the patient is experiencing hemoptysis" you're also saying "I know what's going on around here, really, I promise - I belong in this room discussing nasty gross symptoms).

What I didn't anticipate, however, was the second language that accompanies medical terminology: medical malapropisms. Inherently, as patients try to navigate their diagnoses and a strange new language, words are often converted into more familiar associations...

I've heard a poor distraught woman who arrived for an echocardiogram tell us "my heart's running out of ribbon."

When I asked a stress test patient how he was feeling, he replied with "I'm much better now. I can see clearly again - they took the Cadillacs out of my eyes."

And finally, a patient having blood drawn asked if I couldn't just "take some from the juggling vein?"

I'm slowly getting better at not laughing until I'm out of the room...

I can't really blame them, though - I once spent a lively hour espousing about Shakespeare's Sonnet 16 to a classroom full of students, and then turned around and wrote "u-n-t-i-l-l" on the chalkboard...

We all have our moments, and we are blessed with the laughter.

And we are blessed to have friends for whom we get to bake birthday cakes... :-)

Strawberry Cake

3 cups flour
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup light vegan marg, at room temperature
1/2 cup applesauce
2 cups raw sugar
4 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 oz red food coloring
2 cups strawberries, either fresh or frozen and thawed
2 T confectioners sugar

~ Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8x8" or one 9X15" baking pan(s).
~ Stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.
~ Cream the vegan marg and applesauce until smooth and a bit fluffy. Add the raw sugar, and continue creaming until very light and fluffy.
~ Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
~ Add the flour mixture and the milk alternately, while mixing until just blended, beginning and ending with flour.
~ Stir in the vanilla and red food coloring until the color is uniform.
~ In a food processor, puree the strawberries and confectioners sugar until fairly smooth.
~ Fold the strawberry puree into the cake batter until just combined.
~ Pour the batter into the prepared pan(s), and bang the pan(s) lightly on the counter-top two or three times to release air bubbles.
~ Bake for 25 to 30 minutes - until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
~ If you're removing the cake from the pan(s), cool it in the pan(s) for 5 minutes before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.
~ Serve with your favorite frosting, or with whipped cream and more strawberries...

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