September 13, 2012

Fun with Torture
(+ Coconut Lime Squares)

Actual Conversation with my Husband Last Night

Me:      I can't believe you just sat there and let me put my finger up your nose.  Who does 
          [A lot of our conversations start this way.  Try not to let it derail you.] 

Him:    [Shrugging]  It seemed like you really wanted to.

Me:     I was bluffing!  Nobody wants to put their finger up someone else's nose.  It was a 
            ploy.  You were supposed to beg for mercy and offer me a cookie if I'd leave you 
            alone.  [Brandishing finger accusingly]  Now it's all gooey!

Him:    I would've gotten you a cookie if you'd asked.

Me:     But then I wouldn't be asserting my dominance.  You'd just be being nice.  It's not as 
            good.  [If I wasn't so dominant, this tone might be described as petulant.]

Him:    Ohhh.  I didn't know begging was an option.  I thought it was like a mandatory 

Me:     A payment?

Him:    Since you're letting me touch your butt.

          [Yes, we're going to talk about my butt in this post.  No, it's not going to get marital.]

Me:   [Derailed]  You're not touching my butt.  [Craning my neck from where we're laying on 
        the couch to make sure that's true.  Is it possible I've developed so much padding that I've 
        lost sensation?  Nope.]  That's not my butt.

Him:  Sure it is.  I mean, it's not your butt-butt.  But it's definitely your upper butt.

Me:   I'm sorry.  [Sweetly]  My...Upper butt?  [If there was a visual to accompany this tone, it'd 
        be a lioness stalking a gazelle.]

Him:  Yeah.  Like, not your lower butt, where it meets your legs.  Your upper butt.  Where 
          it...where it meets your back....  [The sentence begins with confidence, but by the end a 
        tiny note of questioning has entered his voice.  The gazelle has scented danger in the wind, 
        but cannot tell from where the attack is going to come.]

Me:  [Speaking slowly, because the joy of springing a trap should be savored]  So, what you're 
         saying is...that the mass of my butt - the sheer acreage of my ass - is so great that a 
         single term does not suffice to describe it all.

      [Long Damn Pause]

Him:  No.  Noooo.  [Somewhat shifty expression]  I just mean that, like, say you got bitten by 
         something and had to go to the doctor to get a cortisone shot -

Me:   A cortisone shot?

Him:  Or something.  I don't know.  I just mean, if you had to describe an exact area to, like, 
          to a medical professional.... [Sweat is beginning to bead on his forehead and upper lip.]

Me:   An area on my enormous ass?

Him:  No! know...for medical purposes....  [This comes out sounding a little 
        strangled.  I think his throat might be starting to close up.  Now who needs a cortisone 

Me:   [Pause]  So a medical professional - a person handling anatomy for a living - would 
         need multiple terms?  To convey accurate information?  About the geographical 
         regions of my backside?  Like Upper and Lower Egypt?  North and South Dakota?  The 
         plateaus?  The buttes?

Him:  [Horrified stare]

Me:  I need a transcript of this conversation.  Hang on.  Let me get a pencil.

Him:  Nonononononono.  That's fine.  You don't need a pencil.  [The back of his shirt is 
        basically soaked through.]

Me:   Why?  You don't want me recording this?  [Innocent as the day I was born]  What if I 
          need to recall this later?  [Rotating head slowly to give him the crazy eyes]  ...When I'm 
          wondering what you think about my butt?


Him:  Hey, how about a cookie?  What kind do you want?  [Scrambling off the couch]  Never 
         mind - I'll just bring them all.


This, ladies and gentlemen, is what's know as "fun."  Give it a try sometime.  I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.  If you're really skilled, you can get him to actually make the cookies himself.  But don't feel bad if you haven't unlocked that level yet.  I'm still working up to it myself.

Coconut Lime Squares

These cookies are a lot like the ubiquitous lemon bar, but with a few key twists.  Obviously, they're lime instead of lemon.  And when I say lime, I mean LIME.  Prepare to pucker.  And secondly, toasted coconut is baked into the crust and sprinkled on top of the nearly-finished bars.  This doesn't give a particularly strong coconut flavor, even if you've toasted the coconut as much as I did here, but it does give a nice chew and texture.  If you wanted a stronger taste of coconut, you might try adding a touch of extract to the filling.  I actually meant to do this, but discovered at the last minute that coconut is apparently the only extract ever created that I don't own.  C'est la vie.

Flour  [ ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons ]
Sweetened Flaked Coconut  [ 1/3 cup, toasted and cooled ]
Powdered Sugar  [ ¼ cup ]
Salt  [ ¼ teaspoon ]
Unsalted Butter  [ 6 tablespoons, cold, cut into pieces ]

Eggs  [ 4 ]
Sugar  [ 1 cup ]
Flour  [ 1/3 cup ]
Fresh Lime Juice  [ ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons ]
Lime Zest  [ freshly grated, 1 tablespoon ]
Sweetened Flaked Coconut  [ 1/3 cup, toasted and cooled ]

Make Crust:
1.   Heat oven to 325 degrees.
2.   Line an 8-inch square baking pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil, leaving enough overhang to lift finished bars
         from pan.  Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.
3.   Mix together Flour, Coconut, Powdered Sugar and Salt.
4.   With fingertips, blend Butter into mixture until it resembles coarse meal.
5.   Pour mixture into prepared pan; pat down into an even layer.
6.   Bake until golden brown, 25-30 minutes.
7.   Lower oven temperature to 300 degrees.

Make Filling:
1.   Whisk together Eggs and Sugar until well combined.
2.   Add in Flour, Lime Juice, and Lime Zest.
3.   Pour mixture onto baked crust.
4.   Bake 20 minutes.
5.   Sprinkle bars evenly with Coconut and return to oven.
6.   Bake until just set, 5-10 minutes  [mine took more like 20].
7.   Cool bars in the pan, on a rack.
8.  When completely cooled, chill in refrigerator at least 1 hour before cutting.

[ Note: reviewers of this recipe on Epicurious seemed to unanimously agree that these bars mellow over time and are substantially better and less acidically harsh the day AFTER baking.  I can't give you my take, since I made them late at night and left them in the fridge for at least 18 hours before trying them for the first time.  But it seemed worth mentioning for your sake. ]

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