I have balloon boy on my mind. Not because these everything-that-is-wrong-with-America-and-our-culture-of-celebrity parents used their son in an effort to become Colorado’s answer to the Kardashians. No. It is for a reason much more personal and closer to my heart, or stomach. He threw up on national television. Twice!
I’ve had a deep, powerful and, I know, irrational fear of getting sick in public forever. Sometimes I think it’s why I’ve never wanted a huge ‘look at me’ party-no Sweet 16, graduation or birthday bashes. And let’s not even start with a wedding. What if, with everyone staring at me, I just threw up? I used to get panicky on the subway-sure I would faint, collapse onto the filthy floor and be one of those ‘sick passengers’ who forced the MTA to halt the entire transit system. This mind-set is also what causes me to deny any kind of help whenever I find myself sprawled on the street after one of my annual wipe outs. (Thank you CP Yang Market for indiscriminately dumping the water from your flower stalls all over the sidewalk in the middle of winter. Next time I’ll be calling the law firm of Weitz & Luxenberg!) I could have a broken leg and I’d be shooing away helpful strangers with “I’m fine, I’m fine!” while hopping my way home.
All this to say that I have the opposite of a cast iron stomach-so when this poor, used puppet of a child became ill, I felt for him. And then I felt a little sick. When that happens I find myself wanting something really plain. Please, I’m rarely so queasy that I lose my sweet tooth completely. I just don’t want anything too rich or chocolatey-a plain cookie and a cup of tea to right what’s wrong. I’ve always been a fan of Carr’s Wheatmeal Biscuits and McVitie’s Digestives. But I have a hard time finding the Carrs, and McVities are filled with our latest foe-partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.
So, in search of some homemade control I did a little research, some tweaking and had the perfect, simple, wheaty, not too sweet but, straightforward and crunchy, biscuit. And no mixer required!
The next day, when you are feeling back to your old self and the 15 minutes of fame allotted to the Balloon family are up, these versatile little rounds will be even better when they deliver a bit of gorgonzola dolce and fresh fig to your grateful and sturdier constitution. Now just pour the vino!
Balloon Boy Digestive Biscuits
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¾ cup whole wheat pastry flour
¼ cup all purpose flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon powdered ginger (optional)
1 Tablespoon rolled oats
4 Tablespoons butter, softened
4 Tablespoons brown sugar
4 Tablespoons milk
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Sift together flour, baking powder, salt, (and, if you want a beat of soothing heat, ginger) into large bowl. Stir in oats.
In a small bowl, cream together butter and sugar (I just used a wooden spoon) and add to dry ingredients along with the milk. Stir together until mixture becomes a paste.
Scoop dough out onto floured wax paper and knead until smooth. This will only take a minute.
Place another sheet of waxed paper over dough and roll out until 1/8” thick.
Cut dough using 2 ½” round cookie cutter and transfer to parchment lined cookie sheets. Gather scraps and repeat until all of the dough is used. Prick cookies with a fork. (*Note-if dough seems too soft to transfer, pop in the freezer for 5 minutes and it will be easy to do.)
Bake 15-20 minutes until medium golden. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes and then transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.