Apricot Chocolate Biscotti and Lessons From Jury Duty

If your my friend on facebook, you probably know I was excused from jury duty today.

I was called for the first time when I was in treatment, about three years ago. I was in treatment for my eating disorder, so my doctor there gladly signed for me to be excused.


A year later, I was out of treatment and they got me again! But my therapist (who had the Dr. title) signed for me again.

Phew, again!

This time, I’m not as emaciated and I don’t have a fancy Doctor to clear me. So I had to drag myself to downtown LA (which is not the safest place on earth) and actually serve.

I was trying to think of a creative way to tell you about my experience, but I failed to do so. Hence you will have to deal with my usual, “lessons learned”. (Like my “Lessons Learned from Treatment” and “Lessons Learned from Culinary School“).

Lesson #1:  You cannot visit locations related to the case: Thankfully, the snack bar was unrelated.

Lesson #2: The Snack Bar Sucks: Nothing says lunch like shrimp flavored Cup n Noodles and brown bananas.

Lesson #3: “Lunch” is an hour and a half: I have no complaint for breaks, but having to drive all the way downtown only to have nearly two hours to eat lunch!? Why can’t they just have us start later or end earlier and take 30 min for lunch?!

Lesson #4: It hot under those judges’ robes: I was actually blessed with a fairly cool judge. She was young and this was only her sixth jury trial. She was very considerate towards the jury and kept asking us if the temperature was ok in the courtroom. Because according to her, “I’m always hot under this robe and I haven’t even gone through menopause!”. Cool lady.

Lesson #5: Celebrities Do Jury Duty Too! Well, at least in the Los Angeles Court, they have these posters throughout the jury holding room with pictures of celebrities and an “I SERVED!” written beneath their headshot. (spotted in my holding room, posters of Jamie Lee Curtis, Ed Asner, Camren Manheyim, basically, celebrites that aren’t divas).

Lesson #6: They tell you not to be partial, but the orientation video is anything but! In the orientation video, they have people saying how rewarding the experience was and how they feel like a proud citizen. Thing is, I was summond to a TRAFFIC court, which somehow feels less rewarding than a murder or big lawsuit. Basically lots of parking tickets and DUIs.

And speaking of DUIs…….

Lesson #7: If you really dont want to serve, be partial: I was called for a DUI case and the judge informed me it could take about a week to two weeks. I was a little unprepared to not go to work for so long and leave my dad hanging incase he needed anything. So we were asked if we drank (I dont) and why and if a we could be a fair juror for a DUI case. Simply said that I’m all too familiar with drunk drivers since my roommate is a bartender and that I feel I may be partial. It was enough for them to dismiss me!

Lesson #8: DONT SAY YOU A CHEF! When i told them my occupation the Judge asked me if I would bring treats. I just smirked and didn’t answer!

I’m beginning to think I’m asked silly questions and wondering why I even have “questions” in my blog, but I’m actually curious about this. Have you ever gone through the jury selection process? or served? lets hear stories!


And although I didnt cook today, I cook nearly everyday for work, so I do have a recipe on file for you!
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour or for a gluten free version do 1 c almond meal and 1 cup brown rice flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 c chopped dried apricots
1 cup white and semi sweet chocolate chips and another extre half cup of melted chocolate for dipping!

-Preheat oven to 375º.  In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, and baking powder.
-In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, sugar and lemon zest on low to medium speed until well blended.
-Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Add vanilla.
-Gradually add the flour mixture and beat on low speed until just combined.  Stir in apricots and chocolate chips.
-On a lightly floured work surface, divide the dough in half.-Lightly flour each piece and, using your hands, shape it into a log about 9 inches long, 3/4 inch thick and 3 inches wide.
-Transfer to a parchment or foil lined baking sheet, placing the logs at least 3 inches apart. 
-Bake until puffed and lightly browned on top, about 20 minutes.  Allow to cool 10 minutes on pan, then transfer to work surface.
-Using a long, sharp knife, cut each log crosswise into 3/4 inch thick slices.  Make each cut with a single cut of the blade, as a sawing motion will break the biscotti.
-Place the cookies, cut side down, back on the baking sheet.  Bake 10 minutes.  Remove from the oven, turn each cookie over and bake an additional 10 minutes or until biscotti are golden.  Transfer to wire racks to cool. Dip cooled cookies in melted chocolate.

20 thoughts on “Apricot Chocolate Biscotti and Lessons From Jury Duty

  1. Biscotti! Want want want! Ok that’s enough! I am never reading your blog before going to bed ever again. Now I want biscotti… Lucky for me I am not a US citizen, so I am not eligible for jury duty. 🙂

  2. The case I was on only took about a week. It was a drunk driving case. There was basically an incident where a car hit a guy on the street. The police had pulled someone over not far from the scene of this incident, and they were trying to link the two together. It was pretty interesting just seeing how everything is run.

  3. totally been there with jury duty! I was a whiney partial women and I got out of it. Ha! I HATE jury duty. But maybe if Jamie Lee was there, it’d be kinda entertaining?

  4. I need that biscotti. I’m a nerd & b/c my degrees are in Criminology & Paralegal Studies, I’ve always wanted to be called for jury duty. The only time it’s ever happened was right after moving to South Dakota–I got called for a case back in Ohio. I was pretty bummed about it, and debating on going back home, just to see if I’d get picked!

  5. When I had jury duty, it also inspired a post, but mostly because I have a low tolerance for annoying humanity. Considering I was stuck in a room with a bunch of it for a few hours, I was inspired.

    The judge had all the cases filled by mid-afternoon so I got to go home. I kind of wanted to get picked to sit on a case, but not if it was a traffic violation. That’s lame. I could get a traffic violation–I will never rob a bank or something. Glad you got out when you did!

  6. I wish I had a cool jury story. My dad is a labor law attorney, but I don’t think many of those trials make it to jury trials. I’m completely ignorant; I’ll have to ask.

    When you were talking about jury duty in your last post, I was imagining you sitting in the courtroom with your gorgeous face completely stone-set, not wanting to be there at all! So I’m glad you were excused!

    Hey, at least it was a learning experience. I wonder if the chef comment applies to almost every situation. People hear “food” and go nuts!

    • I wasnt looking my best at all! I didn’t shower that morning because we had to be there at 8 am and its a long drive for me and I was so pissed about being there. Plus, it was laundry day, so I was all miss matched!

  7. I was only ever summoned twice, but didn’t have to sit through either.

    I had to go through jury selection for the sentencing of a murder trial, but wasn’t chosen thank god. It was the second sentencing trial for the case because the other one was messed up somehow. Long story. Anyway, it was a 25 or so young male who strangled his girlfriend. He had already been convicted guilty, it was the sentencing trial that the court needed a jury for. In the first trial, they gave him 50 years in prison. Then the jury I *would* have been in if chosen, sentenced him to 99. After I was dismissed, I went home and read about the story and what he did…ugh. I’m SO glad I didn’t have to sit through that sentencing. They would have went over all the details, etc. It bothered me enough just knowing I sat RIGHT ACROSS from that guy for hours while being questioned, much less learning more about all what he did.

  8. call me a weirdo, but when I read “lemon zest” in the ingredients, I started craving citrus like madness.

    I’ve somehow made it to the age of 26 never being called for jury duty? jinx, I guess… Glad you got out of it! How dreadfully boring. I think I would just pre-write short stories in my head the whole time haha!

  9. So this is ridiculous but not having to do jury duty is yet another reason why I love the fact I am still a Canadian citizen! My husband gets really pissed off that I refuse to become an American…but reading this just reinforces the fact that I made (and continue to make) the right decision!

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