Everyone around me is a little stressed about the current financial situation. Their anxiety rose to epic proportions over the weekend after a historic financial institution shut down, causing some to lose tons of money, as well as hours of sleep as they now stay up, fretting about their woes.
As a soon-to-be-grad, this economic situation makes me very nervous. College grads have a hard enough time trying to find a job, with all the competition out there, but now add in the raised unemployment rates and lack of available jobs, and you have a recipe for disaster. A couple of friends that I know opted out for grad school after graduating, which seems like a safe alternative to me. I’ve been thinking about my options, what I really want to be “when I grow up”. It’s hard trying to ignore that questions when it seems that you are asked that one every day since you turned 7.
Is public relations really the field for me? Do I want to work 24/7 doing PR for the government or other public sector agency? Or should I take the non-profit route, where the pay is low but the end-of-the-day satisfaction beats out other jobs? Do I plan on working, for the rest of my life, at a job that I am pretty good at even though I know that my future in PR holds for me many sleepless nights, boring travel trips, innumerous anxiety attacks, and probably a nervous breakdown? When posed with questions like this, I can’t help but whip out that secret dream of mine, that someday I can own my own bakery or café, filled with used books and a separate teaching center where classes could be held. Hanging up on the walls would be numerous photos of my customers, and a diploma from a culinary school with my Baking/Pastry certificate boldly showing…
We all have that hidden longing that we keep quietly locked inside of our hearts. It can be completely out of this world, and many call us stupid for harboring such dreams, but still we can’t help but wish for the day when that dream comes true. For the longest time, I shoved the idea of going to pastry school because I thought it was nonsense but I silently hoped that one day I’d get enough balls to do something.I visited the French Culinary Institute’s website about 6 months ago, and played around with the idea of going to pastry/baking class. Wouldn’t it be cool to get a hands-on instruction, where every day your mission was to bake something, study its components? Who knew that the idea of baking all day would make my heart palpitate: me, the girl who only used the stove to make her Kraft Mac & Cheese when in high school?
I did my research and asked the ever-so-lovely Steph at Whisk & Spoon who previously attended FCI in NYC. She raved about the courses and answered all my questions about the neighborhood and instructors.
I’m proud to say that I am seriously considering going to FCI or ICE in New York after I graduate. Time to do something I love, to fill my hours with a sense of satisfaction that I can get nowhere else. Some might say that a venture like this might not be the wisest decisions especially with economic instability everywhere but for me, the current financial crisis upon us Americans is my main reason for doing I WANT to do. If I am going to be stuck working my ass off for every cent I make, I better be loving what I do. What’s the point of working like a dog if you hate your work, right?
While I do my research on different culinary institutions, let me share with you these wonderful whole wheat scones from my favorite King Arthur Whole Grain Baking Book. I love all scones, and would eat them every day if I could. Unlike muffins, they are dry and meant to be matched up with some clotted cream or jam, with a warm cup of ‘jo. My only problem with scones is that they can be quite an indulgence, especially if you like to eat something else like yogurt or fruit with them for breakfast.
But these scones are really healthy and won’t break your calorie bank. According to the book, they only have 187 calories in each one and have 15g of whole grains. They aren’t heavy nor are they bland, thanks to the added cinnamon. If you don’t have oat flour, you can simply grind oats up in your food processor, mincing them in to a powder. The oats give the scones nice wonderfully crumbly texture that goes well with some raspberry jam from Trader Joes. For added flavor, I dropped in some sliced almonds and used almond extract along with the vanilla. I love almonds, and I love pre-sliced ones from TJ’s even more. Overall, i was quite please with this somewhat basic scone recipe. If only all health food good be this good, right?
Whole Wheat Cinnamon Scones
Origin: King Arthur Whole Grain Baking Book
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 22 minutes
● 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
● 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
● 1/2 cup oat flour
● 1/4 cup sugar
● 1/2 tsp baking soda
● 1/4 tsp baking powder
● 1/4 tsp salt
● 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold
● 1 large egg
● 1/2 cup buttermilk
● 1 tsp vanilla extract
● 1 tsp almond extract
● 1 tbsp cinnamon
● 1/3 cc. old-fashioned rolled oats, you can use regular oats if you want
● 1 cup sliced almonds (optional, you could sub in pecans if you want)
Preheat the oven to 375℉. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper.
Whisk together the flours, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt ina large bowl. Using a fork or pastry blender, cut the butter in to dry ingredients until it resembles bread crumbs.
Add the oats and stir with a fork just to mix them in; you don’t want to crush them in more than necessary.
Whisk together the egg, buttermilk, and extracts in a separate bowl or large measuring cup. Add, all at once, to the dry ingredients, and stir lightly and quickly with a fork until the dough is evenly moistened.
Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface, and knead two or three times. Divide the dough in half, and pat each half into a circle about 1/2 inch thick and 6 inches in diameter. Use a baker’s bench knife to divide each circle into 6 wedges.
Transfer the scones to a baking sheet, leaving an inch of space between them. Brush the tops with milk or cream and sprinkle the tops with coarse sugar. Bake until the scones are puffed and golden brown, 22 to 23 minutes. Serve warm.