Sunday, July 11, 2010

Interdisciplinary is the New Indecisive

I thought that after college I would have a clear path to walk down in life. If anything, after five years of coursework, research, and internships and a year to mull it all over, I find myself interested in so many topics. While food (cooking, eating, growing, mulling over the sustainability of it all) seems to encompass my thoughts all my waking moments, my education largely tended towards terrestrial ecology and conservation biology. With a peppering of marine-related experiences in my background, as well, I feel I could apply myself in any of several directions. I mean not to belittle the importance of any one of these issues, as they each hold their own significance – to the planet and to my own life. It is just one of many challenges to find your place in the world...

Just as I have trouble pinpointing exactly what I want to do and be, this baked good faces its own struggle for identity. Not quite a cookie, but falling short of a cake, Madeleines sit in the limbo-land of pastries. While they don’t fit the cake bill for shape and structure, their quick-bready texture rules out the cookie classification. My concoction includes a nut-meal that makes it more of a financier (another scrumptious French pastry), all the while masquerading in the cute shell shape of a Madeleine. These taste best within the first couple of days, and go excellently with some nice tea.

Honeyed Pistachio Financier-esque Madeleines (vegan and gluten free)

2 tbs ground flax

3-4 tbs almond milk

1/3 tapioca flour

½ pistachios

1/3 cup turbinado sugar

½ cup cornmeal

½ tsp baking powder

1/8 tsp salt

2 tbs honey, chestnut or some other strong-flavored (use blue agave if you don’t consume honey)

1/3 cup oil

1 small lemon, juiced and zested

1. Mix flax and milk together and let stand.

2. Food-process pistachios and sugar until form a meal. Add other dry ingredients and give a few good pulses.

3. Whisk together honey, oil, and lemon. Add flax egg and whisk until smooth. Combine with dry ingredients until batter can form thick ribbons. Add extra liquid if necessary.

4. Grease and flour (with rice flour) Madeleine pan. Bake at 350F for 15-20 minutes, until firm to touch and lightly browned.

I guess I will take this “cookie” for what it is: sweet and satisfying. And perhaps I should accept my own “interdisciplinary” nature – versed in a variety of topics, able to speak relatively intelligently on them, and motivated to make some difference in the world.

1 comment:

jkim5154 said...

I whole heartedly agree with the last line of your post!