It's often good to self-reflect, so that you can have a chance to laugh at yourself. During that interesting time in my life, I was a farmer. I wasn't a serious farmer, more like 'I caught a case of farming'. Like a bad cold. I wasn't reading the farmers almanac or staying up-to-date on soy bean pricing, but I was a girl in rubber boots trying to figure things out, while in the background, there happened to be some soy beans, a large vegetable garden, a neurotic dog and a cow. Most things I could've handled back then. I tended to the garden. The dog was fun in an insane way. The soy beans managed themselves. But the cow. I'm really not sure where she came from. She just showed up one day in a truck. I'm sure she was purchased or something, but I was in my own world, and completely oblivious. I quickly learned that cows are generally more afraid of you than you are of them. They are large, totally unpredictable, and they move fast. I was always terrified that this cow would run right into me in the field. Sometimes I had the responsibility of trying to get her into the barn, and that meant me chasing her around the field waving a large stick in the air. You're laughing, right?
During that time, I passed the days drinking a lot of bourbon in the afternoon and gin in the evening. My dear friends lived close, and we would all often drink bourbon together, for lunch. The house itself was beautiful, the land was amazing. Peaceful. If I moved there today, I might just be happy. But instead, I choose to live in the city and channel my inner farmer/hippie on a regular basis to keep myself sane. I have turned my patio into a vegetable garden, I make tortillas from scratch, and on rare occasions I make almond milk. I draw the line at chickens though. Lets be real, they're unruly.
And just to add a little spice to the mix, yesterday I made fig newtons from scratch. Well, I attempted to make fig newtons and then realized that I had bought dates instead of figs, because I had a lot on my mind that day. Instead of throwing in the towel, I just made a simple substitution. This resulted in a delightful sweetness, and bonus, we now don't have to worry about those ridiculous tiny seeds getting stuck in our teeth. The dough is a simple recipe - flour, sugar, butter, vanilla, and one egg white. The filling is a blend of great tastes - dates, orange juice, vanilla, and water boiled into a jam. The whole process was really fun, although just a heads up, when you are working with a buttery soft dough, it's probably wise not to boil a large pot of corn, turn on the oven, and run the dishwasher all at the same time. It was basically like trying to roll dough in a hot box. Impossible. Every few minutes, I had to throw the dough into the freezer to chill, just so it was more workable. In the end it all worked out. True story, my mom's favorite cookies are fig newtons. She used to keep a stash in the kitchen in a blue wicker basket on the shelf. To this day, whenever I see a fig newton, it reminds me of her.
print DATE NEWTONSmakes 27 cookies