Decisions.

I pretend that I am not good at making decisions.  I waffle when asked where I want to go for dinner, what movie I want to see, or what beer I want to drink.  Often these conversations end up in a “I don’t care” war with the other person.  Yet, when it comes to making large decisions, I go for it.  I’ve always been an impulsive decision maker and for the most part it works.  On a whim I decided to apply for a job at a bakery working the front counter and eventually it lead to me baking full time.  Once I realized waking up at 3:00 in the morning wasn’t for me, I decided to apply for graduate school (in April) and got in with a full assistantship.  After that I tried to buy a coffee shop to turn in to a sustainable restaurant/bakery (I was ready-had my business plan, a chef, etc but the owner didn’t have his finances in order) and instead was offered a steady position teaching at a college.

None of this I planned.  During my last few months of college, the school paper asked a few of us where we saw ourselves in fives years.  Everyone had an answer, except me.  My (not so) clever response was, “I don’t know where I’ll be in three months let alone five years.”

And boy, was my answer spot on.  Turns out that five years after I graduated college I’ll be finishing my second year teaching college and getting ready to move on.  (I had a one year interim contract and then was hired back for a second year, but only for a second year.)

Originally my thought was to finish out my schooling by getting my doctorate.  I really think I applied to Doctoral schools out of fear (yes, I know that sounds strange.)  I was/am scared of job hunting,moving, and living in a new (more expensive) place by myself.  Yet, I have this gut feeling that more schooling is not what I am suppose to do.  I’m not ready to take that final step in my career because I’m still not sure what path I’m on.  I’m making a decision now (which at least gives me a year to prepare for what happens next.)

So, as of May 2013, I’m a free agent.  It’s kind of a refreshing feeling.  I find it’s not as scary as it once was (like finishing college.)  I have experiences behind me that will help guide where I go.  I also know, I’m not going to plan (at least not yet.)  It would be so easy for me to say that in June, I’ll move to Colorado or out west somewhere.  I’ll hopefully find a good job that would allow me to snowboard in the winter, hike during the summer, and continue cooking all year. (that’s a plan/dream.)

But as I’ve learned, planning can only get you so far.  Living in the moment and learning all I can now before I tackle my next adventure.  I really like the word adventure- it’s excitement, learning, and exploration all rolled in to one.

On a different note, I’ll be away from the computer most of the weekend.  I’m attempting to get more involved with the Garden house on campus (which I will tell you about later- it’s this whole awesome thing that I wish I would have had when I was in college.)  At any rate, I’m taking six of them up to a sustainability conference in Wisconsin (with a couple farm/co-op stops along the way.)  I couldn’t think of a better way to spend the weekend.

Since I knew my students would enjoy it, I packed homemade hummus, pita, larabars, and this bread.  I like to travel with plenty of delicious food :)    This bread came out of a “oh crap, I have pumpkin puree I need to use” moment.  I love the earthy addition of the nut oil/oatmeal add and the dark flavor the maple syrup brings to the bread.  Delicious!

Have a great weekend!

Pumpkin Oat Bread
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8-10
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup crushed pecans or walnuts
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • ¾ cup maple syrup
  • ⅓ cup pecan or walnut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • oatmeal and nuts to top
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350˚and generously butter/oil a 8 or 9" loaf pan.
  2. In a food processor, pulse oats until almost flour- I still like little pieces of oats left. Pour into a large bowl and add wheat flour,spices, baking soda, and nuts.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, maple syrup, oil, and two eggs. I like to extra nuttiness the nut oil adds but you can also use melted butter or coconut oil. Pour into dry ingredients. Stir until just combined (don't over stir!)
  4. Pour into prepared pan and sprinkle with oats and nuts. Bake for 50-60 minutes. Top should spring back lightly and when a knife is entered, it should come out clean. Let cool and slice!
 

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