Fig Newtons

It's been too long since I last wrote, dear readers.  Almost two weeks, in fact.  Did you miss me?  Don't answer that.  I've been running around and around in circles, and when I've felt too desperate to keep running I've just stopped and smothered everything in Nutella and watched Star Trek.  It's very therapeutic.  I also ordered new shoes.  They're gonna be cute.  The problem is, that I've become too strung out even to want to cook.  I can't believe I just wrote that - I never thought I would feel that way.  But it's true.  And it's not really due to my course load so much as to my administrative responsibilities with the crew team, to my projects at work, to homesickness, to my desire to relax for just a moment and not to experience the nagging sense that I should be doing something else.  I feel guilty for thinking this way about myself and my activities - in comparison to a lot of other people's responsibilities and stressors, especially in light of the recent events in Boston and Watertown, mine are superficial, and petty - but I am a slave to my own experiences, and so my exhaustion looms and seems important enough.  I take it out on other people, people who care about me deeply and people I don't even know.  Misery loves company.  And I suppose I'm taking it out on all of you now, some of you who know me personally and some who have never met me before.  I won't say that I'm sorry, since I'm tired of saying that I'm sorry, but I will stop now and talk about food.  Okay?  Okay.

So Fig Newtons.  Yes.  They are delicious, no?  They're one of my go-to pre-practice first-breakfasts.  There were a lot of hyphens in that sentence, oh my.  Anyway, I made these for Sunday's episode of Game of Thrones (which was glorious, by the way).  They taste very much like the packaged ones, except that the cookie is softer and more luscious, the fig filling is subtler in its sweetness, and the whole effect is made more aromatic with the perfume of orange zest.  I thought about calling these more generally fig bars rather than Fig Newtons, but they really do evoke the central essence of the prackaged product and elevate them.  The dough is very very soft, so it must be handled delicately, and a food processor is required to make the filling - so they require some dedication.  It was worth it for me though, even in my little rain cloud.

My discussion of Fig Newtons here is bound up with another of my food writing outlets I should tell you about.  I contribute to Nonpareil, a food magazine here on campus.  At the beginning of this quarter we launched our first issue, and by the end of this quarter we'll launch another.  We will also have more frequent content posted online.  It's pretty rad.  I made these Fig Newtons for our upcoming issue, so I won't give away the recipe here - you'll just have to get your hands on a copy (I could figure out a way to get one to you if you're not in Chicago), or visit our online content when it's up.  Just enjoy the pretty pictures of my Fig Newtons, and I'll have some more material ready to post in the next few days (spoiler: fregola sarda).

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