jobs

not to be taken lightly

Seven the sweet bunny has an ear infection. And her teeth are a little offset so she needs to have some dental work done. Poor baby. This morning I tried to apply online for a job I found a couple days ago. The pay wasn't great, but the work seemed alright and for an interesting business in the healthy foods industry. I hit the submit button and it didn't work. Tried another ten times (because that totally helps...), but it looks like the ad got taken down already. The most frustrating thing about missed opportunities is that I can only blame myself. Did a semi-desperate search of the job board again. I'm getting pretty tired of chasing around jobs that pay only slightly better than minimum wage. I could just keep doing what I'm doing, which I like for 3 days of the week and dislike for 2 days, and hope that eventually I can switch to better hours or that something ideal will someday come up for me. Or, I have this back-up plan: I could go back up north for the summer as a wildfire dispatcher, which is a pretty neat job with awesome pay, but it really sucks to be so far away from home and from my man and the bunnies and everyone. The awesome pay would help us pay off student debts so we could get on with having better lives. I need to decide pretty soon though because the application deadline is probably right around the end of this month. I've filled out the forms. One minute, I've decided that I'll go. Thirty seconds later, I'm staying for sure. Back and forth. 1,765 km from home is not to be taken lightly. With the money I make we would be closer to being able to afford to start a family. But what is money to almost half a year apart? There, butterflies and big active skies, relentless sunshine and aspen trees of the boreal forest. It is undeniably beautiful. The bugs are so bad I spent most of my spare time indoors. Not to mention fear of dry lightening strikes. Here, dipping into the ocean at the end of the day. Family. Home. Garden parties and cool evening breezes. What is it worth? I think I need some help with this one.

There have been shriveled mandarin oranges sitting neglected in the fruit bowl for ages here, since other citrus have come and gone and fresh kiwis are available at the farmers market. In order to save them from sitting longer or worse, hitting the compost, I thought it was worth a try baking them into scones. I am pretty devoted to Molly Wizenberg's Scottish Scone recipe so I thought I would try a variation of it here. I'd say that I've had more luck when I followed her original recipe more closely, and with fruit like raspberries, strawberries or rhubarb. The dough was a little sticky, but manageable. The orange segments were wily and resistant when I divided the dough into scones, but it could just be that I need to sharpen our knives. After 15 minutes in the oven, these still looked quite pale so I left them another five-ish minutes but may have overbaked them slightly as I feel they could be more tender. A recipe that needs more testing perhaps, but a pretty tasty way to use up languishing oranges.

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Orange Oat Cardamom Scones recipe based on these scones by Orangette 1 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup oat flour (you can make this! - or buy it, or just substitute all-purpose flour or WW pastry flour or something) 2 tsp baking powder 3/4 tsp salt 1 tbsp ground cardamom 3 tbsp vanilla sugar (aka cane sugar that has vanilla beans hanging out in it from the last time you made something with a vanilla bean. Organic cane sugar is nicest.) 2 oz butter, cubed and chilled zest of 3 small mandarin oranges 7 small mandarin oranges, peeled, segmented and de-seeded 1 egg 1/2 cup whole milk (Not homogenized though because your body doesn't know what to do with the tiny fat particles- get the kind with the cream on top. Cream of some kind could be deliciously substituted.) Preheat oven to 425º. Stir together dry ingredients. Cut in butter until the lumps are not bigger than a pea. Toss in fruit and zest. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg and milk, then add it to the dry ingredients, reserving about 1 1/2 tbsp to use as a wash, then gently stirring/folding with a wooden spoon until the dough barely comes together. Turn it onto a lightly floured surface and knead it just until it's cohesive, as few times as possible. Flatten dough into a circle, about 1/2" thick, then slice it into 8-12 scones. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush with the egg-milk wash (if it looks like you won't have enough then thin it out with some milk or water). I sprinkled a little vanilla sugar on top but it kind of disappeared during baking. Medium or coarse sugar would be better, and I will eventually buy some. Bake 10-15 minutes, until golden, or longer if it still looks doughy. Cool on a wire rack (but eat while still warm, with butter). These should keep for a few days in a cookie tin, and might be nice if re-heated in a toaster.

 

sound in the forest

One of my favorite things about my days off is having real breakfasts. I like to soak 1/3 cup steel cut oats in 1/3 cup water and a spoonful of yogurt overnight then cook it in 1/3 cup water the next morning. And I like to make coffee. Very much. Lately before work I've just been making toast to bring with me and most of it ends up quite cold and chewy before I get to it. Waking up even earlier, even for something as glorious as breakfast is so not happening though. Good thing I've been applying for work hither and thither these past few days. Hopefully something better will come up soon. I've been thinking about things I could do that would actually be fulfilling, and while I haven't seen them in the job postings yet I still have hope. Illustrating children's books would be delightful. Reading books and finding every typo and spelling mistake and forming opinions would be right up my alley as well. Something creative, please... I went for a walk near MacKenzie Bight in the highlands with my brother this afternoon. It rained on the way there, but under the canopy the trees were only dripping. I sometimes miss the chilly, crystalline magic of the forests in the Kootenays under their winter snow. There, silence reigns except the occasional clumps of snow falling. The sun comes in sideways and catches the rough snow crystals, the whole forest peaceful and glittering. Here, the thought of winter seems far. The forest is full of sounds. First, the pitter-pat of rain on leaves, then gurgling and rushing as we neared a small rivulet. The gurgles faded down the path behind us and a few steps later new burbles announced the next stream. In one spot, various streams had converged and taken over the paths. This is where we turned around. The roar of the waterfall almost masked the sound of soft raindrops on the small pool at the top of the falls. Over it all, but woven into the louder stream sounds and only evident where the raindrops, the breeze and the leaves were the only backdrop, the clomping of our wet boots. Modern humans are so inelegant in the forest.

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