I changed my mind a bunch. For awhile I fancied myself a librarian - we played library a lot growing up, with a deck of cards to use as library cards and to indicate the day the books were due to be brought back. I also wanted to be a priest. I liked the idea of preaching so I wore my bathrobe and read stories and passed out crackers. I played lots of house and imagined myself a mom. I was a teacher and a secretary and a restaurateur I photographed many Barbie weddings. I wrote lots of stories. I directed plays, complete with practice schedules and costumes and a mom-based audience.
When I was in high school I took a skills test. It said I should be a teacher, so that's what I decided to study. The course of study seemed pretty straight forward. My first year I had a "shadow teaching" placement (basically an unpaid, glorified aid) with a 7th grade English class and also at the Alternative Learning Center. Those kids caused me to questioned my calling. I transferred schools and started to take some business classes. I'm not sure what I thought I could do with them; accounting was a total flop and the economics classes that I had to take bored me to tears, but I found that the management part of business spoke to me - and the business writing class I took was my favorite of the semester. I also liked the preschoolers I taught in the morning, so I switched to Elementary Ed, although I quickly tired of the extension it was going to add on to my graduation date, so I dropped those classes and stuck with an English and creative writing degree.
What I planned to do with it, I'm not sure. Journalism wasn't my cup of tea and I was unskilled and relatively unmarketable right out of college (the downside to my area of study - no internships required to wedge some toes in doors for potential job opportunities after graduation). I bounced around for awhile, trying to find something that fit. I still haven't found it, but I find I'm fairly decent at this house-wife gig I've currently got going and sometimes that makes me shudder a little bit. Years of schooling and I'm happiest being at home, making dinner for my family, singing songs about ducks and turtles with my son, teaching Abby's religion class (well, maybe the religion kids are a stretch...they sort of remind me of the Alternative Learning Center kids, and I'm quite glad I chose not to go into teaching.). I feel like I'm spitting in the face of all of those bra-slinging ladies who fight for equal rights between the sexes. Don't get me wrong - equal pay for equal work is obviously a no-brainer, but I also think that it's okay to say to girls: staying at home to take care of your family is an acceptable choice, too.
Am I happy that I have a degree to fall back on should the need arise? Yes, absolutely. I wouldn't change 4 years of college (plus 2 summers of summer school); I did love studying and the growth and maturity that higher education provided me, personally. But the fact that I sometimes feel like I was born about 50 years too soon is not lost on me. I think I would have thrived in the 40s and 50s as a housewife and mother, even though I know that now, in 2013, the choice is mine and perhaps back then, in say 1950, wives and mothers felt stifled because they really didn't have much of a higher education choice; their choice was to be a teacher or a nurse until they got married and then they quit their job to stay home. Or they could be nuns. I think we all know that I probably would have failed as a nun (me+martinis=bf4evr).
So...when I grow up I'm going to be ________. I don't know. Right now I'm going to be Uriah's wife and Finn's mom and Abby's mom. And in between all of that house-maintaining and kid-rearing and dinner-cooking, I'm going to work on figuring out what I want, because I never truly explored those options. And I think that maybe, just maybe, there might be something else out there for me.
Today I'm a mom, though, and in my world, mom's make cookies for their kids. And my kid isn't a Girl Scout anymore (bummer) and I don't know any Girl Scouts, so I have to resort to making my own Girl Scout cookies. On the plus side, because of these life-changing cookies, I don't have to wait for Girl Scout Cookie season anymore. I can make these whenever I please. Look at me, already I'm being proactive and growing as a human.
Maybe I'll open a bakery...
Or be a life coach...
Or photograph food...
Or write a cookbook...
Or become a doctor without borders...
2 sticks of butter, softened
1 cup powder sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
1 tablespoon milk
12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon shortening
1 teaspoon peppermint extract (you can use more or less depending on how minty you want them)
For the cookies, cream the butter in the mixer until it is light and fluffy. Beat in the powder sugar and and vanilla. Add the salt and cocoa powder. Beat until the cocoa powder is fully incorporated, scraping down the sides once or twice. Add the flour and mix until incorporated, dough will be kind of crumbly. Add the peppermint and the milk and mix. Dough will still be a little bit crumbly. Turn the dough onto the counter and gather it together into a ball. Divide in 2 and flatten into disks, wrap in plastic wrap and chill for about 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Roll out dough on a floured counter very thin, about 1/4 inch. You'll need to dust the rolling pin with flour, too, as the dough can be kind of sticky. Cut out cookies using whatever kind of cookie cutter you want. Using an off-set spatula or a kitchen knife, coat it with flour a little bit and run it under the cookie cut outs to un-stick them from the counter. Place them on a parchment or silpat lined baking sheet and bake for about 10 minutes. Allow them to cool completely on a wire rack.
If your dough is too firm when you take it out of the refrigerator, soften it in the microwave for about 5-10 seconds. (I made half the dough one night, after having left it to chill for about 15 minutes. I didn't need to soften it at all. The other half of the dough I left to chill overnight and when I took it out to work with it the following day, it was really firm. I microwaved it for 5 seconds, and then felt it for firmness. It was still pretty solid, so I microwaved it for another 5 seconds, and it was easy to work with.)
To make the chocolate coating, melt the chocolate chips and shortening over a double boiler until smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the peppermint extract; beat until smooth and allow to cool for just a few minutes. Dip the top of each cookie in the chocolate coating and allow excess chocolate to drip off. I tried dunking the entire cookie in the chocolate coating (like an original Thin Mint so it was coated all the way around) and that just got to be too messy and too time consuming, so I flopped them in face down, picked them up by the edges, waited a minute for the extra chocolate to drip off and put them on a baking sheet in the freezer to set up the chocolate coating. After they set up completely I put them in a ziplock bag and stored them in the freezer (I like my Thin Mints crispy and cold!). Beware that if you leave them out on the counter, a) they might not last very long because you'll eat them all and b) the chocolate coating might get a little soft.