When I find a cooking blog that I like, I enjoy taking a moment to read the author’s “About Me” page. Some of the pages include vast descriptions of the blogger’s life. Others include only a few passing phrases, sometimes leaving the reader with more questions than answered. Some pages have yet to even change the default setting from wordpress.
One of the things that I’ve noticed, in looking over the “About Me” pages, is that there seems to be a much larger number of lawyers with cooking blogs than say doctors or businessmen. It amazes me how often I find a lawyer behind a food blog or a cooking show or a burgeoning cupcake business. The Zagats, the couple behind the restaurant surveys, started their professional careers in large law firms. And most recently, one of my good friends quit his law firm job of a few years to start his own restaurant business.
Which begs the question: is there any particular reason lawyers seem more attracted to cooking than their confreres in medicine and business?
Being a lawyer is certainly a creative profession. For every argument one side presents, the other side is tasked with responding – often inviting creative or novel attempts to distinguish past facts or case law. But medicine and business can be equally creative. Doctors may not feel compelled to disagree with another, but they can certainly approach the same problem from vastly different paths. And anyone familiar with credit-default swaps, asset-backed securities, and Enron’s accounting methods, knows that the business world is no stranger to “creative” growth and accounting.
On the other hand, law firm life is certainly no picnic, and the last few years have seen major layoffs from some of the biggest law firms – perhaps pushing lawyers into new outlets. But satisfaction surveys of doctors can paint an equally grim picture, particularly as hospital budgets tighten, and insurance companies demand more and more their doctors.
The question may not yield any easy answer. But while you’re thinking about it, you can at least munch on a good cookie. Caitlin made these for me, taking the recipe from, you guessed it, a lawyer’s food blog.
Salty Oat Cookies
Recipe from Habeas Brûlée.
PREP TIME: 20 minutes
COOK TIME: 15 minutes
YIELD: 15 cookies
3/4 cup unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup raisins
HOW YOU DO IT:
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Set the raisins in a bowl with just enough boiling water (or hot port, even) to cover and leave them to plump up while you put together the dough.
3. Cream the butter and sugars. Add the baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon, and beat together until well-mixed. Add the eggs and vanilla, then add the flour, in bunches, until the mix is fully incorporated.
4. Drain the raisins, then add them to the dough along with the oats. Mix until combined.
5. Chill the dough for at least an hour before baking. The longer you chill the dough, the thicker and chewier these cookies end up, so if you have the patience to wait a few hours before baking, do so.
6. Set up a few baking sheets and line them with parchment paper. Place heaping tablespoons of dough on the sheets, about two inches apart. Sprinkle Kosher salt on top of the cookies. Don’t be stingy – you want them to actually taste of salt, as an active presence rather than just a flavor enhancer. Sprinkle the salt on as you would sugar.
7. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the edges are golden brown and done. Carefully transfer the still-soft cookies to a cooling rack! Serve warm to cool!