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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Wilde Day

I'm sitting here today disappointed, a but disillusioned and unemployed. You read that right, jobless. After landing what I thought was my dream job two years ago, I find myself once again looking to the future and deciding what to do next.

As some of you know, I have been working at a pharmaceutical company on long Island. That company was OSI pharmaceuticals. While I can't disclose the full details of what happened (here's the news article about the site closure) I can tell you the story of my yesterday. 

It wasn't a surprise that our company was closing.  It was just shocking how quickly everything happened yesterday. A friend of mine had just returned from his honeymoon, I'm heading out of the country on Thursday for vacation. No one expected for Monday to be their last day at work.  No one thought they would be packing up their desks and saying goodbye to colleagues and friends.  I would have savored that last ride on the LIRR if I knew it was going to be my last one.

We all emptied our offices, carried our stuff to our cars and met up at the bar across the street.  Someone at the bar must have tipped off the news, because they showed up about thirty minutes later.  Since yesterday I've received about fifty LinkedIn and Facebook requests, started polishing my resume and surfing the internet for opportunities.

Now I am on the job hunt again. I have some time to find a new position, the company was very generous with our compensation at least.  Sadly I'm a little disillusioned with the whole pharmaceutical research business. If the new model is for big Pharma to buy smaller companies and close them, I can only hope to hold a research position for five years before another layoff.  Maybe I'll see what else I can do as a PhD chemist.  Clinical or regulatory affairs, patent law, consumer products development, there are so many options, it's time to start investigating.  And making cookies.

One Year Ago: Blueberry Mallomars
Two Years Ago: Cheesecake Brownies

Apricot-packed Oatmeal Cookies
A Wilde Original

I brought these cookies to work yesterday morning.  We ate them as we commiserated after hearing the news.  Actually, I ate one for breakfast before the meeting and then another one after the meeting.  They are super delicious and filling.  Be sure to use a new bag of dried apricots, I used dried Turkish apricots from Fairway.  They are amazing.

2 sticks (16 tablespoons) butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups chopped, dried apricots
3 cups old-fashioned oatmeal

In a large bowl (I mean really large!  There is a lot of cookie dough in this recipe!), beat butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until fluffy.  Turn mixer to low and add eggs, one at a time.  Add vanilla and beat until combined.

In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  Slowly add the flour to the wet ingredients with the mixer on low.  Once all the flour is absorbed, add chopped apricots and mix for about ten seconds.  Add oatmeal and mix for about 30 seconds.

Line a baking sheet with parchment or a Silpat.  Scoop cookie dough with a 1/4-cup ice cream scoop and place on the baking sheet in rounded mounds.  You'll get about 15-16 cookies.  (You can make smaller cookies, just reduce your baking time)  Wrap the baking sheet with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.  You want to dough balls solid.

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Place 5-6 cookie dough mounds on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Bake for 23-25 minutes, or until golden brown on the edges and still slightly doughy looking in the middle.  Remove from the oven and let cool completely on the baking sheet on a wire rack.

Store in an airtight container, share with your favorite friends.
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