Friday, June 13, 2014

Fun Facts

Since I started working at Princeton, I've been thinking about some of the coincidences and similarities to other aspects of my education and career. Here are a few little tidbits that I find interesting. It's a little history lesson for you, too!

1) Orange and Black
     Princeton's colors are orange and black. Weirdly, those were my high school colors. I couldn't find any history on why my high school chose orange and black, but I found Princeton's history. The color orange was one of the colors of the House of Nassau - the house of King William III, for whom the first campus building (Nassau Hall) was named. Students began wearing orange ribbons with "Princeton" written in black, and in 1896 those were adopted as the official colors. To go a step deeper with the weird coincidence, the colors of the House of Nassau were actually orange and blue... my college colors!

2) The Tiger
     My internship was done at Clemson University, whose mascot is the tiger. When I got to Princeton, I found out that my mascot would once again be the tiger!  The Princeton Tigers came about because of the school colors. The first football uniforms were orange and black stripes, so the association with the tiger was quickly observed, and it stuck. The Clemson Tigers came to be because the first football coach came from the Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University), whose mascot was the tiger. He decided to keep the mascot since Clemson had yet to distinguish one. Auburn chose the tigers because of an Oliver Goldsmith poem with the line, "where crouching tigers await their hapless prey." Oh, and guess what Auburn's colors are... orange and blue! Clemson is orange and purple. Orange is a reoccurring theme in my life!

3)  Major Battles
     Gettysburg College, where I went to school, and Princeton University were both smack dab in the middle of major battles of major wars, both 31 years after they were established.
     Gettysburg College was established in 1832 as Pennsylvania College. In 1863, the Battle of Gettysburg occurred during the Civil War. The first campus building, and most recognizable was Pennsylvania Hall. It served as a field hospital for both Union and Confederate soldiers during the battle. It recovered from significant damage, and is now a registered historic landmark.
     Princeton University was established in 1746 as the College of New Jersey. In 1777, the Battle of Princeton occurred during the Revolutionary War. Nassau Hall was the first campus building (and only building at the time of the battle). It was used as a barracks and hospital for both British and American troops during the battle. It recovered from extensive damage and is now a registered historic landmark.
     Apparently I like schools with a history of war.

Some fun facts about Princeton that I stumbled upon in my research:

- The first ever intercollegiate football game in America was played in 1869 between Princeton and Rutgers.

- The exterior of the Frist Campus Center on the Princeton Campus was filmed as the hospital on the tv show House.

- The art museum on campus has original Monet works.

- The University does not officially recognize Greek life on campus. There are no fraternity or sorority houses. Instead, the school has "eating clubs". There are 11 clubs total... 6 of them interview and hand-pick members; 4 have a lottery system to choose new members; and one has a point system, where prospective members participate in club activities to accumulate points toward membership. They are essentially dining halls in big, old mansions that also have a social/party aspect.

- Princeton accepts just 7% of undergraduate applicants.

- The tiger statues flanking the front stairs into Nassau Hall are named Woodrow and Wilson, after the U.S. president, and Princeton alum.

- The Tony-award winning play "Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike" was commissioned by and debuted at the McCarter Theatre on the Princeton campus before moving to off-Broadway and eventually Broadway.

Ok, I think that's enough for now. I'll stop boring you!

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Triple Berry Cinnamon Swirl Bread

As we all know, I have the biggest kitchen crush on Joy Wilson, a.k.a. Joy the Baker. To my delight, she has teamed up with King Arthur Flour to host a "Baking Bootcamp". She is creating four different recipes using four different kinds of flour, and challenging her readers to make these recipes. Post pictures of your creations to instagram, with the hashtag #bakingbootcamp, and you're entered into a contest to win a year's supply of King Arthur Flour and a baking essentials package, put together by Joy herself. None of this is anything but awesome.

For her first recipe, using all-purpose flour, Joy has created a Triple Berry Cinnamon Swirl Bread. I'm not going to post the recipe, since I didn't make any changes. You can check it out on her site by clicking the link above. I will post some pictures I took of the process, and my finished product.

Yeast, milk, sugar, egg, melted butter = bubbly, yeasty soup.

After mixing and kneading, you end up with a neat little ball of dough to put in a bowl and let rise for an hour.

Cinnamon, butter, sugar. Perfect sweet, cinnamon-y filling you can make while the dough is rising. 

Spread the filling evenly on the rolled-out dough and place the rinsed and dried berries.


Roll up the dough, and cut in half, leaving about an inch connected at the end. 

"Braid" the dough and form a circle. Joy describes how to do this in depth. It's easier than I expected!

Quickly and carefully pick up the braided dough and place it in a cast iron skillet (or pan of some kind.) This was also easier than expected, but I can see the potential of it going badly. 

Brush the top with a beaten egg to get that perfectly browned top, and bake for 25 minutes, and you have a pan full of heaven. 

Let it cool and add a little powdered sugar, and it's perfect! It's so good! Like a big cinnamon bun, with a pop of fresh fruit.

Even if you aren't interested in the "Baking Bootcamp", you should treat yourself to this. I thought the recipe was a little intimidating, but it was a lot simpler than it seemed, and totally one of those recipes that makes you feel proud and accomplished.

Again, you can find the recipe here. Joy also has step-by-step instructions with pictures, which was really helpful!