I’ve been living with food all weekend. Slowly shopping on a Saturday afternoon, waltzing through the farmers’ market for flowers and fresh fruit. Riding my bike to five different markets in my neighborhood, each one of them holding the secret to today’s feast. A & J Meats for the best eggs in town, and another whole chicken for stock. Wild Salmon Seafood Market for the most luscious sea scallops I have ever seen. Trader Joe’s for bags of limes, shelled pistachios, and thick, Greek yogurt. Shallots, aged Pecorino, and fava beans beckoned from Metropolitan Market. And finally, Fremont for PCC, where the gluten-free pie crust mix lives, plus a dash of paprika. With stops for putting away the groceries, calls to friends, and a lovely hour at this gorgeous little coffee shop in my neighborhood (where I sat outside and read a Chez Panisse cookbook), the gathering took the better part of the day. And in the evening, Meri came over to help me compile it into a dozen different dishes, each one exquisite. And when we were done eating, we sat down with our food to watch the dvd of Jamie’s Kitchen that had just arrived at the library for me today. (Yes, obviously I have lost my mind. Even in my down time, I’m watching a show about cooking.)
But we only nibbled, along the way, because all of this food was destined to be delivered to the Sunday lunch celebration of my father’s birthday. Eating out is still hard for me, because of the cross-contamination issues, and besides, there aren’t any really good restaurants on Vashon anyway. And after all, the point is to be together. So I offered to make the family feast. Elliott is sure to like the pie.
And in just a few moments, I have to leave. All this shopping, cooking, tasting, preparing, and planning has left me little time to write. So today, a short entry, before I go.
Since I won’t be writing my regular plethora of words, I thought I’d give you some more reading. Look at me. One week back to being a teacher and I’m already doling out homework. But this is the most delicious homework you’ll ever have: figs.
Everyone is writing about figs. It is the season, after all. The beginning of fall brings in droves of figs, deep in their power to make us swoon, dark-skinned and green-skinned alike. Inside, the magic prize: that sensual flesh, flecked with seeds and sweet as first love. How could you not want to eat them every day?
I know that I already wrote about my love of broiled figs with goat cheese here. And a few days ago I pointed you to Melissa’s post on chicken braised with figs. But here are some more for you to savor. Try not to drool on the keyboard:
When I saw this post on figs at OswegoTea, I nearly ran out of my office at school and tried to catch a bus to Pike Place Market to buy figs that minute. Sadly, I had a class to teach, so I couldn’t. What I wouldn’t give for some of that rosemary honey.
And one of my favorite food blogs, An Obsession with Food, put up a post pointing us toward his SFist piece on figs.
(As a non-fig aside, Nic at Baking Sheet made rice-flour crepes, in honor of all of us who cannot eat gluten! Go check this one out too.)
So indulge in figs, both on the screen and off. You won’t be disappointed.
But now, I have to take that bulging box of food to the car and make my way to the ferry. I just can’t wait to eat it all with my family!
This isn’t really a recipe, but a finger pointing the way toward a gorgeous breakfast.
°Broil fig halves with a smear of goat cheese. Watch them bubble and brown, then take them out. Ideally, you’ve done this the night before. °In the morning, mix them with some thick, Greek honey (I like the Fage 0%, but I’ve also seen that Trader Joe’s has its own Greek-style yogurt now.) Drizzle in some strong-tasting honey, and stir. * Drag your spoon across the thick mixture, then slowly lift to your mouth. Oh my.