Sunday, August 22, 2010

Figs On Sale

A few days ago I stopped at the store for a baguette and something for an easy meal.  Figs - Buy One Get One Free read a sign as I entered the market. I knew immediately I would add prosciutto and goat cheese to the basket. Dinner was soon on my plate.  The bread, the figs, the cheese, the ham, eaten in no particular order - a single item or the combination of any two or three or four at a time -- were all delicious and simply satisfying. Simply as in simple. There is something so satisfying about simple.

For two mornings I sliced Kadotas and Black Missions onto nutty toasted whole grain bread. Not that the figs weren't  already inherently sweet, but there was something enticing about the thought of unfiltered wildflower honey, so I gave them just a drizzle. I ate slowly, enjoying the smooth fig contrasted with the crunch of its seeds and the nuts in the bread. I think I even closed my eyes a time or two. Simple again, but I felt regal.

What is it about a fig? For me it is ancient -- it goes all the way back to the Garden of Eden. It's exotic, it's indulgent, and it is sensuous. Just look at it. Study the outside. Cut one in half lenthwise. Look again.

Until a few years ago, my only experience with figs was a la newton. But while touring Sonoma Valley with my dear friend T., we spied a restaurant called The Girl and the Fig. The name was intriguing, so we went in without even reviewing the menu. We sat out in the garden, shared an appetizer and each had an entree which included (of course) figs, and we sipped a little white wine. We may or may not have looked around town or shopped after that, for all I remember about that afternoon is the restaurant and my first fresh fig.

We do not remember days, we remember moments.
    Cesare Pavese

This fruit is perishable. I must use the rest of them today. The obvious metaphor is to take advantage of life's joys as they are given us, for many are short-lived. So this afternoon I will try a new recipe for Fresh Fig Cake, which calls for 3 cups of the chopped fruit for the batter and the filling. The ingredients are few, the techniques are basic, and overall it seems rather simple. Simply delicious. Simply satisfying. Simply.

No comments:

Post a Comment