Tag Archives: figs

National Fig Week

Today is the last day of National Fig Week – so we’re getting this post up just in time! Fresh figs are now scarce “up north”, but I did manage to find a few at Whole Foods and a couple of other fresh produce shops a few weeks ago. Figs are full of fibre, potassium, calcium and antioxidants. A perfectly ripe fig can be eaten on its own and should be one of the most delicious foods you’ve eaten! This ancient fruit is versatile, lending itself to both sweet and savoury dishes. This summer my daughter requested fig compote to accompany her brie and chicken sandwich, for which we used dried figs. At the end of August, Jason and I found gorgeous fresh figs at a Sunday market just outside of San Diego. Jason cooked crispy duck breast (fuelled again by a request made by my daughter!), which he simply finished with halved figs. Meanwhile, a friend of mine who is also a faithful reader of A Michelin and A Mom, posted a quick “what to do with a bunch of fresh figs” on our twitter. Jason answered with one word: jam. Following is Rachel’s foray into fig jam!

This past August I had my first real encounter with figs; not having given figs much thought nor had many opportunities to try them or cook with them. To think of all the lovely figs I missed out on! I was introduced to figs somewhat by accident when my landlord’s mother asked me if I would like some fresh figs as her neighbour’s tree was heavy with ripe figs. I was soon ladened with about 2lbs of very ripe figs. I knew I would not be able to eat them all before they were past their prime, so I took to twitter and requested help from Karlin and Jason. I took up Chef’s suggestion for making a jam, and set to “consult the Oracle” (google) for some further direction. The first thing that jumped out at me when reviewing a few recipes is that making fig jam would be very easy! I was surprised that most recipes called for adding no water (I haven’t made much jam in my life so I’m not sure if this is usually the case with other types of jam). The recipes called for varying amounts of sweetener (sugar or honey) and I went on the conservative side (about 1/2 c. of sugar for my 1.5 lbs of figs) as I knew the fruit had a great deal of natural sugars. I also added some balsamic to give the jam some pizazz. You know, because that’s how I roll. The yield for this batch was 2 to 3 cups (I’m guessing on this) and has been delicious with crackers and cheese, and especially with roast chicken, as recommended by Jason. Thanks again for the inspiration, A Michelin and A Mom!

Tomorrow night Jason is proudly part of Common Threads: World Festival Los Angeles. My brother is a member of the Common Threads Advisory Board, which is hosting a fabulous evening to benefit great kids in the L.A. area. The event’s page reads: “At the pristine setting of the London Hotel’s beautiful Hampton Court, guests will be able to stroll around the modern take on an English garden while delighting in mouth-watering bites…” Enjoy the evening and we look forward to a full report from Jason later this week.

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Kristen’s Superstar Sandwich

Our washing machine broke down and a water pipe burst in the pump room at our cabin. The water was spraying overhead in a circular motion, covering the shelves and floor with puddles of water; at the moment it felt like a bad comedy movie. The threat of meeting a bear along the footpath is ever present (until they finish eating the Saskatoon berries and head up the mountains). However, a couple of hiccups like these are easily diminished when we wake up and go to sleep to the sight of the glassy lake, jumping fish and the big, bold BC mountains. My wonderful Czech neighbors have promised to take me foraging for mushrooms soon – apparently it’s best to go when the moon is rising. We did hunt for morels, but the crop was slim this year near our place and we came up empty handed. A friend just north of our place managed to pick 12lbs and I’m going to trade him an old fireplace for some of his morels.

This weekend, my daughter requested her favorite sandwich for dinner; I was hoping her visiting B.F.F. would find it as appetizing as I wasn’t in the mood for making multiple dinners. It’s a sandwich of many parts, but all can be prepared in advance and assembled just before serving. Without an easy title, this sandwich has grilled chicken, fig compote, mixed greens, brie and sautéed apple slices; find it in the RECIPES section of A Michelin and A Mom. It was a success and the addition of the homemade bread was great. I had to guess a little on the bread as I still haven’t found my cookbooks nor my measuring spoons in my moving boxes.

We have another crew of visitors arriving in two days – flank steak tacos, homemade pasta with pesto, risotto and a chocolate birthday cake are on the menu. Crossing my fingers and digging up earthworms with hopes of catching a trout! Any plans for summer? What’s on your summer menu? Drop us a line at michelinandmom@gmail.com or post a comment below.

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