Friday, June 16, 2017

A Cooking, Working Day

Figs before cooking
I forgot to take the after cooking picture

Boy, I was a busy beaver today. Wrote 1250 words on my new novel, answered emails, read Facebook, did a lot of busy work at my desk. But my big accomplishment was cooking. Thanks to Paige Pritchett for bringing me figs from her mother’s tree—and roundabout thanks to Ann Chappell. Tonight, for happy hour I stuffed the figs with blue cheese and wrapped them in prosciutto. Technically they should be grilled, but I had no option except the toaster oven, and mine is so tiny I had to do ten figs in two batches. But they were delicious—rich, but delicious Christian wasn’t sure about figs but since he loves blue cheese and likes prosciutto, he tried them—and I think liked them. When we weren’t looking, Sophie snatched one off Phil’s plate. She scarfed down the cheese and prosciutto but spent a long time licking the fig before she finally decided to eat it.

I haven’t always been a fig fan, though my parents loved them. When they retired in North Carolina, they had a huge row of tall fig bushes lining the driveway. When Colin was maybe five, we’d put him on top of the van we then drove to pick figs. Mom cooked them for figs and cream—how British for my Anglophile father—and they ate them straight from the bush I don’t remember eating them.

In recent years, figs have become trendy and I confess it’s a time when I succumbed to fashion. I thought if they were so popular I ought to try them…and I did. And liked them a lot. But then as a kid I always liked Fig Newtons—who didn’t? I remember my kids ate those cookies happily.

My other cooking accomplishment tonight was stuffed zucchini. I parboiled it, sliced it in half, and scooped out the insides to mix with bread crumbs (good use for leftover artisan bread from the freezer), chopped celery, scallions, and a tad of red onion. Sautéed all that in butter and olive oil. Seasoned it with salt and pepper and loaded it back into the zucchini halves. When I was ready for supper tonight, I topped one half with grated cheese—I have had grated gruyere in the fridge for some time and used that. Baked it—again my only option. That and a half ear of corn made a satisfying supper, especially after the rich figs.

I topped it off with Frango mints. If you don’t know about them, I urge you to look them up on Amazon. Originally made and sold by Marshall Field and Company, these rich minty and creamy chocolate candies—small bites, really—are a taste from my childhood. My mom used to get them for me. In recent years, daughter Megan has gotten them. Last year she ordered two boxes for my July birthday but with the Texas summer heat they arrived melted into one large, unappealing hunk of chocolate. When the weather cooled, she ordered new boxes. I ran out of them a couple of months ago, but Amazon listed them out of stock. When they notified me they were again available, I ordered a box. Megan worried about the temperature, but they arrived melted at one corner but otherwise fine.

Another happy day.

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