September 27, 2007

SHF #35: It's Fig-a-rific!

The most delicious fig I ever tasted was plucked from a neighborhood tree that we obsessively watch and whose fruit we gently squeeze every time we walk by. The fruit was a deep, deep purple and had a drop of figgy dew on its lips. Perfectly ripe, its sweetness melted onto my tongue, leaving behind the crunchy seeds. I believe that the fact that the fig was "borrowed" adds to its allure. The tree this fantastic piece of fruit came from grows on the side of an apartment complex and looks as if it just magically sprouted one day. During fig season we casually stroll a block up to check on the development of "our" figs. We've met a few neighbors too doing the same thing as us.

When I saw that SHF this month was all about figs, I got very excited. I am a recent convert to the Church of the Fig. I have also had my eye on this recipe for quite a while and am glad that this challenge was the kick in the pants I needed to finally make it. Of course, it comes from Claudia Flemming's inspirational book The Last Course. Unlike many other attempts, this recipe was too simple for me to screw up, nor did it involve every single piece of kitchen equipment I possess.

Dive in!

The result is a lovely puddle of golden green, accented by the dark purple of the figs. The creme fraiche center adds a welcome richness and a hint of tart so the sweetness of the melon and figs isn't overpowering. It's drop dead gorgeous too.

Chilled Honeydew Soup with Fresh Figs and Orange Blossom-Scented Creme Fraiche

1 small honeydew, about 2 lbs, or any other green melon, peeled, seeded and cubed
1/4 cup sugar
4 figs, cut into eighths
1/2 cup creme fraiche
1/2 tsp orange blossom water

In a bowl, toss together the melon and sugar. Let sit for 15 minutes.

Puree melon. If you wish, you can strain for a smoother texture. Chill until very cold, about 3 hours.

In a bowl, whisk together the creme fraiche and orange blossom water until slightly thickened.

Divide soup into bowls. Drop a spoonful of creme fraiche into the center and garnish with fig wedges. Enjoy!

Serves 4

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September 02, 2007

Back in the Saddle Again...

School started on Monday and I've been readjusting from my life of leisure this summer to a 38 hour school week, and that is just the actual time that I need to be physically present. Things'll be pretty rocky for a while. Last year, I was crazy excited to be starting school again and more than a bit nervous too, to be honest. This year, I was dreading the start of school because of all of the energy that is required of me this semester. Deep breaths. Positive affirmations. Good thoughts.

I am looking forward to my early celebration Rosh Hashannah dinner next Saturday. Hopefully I'll be more balanced then and write a proper post. 'Til then.