As a Korean-American foodie who resides in West Oakland, I’m lucky that there’s a slew of fine eateries not too far from our home all along Telegraph Avenue in Temescal.
Popsicles are quite possibly my new favorite thing to make. I simply love how creative you can be with them. Seriously, there are no limits. I’ve used tea, cake, booze, you name it…and I have made a popsicle with it. I had planned for these figs be soaked in bourbon but they were so fresh and bursting with flavor, that it broke my heart just to freeze them. I didn’t want anything else to alter their taste. So I refrained and I am glad I did. These pops are scrumptious!
What’s better than a stiff drink and a ham-and-turkey sandwich with people you never have to impress? I’ll tell you: a ham-and-turkey sandwich dolloped with chutney, that’s what. And not just any common-or-garden chutney, no sirree Bob, but McQuade’s Celtic Chutney, made by red-headed Scotswoman Alison McQuade in small, aromatic batches, just like you would at home, if you were lucky enough to come from chutney-making people.
I finally jumped on the CSA wagon and I must admit, it was kind of like Christmas when my first box arrived, full of the lingering summer’s bounty.
Summer Bounty Recipe: Roasted Beet Salad with Lavender-Scented Fried Summer Squash, Chevre, Figs, Cucumber Relish and a Balsamic Reduction
Figs are sexy. Why? Is it their smooth, barely downy skin, so much like a soft cheek? Is it their plump, curvy shape, swerving out and in like a hip or breast you can surreptitiously palm right there in the produce aisle? Is it the drop of nectar that drips from the flower end at the moment of perfect readiness? Unlike the other fruit of our late summer, the plums and peaches, the raspberries and early apples, figs are all seedy lushness. There is no sweet-tangy snap, no whiplash between sugar and acid. Instead, figs are fleshy, breaking apart easily against the tongue, an odalisque who needs no convincing to roll back and give in.
Every year, I look forward to the real fig season–figs have two seasons: the first, in early summer, is fleeting and generally unremarkable; the second one takes place late in the summer. And yes, folks, it’s that time of year again. Late summer. My favorite moment in food time, when tomatoes and basil and zucchini and cucumbers and peppers and stone fruit and even berries are still prolific in the farmers’ market, and each week, there are more shell beans and succulent delicious figs on display. But it’s the figs that send me into squeals of joy, and when I bite into a perfectly ripe fig, perfect bliss.