Thursday, October 25, 2012

PRESERVING APPEARANCES


In all the much-rain and hail-laced plants and soggy leaves clinging to every inch of patio, yard, cars, roofs and shoes as you come in the house, and with my general indolence and can’t-get-going which cloudy gray dampened days engender, I just HAVE to let somebody know there’s something GRACIOUS going on around here.  Amongst several such niceties, a small jewel-of-a-moment from the past week:


 
 

The jars of home-canned marvels brought by our September guests Ben and Lil were absolutely beautiful.   And amongst them was a jar of Brown Turkey Figs (first I’d ever eaten, unless there were some amongst all the jars that we canned together LAST year).   These are stained-glass sunshine.
 
They were an absolutely divine---luscious and tender and dripping with that lovely syrup, and we ate them with a nice cheese plate, all the rich and heavy and sharp and musty cheeses enhanced by the bites of fig. 

 


There’s a velvety Gouda in there, a Morbier with its tell-tale little stripe of ash, a Stilton with dried cranberries, a St. Andre Triple, and a “cow’s milk” wedge, silky and sharp like I’d imagine a young Parmigianna, before the wheels are set to rest on the curing shelves.

The block in the middle is a little piece cut from an immense wheel of “fig paste studded with almonds” at the cheese shop.   That one was absolutely unnecessary, just sort of dark-flavored, with the tooth-yanking consistency of an old-fashioned Slo-Poke bar.

 

I resisted the urge to pick up a fig by its stem and drop it into my open mouth, with the juices running and the fig-flesh a soft mouthful. Instead,  I cut tiny wedges like cantaloupe smiles, lifting them with the point of my small knife, and they were a superb combination with all of the cheeses.

 

We haven’t yet opened any of the preserves---we’re saving them for a frosty night, when we’ll crank up the old Franklin to slide in the first pan of catheads of the season.   Those are special occasions all on their own.



3 comments:

LV said...

A pleasure visiting your blog. I dearly love figs. Especially, preserves. The Texas heat kept ours around here frommaking good. Enjoy yours.

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Rachel:
'Stained glass sunshine'. What an absolutely wonderful description for your jar of preserved figs. Pure poetry, as of course is so much of your writing in all of your posts. And those cheeses, so very tempting. We are giving a small dinner party tonight and they would be just perfect for a cheese course. Oh well!!

Have a really marvellous weekend.

Kim Shook said...

Beautiful! That is exactly how I want to devour my figs! Now, if only I had a Caro to advise me on my cheese selections! We still talk about the lovely one she put together for our P'burgh visit!