Mom's Kitchen Handbook

My Week in Food

Fresh Figs / momskitchenhandbook.comAfter harvesting dozens and dozens of figs from our tree, it felt a little bit more “My Week in Figs” than My Week in Food. What to do with all those juicy beauties?

First up, I tried my hand at dried figs. I  cut a few dozen in half, put them in a 150 degree oven for an hour, turned off the oven, and left them overnight. Any figs not quite dried got a second blast of heat and more drying time. Adding these to trail mix.

I found a recipe in the River Cottage Preserves book for figs cooked in a syrup of Earl Grey tea, fresh orange juice, and honey. These I canned.

And of course, Fig Newtons, using Alice Waters’ recipe from her Fruit cookbook. It feels like sacrilege to say a cross word about Alice, but truth be told, the cookies weren’t great. I’m guessing dried figs would have been better than fresh. If you have a favorite fig cookie recipe, do tell.

Then there were the fig leaves, which I wrapped around halibut rubbed with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper. They cooked at 350 degrees in about 12 minutes and were TENDER! Fig leaves cooking in your oven smell like coconut. Who knew?

Something else I didn’t know: walnuts grow inside a shell (that I knew) that’s housed inside a bright green husk (didn’t know). Once the walnuts are harvested, the husks eventually go brown (like these). ‘Tis the season for walnuts, so grab some from your farmer’s market, gather your children and your nut crackers, and see how very good they are fresh out of the shell.

New food favorite: enfrijoladas. It’s a dish I discovered in the Rancho Gordo Heirloom Bean cookbook whereby you make a pinto bean “sauce,” dredge warmed tortillas in it, and top them with shredded chicken, cotija cheese, avocado, and cilantro.

It was a treat to have someone else do the cooking for a change when we stopped into Spruce for their inaugural Sunday brunch service. The highlights? A perfect omelette, killer coffee cake, and this delicate salad.

All the good cooking and eating aside, this may have been the highlight of My Week in Food: the display next to the check out line at San Francisco’s new Target. Stacked high not with candy and soda, but fresh fruit, a smattering of energy bars, with a lone candy option in the mix. Hopefully this is contagious.

I’m all for anything that foster’s independence in the kitchen, which is the case with our new egg poaching cups (Fusionbrands). The kids can poach their own perfect eggs as evidenced by Virginia’s breakfast (styling and photo credits are all hers).

Speaking of styling and photography, Sarah Copeland knocked it out of the park with her GORGEOUS and inspiring new cookbook Feast: Generous  Vegetarian Meals for Any Eater and Every Appetite. I spent the better part of my Saturday night drinking in her lovely prose and ogling every recipe. More on that coming soon.

How was your Week in Food?