I’ve been delighted to get back in the kitchen recently. Cooking dinner for myself is one of my favorite ways to relax and be inspired. It’s been great to do more of that in the last few weeks. But another thing I’ve missed is cooking with friends. One of my very good friends is lucky enough to have a big fig tree in her backyard. (Yes, in the middle of the city!) Last year she and I started a little “Fig Fest” tradition where we spend the day cooking with this beautiful ripe fruit.
We invited a few other people to join us – someone who lived down the hall freshman year, a former co-worker, a fellow food-blogger turned friend, a bocce team member, a friend’s classmate from grad school. This is one of my favorite things about being 26 in DC. Our networks have grown and it’s no big deal to mesh them together for an afternoon. We end up making new friends over making cocktails, August playlists, and discovering mutual experiences (like mice in our apartments or great first dates).
Sarah and Jenn whipped up these Bourbon Fig Fizzes for everyone and after Mike climbed down from picking the fruit we couldn’t reach, we toasted under the fig tree. Sunday afternoon. No plans but eating. Mason jars and cute mugs. Between rain storms. Cheers to the figs.
Sarah and Sabiha prepped the ingredients for a savory fig chutney. The smell of vinegar and onions filled the kitchen. It would be a while until the chutney was ready and we needed some food to fill out fig-hungry stomaches. While I kept an eye on the stove, I quickly whipped up some little bites for us to nibble on. Toasted struan bread from the farmer’s market with crumbled gorgonzola (we also made some with goat cheese), sliced figs, and a drizzle of honey. This was my favorite way to eat the figs. They were so fresh and the simple flavors went so well together. They looked and tasted fancy – but really, they were just fresh.
So first of all, go eat some fresh figs. Better yet if you can pick them yourself. And second, collaborate a little in the kitchen. With good friends and new friends. Share the chopping, muddling, and recipe tweaking. And of course, the best part, share the food.