Tag Archives: figs

A fig tree grows in Brooklyn

Here I am. Sorry for the prolonged absence. Two weeks ago I moved into a new apartment. The cookbooks are still in a box but I unpacked the last of the pots and pans today. This new place has it’s flaws, not least of which is the wood paneling in the kitchen, but it also has it’s charms. There’s a big old porcelain double sink in the kitchen and a claw foot tub in the bathroom. And there’s a food co-op a couple blocks away and a farmers market just down the street on Sundays. I think I love co-op bulk bins even more than I love farmers markets.

Anyway, back to the apartment. When I came by the place to sign my lease in September, the landlady took me around to the back of the house to show me where the trash cans are. Then she told me she needed to show me one more thing. The fig tree. She made sure I knew how to recognize a ripe fig and insisted that I help myself. Well I nearly died.  Growing up I never knew anyone who had a fruit tree. I don’t think I even realized that one could have a fruit tree. I fairly recently became aware of this phenomenon of the backyard fruit tree and I’ve been preoccupied with the notion of having one ever since. Living in an apartment building with not a patch of dirt anywhere in sight, it seemed like an unattainable dream. Continue reading




Yesterday out of nowhere I had a strange craving for bran muffins. I thought long and hard about what they should be like. They needed some kind of delicious chunks. Well, maybe not chunks. Bits. Delicious fruity bits. I hate raisins. I have a vague memory of my mom eating something called date nut loaf with cream cheese for lunch when I was little. Dates? I don’t know if I like dates. I don’t know if I’ve ever had them. But inside my brain I think they are the same thing as prunes and I definitely don’t think I like prunes. (Yes, I realize that this is not in fact true.) Fig newtons biased me against figs but lately I’ve come to realize that dried figs are actually really good. At first I found all the tiny seeds off-putting, until I made a conscious decision to like the seeds. Now I think they are crunchy and delicious. Continue reading