Lannae's Food and Travel

I hope you like my food and travel blog.

December 16, 2007

Simplify Simplify

Our life is frittered away by detail... Simplify simplify. Henry Thoreau.

Last month, we were invited to a different sort of party. Our former next door neighbors finally sold their house (to down size to a smaller home), and they were having a key passing party with our new neighbors. The house was still staged with some furniture, so the dining table was transformed into the goodies table, and the picnic table in the screened-in porch became the bar. It was a nice way to get the new neighbors to meet us neighbors, and to let them know we are a friendly street, fairly devoid of any desperate housewives. I decided I wanted to bring a dish because the former neighbors are a couple of the people we did potluck cookouts with all the time, and I wanted to have one last potluck hurrah with the neighbors.

Quite simply, I made a fresh fig and aged cheddar dish. The figs were locally grown about 3 miles from my house at someone's house with 2 mature fig trees. They are of a greenish yellow and red variety, and have a lovely fresh sweet flavor with an delicate fig nose and slight crunchiness from the fig seeds. This variety is more flavorful than the common black ones. It was a one shot deal for this figs and a complete surprise to even have them. During the spring with the April freeze and the summer 12 week drought, all the fig flowers will killed, and the fig trees had no spring fruit, and we thought there would be no local figs this year. Luck for us, one day this fall, the trees gave fruit. To go with the figs, I placed slices of locally made Kenny's Aged Cheddar with a nice sharp taste and rustic and smooth texture. To taste each of these separately is very good, but to alternate bites of each is just out of this world. The saltiness of the cheese brought out the sweetness of the fig, and the sweetness of the fig brought out the pungent aroma of the cheddar. It was simply magical.

As I walked around the house offering up the the treats, I caught one man chatting, and he mindlessly picked up a fig and a slice of cheddar. He mindlessly bit into the fig. Instantly he stopped in mid-sentence and took notice of me holding the figs and cheese. There was a sparkle in his eyes, a smile on his face, and he took another nibble from the fig. He said that this fruit was amazing! He had left the present time for a moment, and was transformed back 40 years ago when he was a kid. In the summers he used to play outside all the time. He would get to go to the neighbors house and pick and eat as many fig fruits from their tree as he wanted. He happily did as any child would when given carte blanch to a sweet treat. The neighbors moved, the new owners cut down the fig trees, and the man's youth faded into the background as he aged and made new memories. That instant of tasting the fig, took him back to that simply magical time of his life.

Simplify Simplify. Look at what a simple dish can do.

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2 Comments:

At 12/22/07, 9:04 AM, Blogger katiez said...

What a wonderful story! It's amazing how taste and smell can trasport us far, far away in an instant!

 
At 12/22/07, 1:41 PM, Blogger Lannae said...

KZ, tastes and smells are amazing aren't they! I will remember the guy's story because he was so interesting to watch while he was eating the fig. I swear, he lost about 40 years off his face, and was recounting his story with the enthusiasm of an 8 yr old. It was simply heart warming.

 

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