Hi folks – I must apologize up front for being absent for a while. Things in my life have been just short of crazy. Not that I’m complaining. I’ve been up to some interesting and exciting things these last couple of weeks. The biggest one was writing the piece for POLITICO that I mentioned a few weeks back. Once it comes out next Friday I can share much more about the experience, but here’s the gist: I spent two weeks pigging out at numerous restaurants and writing about them. It was great fun, but the down side was that I ate WAY too much and I was away from my kitchen, which meant that I didn’t have any fun cooking adventures to blog about. But that phase is over and I’m back to my normal life, sort of.
I’m down two eaters for the next couple of weeks as the boys left on an adventure to Turkey this week. However, my mom decided that it might be a good time to come for a visit, so I will definitely not be lonely. In addition to bringing her beautiful self, Mama also brought me a veritable cornucopia of fresh produce from North Carolina – all packed right in her suitcase! The bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash, and green beans all arrived safely and have me super excited for cooking this weekend. The other great surprise was a carefully packed egg carton full of freshly picked figs. I was so excited to see these. As any of you who’ve spent time in the produce section of your grocery store can attest, figs are not a cheap fruit, so if you want to really do anything with them it’s going to cost you a pretty penny. I still haven’t figured out what kind of deliciousness I’m going to make with them this weekend, but I am definitely looking forward to it. If you’ve got any suggestions I’m all ears!
With the exception of the figs, all of the produce that arrived with Mama came from my dad’s very first garden. He measured out all of the rows perfectly just like any good engineer would. Mama said that he’s going to have tons of melons, cucumbers, bell peppers, green beans, tomatoes, and corn. I wish I were there to enjoy it all, but I am stoked to use what I did get. The other night he and Mama packed up bags of veggies to deliver them to all of our neighbors and friends. Now that’s the ifoodyou philosophy in action!
And as for the figs? They came from our neighbor, Cindy Karriker, who, along with her husband and children, is running a fantastic little family farm just down the road. They raise beef cattle as a business, but they also raise goats for milk and cheese, chickens for organic eggs, and any number of vegetables and fruits for their own personal use. When I was there back in June she gave me a tour of the farm and gifted some Egyptian onions. She also said she’d call my mom as soon as the figs were ready, which just happened to be right before Mama came to visit! She apologized for not having some ready sooner as her littlest one had discovered that they make great baseballs. I think I can forgive. See below for photos from my visit. I think I might have to camp out down there next time I’m home so that I can learn a thing or two for the time when I do finally have a garden of my own.