11.7.12 Concord Territory
photos by gluttonforlife
The storm came and it took so much from us: our electricity, our water, our phones, our internet. It took our connections. Our lights. Our power. We became vulnerable, alone and in the dark. We were frightened. And then we rallied and made do. We foraged for water. We built roaring fires and lit candles. We strapped on battery-run headlamps and cooked hands-free. We traveled to friends' houses to swap stories, plug in and reassure each other that all was well. Everywhere we went, the horribly splintered and gaping maws of downed trees reminded us of Sandy's strength. When we finally saw the images of those places truly under water, we were humbled. For what does a little time without the trappings of civilization compare to life irrevocably changed by devastation and death? We were the lucky ones. As I always say, those of us left behind must lift our heads, set our jaws and move forward. One sure way to reclaim our power? We voted.
what a spread
And so, on to breakfast, because the next meal brings us back to some semblance of normalcy and a chance to celebrate our triumph over a new day. As I so often am, I was inspired by by the transcendent photos and simple prose of andrea gentl
in the making of this beautiful dish of roasted fruit. Her special poetry conjures up a life so rich in simple sweetness.
While you can still get your hands on Concord grapes and fresh figs, toss them with a little olive oil and honey and roast them until they slump into a juicy, lightly caramelized heap. Eat them with braised pork chops or a slice of beef. Or piled on bread with some sharp sheep's milk cheese. Or plopped onto a mound of fluffy millet or oats for breakfast.
Or, as Andrea recommends, spooned over tangy yogurt and sprinkled with flax seeds (preferably ground, so they don't pass right through you without giving up some of their good nutrition). I don't carefully remove the antioxidant-rich seeds from the grapes, preferring instead to alternately crunch through them or spit them out. It's about taking the rough with the smooth. Or not.
Concord Grape & Fig Compote
— Concord grapes
— fresh ripe figs
— olive oil
— sea salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and cover a large baking sheet with parchment.
Rinse grapes in a colander and pull them off the stems. Remove stems from figs and slice them in half the long way.
In a large bowl, toss grapes and figs with enough olive oil and honey to give them a nice gloss. Spread them in a single layer on the baking sheet and add a light sprinkling of sea salt. Bake until they collapse and begin to release their juices, about 15-20 minutes.
Remove from oven; eat warm or chilled.