11.7.12 Concord Territory

Bowl 790 xxx
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.
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what a spread
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purple reign
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.
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fruit flight
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.
Bowl2 790 xxx
violet hour
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
  • honey
  • 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.

Download recipe  Download Recipe


looks like heaven. just thinking about a roasted fig is tonic for me!
janet on November 8, 2012 at 6:33 am —
Imagine what eating one could do for you!!
laura on November 8, 2012 at 6:15 pm —
Concords and figs- what a delight. And the colors. The way you describe them is so lovely! I made a grape and fig conserve last year. They really do well together. It really does take a lot out of you--losing power, true, but as you say, also just knowing how vulnerable we are. Glad you made it through with your chin up. x!
julia on November 8, 2012 at 7:23 pm —
I believe there were some walnuts in that conserve, and the whole thing went down like a charm...
laura on November 9, 2012 at 8:59 am —
beautifully expressed. this looks so warming and earthy. terrific for now. I hope you're feeling better! t
tamika on November 10, 2012 at 2:33 pm —
so lovely to see your new blog design - it is beautiful! i havent been in the blogosphere for a while so i guess i missed it when you revamped it. happy to know you were ok during the hurricane despite the lack of power x shayma
shayma on November 21, 2012 at 4:51 pm —
Shayma! You must have been having a psychic flash because I was thinking of you just a few hours ago while driving to the in-laws. Can't remember what sparked it, but I have missed you and am so glad to know you are out there. Hope you are well and thriving xoxo
laura on November 21, 2012 at 4:57 pm —