So, the word ramekin has always intrigued me. I mean, even the word makes it sound like it would be something small. "Kin" at the end makes it seem friendly, perhaps someone who would give you their undivided attention. Since ramekins are personal little potentials of goodness, you usually don't have to divvy it up amongst friends -- you can have whatever the ramekin cradles all to yourself. According to wikipedia, the source for all world knowledge, the word ramekin is derived from the French. The French borrowed the word from the Dutch, where their definition means “cheese dish." This makes a certain amount of since since "ram" means "cream" in super early German. But I digress. Typically, anything in a ramekin is awesome.
Speaking of small containers, I picked up this half-pint of fresh figs from Rosemont yesterday. I couldn't help myself -- nothing compares to fresh figs, and the coming winter marks their end of prime flavor and freshness. Ayurvedic medicine says that figs have nourishing properties, and aid in boosting your energy. They are recommended for those who suffer from indigestion and strengthen the blood.
The first time I had a fresh fig was while shopping at an open-air market in Barcelona. The color of the exterior skin was a luscious forest green with deep purple swirls, and when I took a bite, the inside burst with a blush of pink that was vibrant to by eyes but soft in my mouth. I savored every bite of that fig, and will buy a pint of them once each autumn in celebration of their seasonality and in remembrance of that trip to Spain.
My half-pint consisted of five figs. I ate the first one as soon as I got in the car, pausing, smelling, savoring, and lingering. The perfect texture combination of chewy, crunchy, and soft was happening, all that the same time, in my mouth. It was a beautiful moment.
I ate the second fig that night. As a before-bedtime ayurvedic drink, I made a variation of Almond-Fig Milk with just one fig and 4 ounces of almond milk, warming the milk up until it came to an aromatic boil. I added in a pinch of cinnamon and ginger, and my belly felt warm and nourished as I climbed into bed.
This morning, I cut off half of the third fig, told Andrew to close his eyes, and let him have a taste. "Woah! Fig!" was his response. I smiled as I went about using the remaining 2 and a half figs in a glorious morning buckwheat breakfast bake. You've probably seen buckwheat bakes over at Ashley's blog, Edible Perspective. I'm always drooling over the various combinations of bakes that she has for her breakfast, and adapted one of her recipes as a way to savor the season's last fresh figs. This bake came out soft and was a dream to bite into. The cinnamon really accentuated the flavor of the figs, and each bite was loaded with figgy goodness.
Fun Fig Fact: is that the fig is not actually a fruit, but a flower!
*modified from one of Ashley's bakes
- 4 tablespoons buckwheat flour
- 1 teaspoon tapioca starch
- 1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 pinch salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened apple sauce
- 3 tablespoons almond milk
- 2-3 fresh figs, sliced, with 4 slices reserved for the topping
- 1/2 teaspoon molasses
- 1 teaspoon organic pure vanilla extract
So, hurry up! Go on out and find some fresh figs. See how many different things you can do with them. Most important: enjoy them. It's so rare to find a seasonal food that's truly only available during its peak season, and I think that is a big part of why I get a little giddy when I see a pint of figs.