Cream Scones with Fresh Figs, Cardamom and Black Pepper

Eat Well Edibles Grow Well Recipe

Nine years ago this September, my parents and I set off in the early morning hours down the interstate. Minneapolis — grad school + dietetic internship — or bust. Suitcases, boxes, and bags filled with far too many belongings for my new garden-level studio were deftly organized into the two cars by my father, our packing engineer. Thoughtfully, he left enough room for myself, a very large coffee, and a parting gift from my mother: her extra copy of The Fannie Farmer Cookbook.

Being in the kitchen is more than a passion and reminder of loved ones who helped make it so, but, for me, also a stress reliever. And though my subterranean shoebox boasted nothing beyond the basics — refrigerator, sink, an appropriately tiny gas oven/stove, and literally zero counter space — cooking, along with walks and the best café miel, was my delicious escape from reality. My smart mum, she just knew that Marion Cunningham’s classic would keep me well fed. And sane.

Fannie and I got on instantly, and she remains an anchor cookbook to this day. I have made so many of her recipes, both as printed and as variations on a theme, with honestly not one failure. Or at least not a failure on her part — burning my palm almost to the third degree on a metal skillet handle and destroying its contents was not instructed. The signs of heavy use are plain to see in the cracked spine (apologies, lots of love), spattered pages (decoration), scribbled notes (words of praise), and the occasional small cloud of flour that falls when opened to certain pages (baking pixie dust).

Scone cut-outs_HGN

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Celeste Fig Jam (Raw + Sugar-Free)

Eat Well Edibles Grow Well Recipe

“Fall [is] the time when everything bursts with its last beauty,

as if nature had been saving up all year for the grand finale.” 

— Lauren DeStefano

Our southern autumns may not be as beautifully striking as those we grew up with in Wisconsin, but the upshot is an extended growing season that keeps the kitchen well-stocked with freshness. It presents the best kind of dilemma: how to preserve the harvests before they fade.

Figs in Basket_2014

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Table for One: Pearl Barley with (Leftover) Roast Chicken, Figs and Aged Balsamic

Eat Well Edibles Recipe

As often as we can my husband and I eat supper together at the table. It’s our time to unwind, laugh and reconnect at the end of the day. But with irregular, often opposing work schedules, it’s not uncommon that my supper companion is the cat (who’s only engaging if the bottom of his food bowl is visible).

This might be for one night, or it might be more prolonged. While not preferable, it’s something we’re accustomed to. My top tip: make extra of key ingredients that happily make repeat appearances. It might not be sexy, but the beauty of leftovers is that there is pre-prepped food left over. For instance, a whole roast chicken from the weekend provided meat for two suppers and three quick lunches, plus nearly three quarts of rich, flavorful bone stock.

When I’m in for a stretch of solo suppers, a stocked refrigerator and freezer ensures there’s good food to fill my belly. This iteration of my leftovers plates is a mash-up, featuring barley (from a batch made for breakfast earlier this week), pieces of that leftover roast chicken, and figs (frozen from the summer harvest), brightened up with an aged balsamic vinaigrette and a scattering of fresh mint leaves (still kicking in the garden!).

Barley chicken fig balsamic

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