OK, first of all, when I saw the recipe for Stilton and Fig Jam sandwiches in this month’s Domino magazine, it struck me as kind of a – how can I say this? – unpopular selection for my next picnic. I haven’t tried it yet, so I don’t even know if I’d enjoy it myself, but note that I did say “yet”. I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to resist at least a taste.
When you peruse the jam and jelly aisle at your local grocery store, maybe you’ve wondered who the heck actually buys the dusty jar of Kadota Fig preserves. That would be me. Granted, this is the first time I’ve ever thrown it in the cart, but I’ve been waiting for the chance for almost thirty years. It started when my uncle sent us a Knott’s Berry Farm gift box one Christmas. Not many kids would be excited, but, well, that would also be me. But there were such exotic choices! [Up to this point, we were strictly a grape or strawberry, occasionally apricot, family.] Bing Cherry – yum! – and the mysterious Kadota Fig. I don’t remember us ever cracking that one open, but it sounded delicious.
Really, though, this story is for You (and You know who You are!), because when I saw this jar peeking out of the bag today, it reminded me of a day not unlike this one years ago and I couldn’t stop laughing. Always on the hunt for the best snowcone, we stopped off at a new stand. Of the 25 or so flavors, I couldn’t resist the allure of Lemon Chili. Ooh – a little sweet, a little sour, kick of spice; a flavor trifecta! Now you, the readers, will have to imagine my horror when it turned out to be a cup of shaved ice doused with ReaLemon juice, straight from the bottle, and dusted with chili powder. Good Lord. Why would anyone order that?, you ask. Well, why would anyone offer it?, would be my question. Really – why? Hopefully, the good people of Knott’s Berry Farm are not so cruel.
The heat and the humidity that we’re feeling today also reminded me of snowcones and icy treats. It’s only fair to warn you that today is probably the beginning of the endless discussions about the weather, and the heat, and the humidity. It’s a given that summer in Houston is going to be ridiculously long and hot (and have I mentioned the humidity, which makes it feel as though the air is literally being pressed out of you when you step outside?), but it seems to surprise us all. Every year. Every day, for the whole season, it’s still shocking enough to warrant comment, and even the occasional special news bulletin during your regularly scheduled programming. I’ll try to curb the urge here, but you’ve been warned.