Tuesday, September 2, 2014

The Fig is Up


I've been playing it safe here the past few months. You know, actually writing about food like a proper food blogger as opposed to life, love (or lack thereof) and the new mint green blouse I just got on sale at Anthropologie.

It's been fine, I guess. Though if I'm going to be completely honest (major revelation coming!), writing about food in and of itself isn't necessarily all that interesting to me. At least not without the context of a restaurant experience or some sort of personal anecdote about, say, how this caramelized onion galette was something I ate every summer growing up, so now I make it every August as a nostalgic tribute to my childhood and those bygone days of yore.

Except it totally isn't, and then I'm left with, "I made this galette on a Saturday afternoon because I was bored and wanted to eat a caramelized onion galette for lunch so I could post a photo of it on Instagram."

Just kidding.


Granted, I do try to be somewhat more eloquent than that without resorting to words like, "delicious" and "yummy" and "moist." Because really that's the goal of any food-related post, isn't it? To get through without saying "delicious," and to presumably inspire the person reading said post ("Hi, Mom!") to want to make or eat it too?

Except that never really was the main priority for me. Sure, I like food (minor understatement), but what I really really like is the act of writing as a vehicle for self-expression - finding exactly the right words to convey the crazy things spinning around in my head in a way that someone else might find relatable. I'd secretly rather get a "Me too!!!" response than a pin on Pinterest or whatever that Stumble Upon thing is. (No clue.)

Lately, I've been caught in this struggle - thinking that I aught to keep all that deep ooey gooey stuff buried beneath a sea of pretty pictures and censored proclamations, while secretly wanting to tell you about the guy who I went on seven whole dates with this spring and how I knew it was over the second I had enough faith in it to mention it to MY BROTHER. Because isn't that how it always goes? You give it no credence until you, well, do and then it comes crashing down around you because you dared to say it out loud.

Even if it was just a whisper after too many glasses just the right amount of wine.

I've wanted to tell you other things too.

Some of it good, some of it bad, some of it weird, and some of it just plain and ordinary - the little brush strokes that have colored my spring and summer into a full and vibrant picture. Instead, there's been chia pudding and farro salad and white beans and a recap of my trip to New York that said nothing of how scared I was to go on a trip by myself and how empowered I felt during and after it. 

Because the thing is, even though a picture supposedly is worth a thousand words, there's always more to the story than what the retouched, styled photo reveals. It shows the neat and shiny version of life - not the dirty dishes that are stacked up in the sink nor the countertops that are strewn with bread crumbs and something… sticky. You know, "the good stuff," at least according to Robin Williams' character in Good Will Hunting. (Seriously, best movie and scene EVER.)

So maybe, there's more of this to come. More dirt. More mess.  

More real life.

Juxtaposed against the glossy image of a delicious chia yogurt pudding, topped with moist figs and yummy slivered almonds.  

Vanilla Chia Pudding with Figs and Almonds
Serves 1

Notes: Make this now - before the last gasp of summer steals all those fresh figs away. The below features quantities appropriate for a "hearty" breakfast, which suits me well since I'm typically ravenous after my early morning workouts. If you are more of a "dainty" breakfast eater, adjust as you see fit. 

1 6-ounce container of vanilla Greek yogurt (I prefer Fage fruyo)
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1/4 - 1/3 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
4 fresh figs, chopped
1-2 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted (I usually use closer to 2)

Combine yogurt, chia seeds and almond milk. Stir until well-combined, then store, in an air-tight container, or bowl covered with plastic wrap, in the fridge overnight (if planning to eat for breakfast that is - I imagine just a couple hours of fridge time is fine if you eating this as a snack or dessert).

The next morning, remove the pudding from the fridge, adding additional almond milk to thin, as needed. Top with chopped figs and slivered almonds.