Wednesday, August 21, 2013

neighborhood bounty: how to find fruit

"Want one?"

My coworker careened around the office offering fresh figs to anyone in his path. The figs were from a fruit tree on his property, and he didn't know what to do with the excess except share the bounty. He noted my expression while eyeing the fresh figs, and either out of generosity or self-preservation, said that any not eaten would be mine to take home.

Generosity and fresh picked fruit at the end of a day crunching nothing but numbers? Small kindnesses like that can change the shape of an afternoon. 

It made me wonder, though, how many more people are out there with fruit on their hands, fruit that they can't possibly eat or use? Fruit that could do so much good to the health of a community where the expense is prohibitive. 

And, as it turns out, there's a website for that - It shows both where public trees are bearing fruit and where kind individuals with fruit to spare will give you the bounty of their harvest - for free! It's a little step, but one that has me smiling inside to out, seeing the community-food connection thrive on the openhandedness of its members.

And my dessert tonight? Care of my kindly coworker, I ate honey-fried figs with greek yogurt and almonds. Don't try to tell me your mouth isn't watering. In the spirit of community, though, if you come to my house, you can have some.

Honey-Fried Figs
Fresh figs, cut in four pieces

Heat butter in a pan. Add figs, and swirl in honey. Keep stirring for about 3-4 minutes until figs are tender. Serve with something creamy (greek yogurt, ice cream, sour cream, fresh whipped cream) and something crunchy (almonds, walnuts, toasted sesame seeds). Get fancy and add herbs if you feel like it, or stay homey and eat as is.

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