August 2006 Inspirations
Best Figs You've Ever Tasted
This month brings the peak season for delectable figs. The unique taste of lemon figs--sweet with a little twang--anchors one of the best appetizers we've eaten. Serve them with a cool drink.
Lemon Figs With Pecans and Feta
Peel stem end back from 6 lemon figs. Slice each fig into quarters, cutting to--but not through--bottom, leaving figs intact. Place them on a foil-lined baking sheet; drizzle evenly with 1 Tbsp. olive oil. Broil 6 inches from heat 2 to 3 minutes or until edges begin to brown. Sprinkle evenly with 2 Tbsp. chopped toasted pecans and 2 Tbsp. crumbled feta cheese. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Makes 6 servings. Prep: 10 min., Broil: 3 min.
- If you can't find lemon figs, look for Mission or Brown Turkey figs at your local grocery store or farmers market.
Picture Yourself Here
Feel that glorious chill in the air. Breathe in the trademark aroma of the woods. Taste the sweet warmth of steaming tea. There's nothing more tranquil--or more relaxing--than an early August morning in the mountains.
Now's the time of year to escape the heat and head for your favorite top-of-the-world retreat, such as North Carolina's High Hampton Inn (www.highhamptoninn.com). The inn has stood as a landmark in the Blue Ridge Mountains for 84 years. When you get there, though, just remember: Squeeze in some quiet moments for yourself.
Snip a Little Flavor
Clipped herbs make a beautiful and functional arrangement in any kitchen. Just gather some cuttings of sage, basil, chives, oregano, and thyme from your garden, or buy some at the grocery store. Place them by the window in simple glass containers, and just add water. Not only will the fresh herbs brighten the room, they will also be handy for use when cooking delicious meals.
- If you purchased the herbs, be sure to recut the stems before placing them in containers.
- The cuttings will usually last for three to five days in water.
"Inspirations" is from the August 2006 issue of Southern Living.