This summer, for the first time in as long as I can remember, I didn’t go home home, to the little town where I was born. The town of homemade Tabasco sauce and fig preserves, of TG&Y and Easter baskets, of Christmas stockings and eggnog, of grape Crush and Maytag service calls, of vegetable gardens and crawfish, of freedom and backyard bonfires, of first cousins and bubblegum snow cones. Some of my happiest childhood memories hang like Spanish moss from ancient oaks in the New Iberia city park on the Bayou Teche. No matter where I live, I always go home home each summer to visit my grandparents, until finally, last summer, in my 51st year, I didn’t have one anymore.
A few years ago, I happened to be there over the Fourth of July holiday and it occurred to me that it had probably been years since my grandparents had seen fireworks. So we loaded up the car and found ourselves a spot on the bayou that would give us a good view of the city show. We took the seats out of the back of the minivan and set them up like comfy chairs for the old folks to sit on. And together, four generations ooohed and aaahed in the rockets’ red glare, some of us still children, all of us like kids again.
Part of the joy of writing this blog is the satisfaction that comes from searching my own memory and making connections with my heritage and those old folks I miss, even while adapting to what I have available. Figs weren’t wonderful this summer and the sad few I did buy and eat seemed weirdly dry and flavorless, so there was no point in making preserves. But I couldn’t let the season pass without something figgy to enjoy, even if it meant using store-bought jam. As the saying goes, needs must.
2 cups or 250g flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 cup or 50g sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup or 75g butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup or 160g fig jam
1/2 cup or 120ml milk
To garnish: Several dried Black Mission figs, optional
Preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C. Butter your muffin pan or line it with paper liners.
Combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in a large mixing bowl.
In another smaller bowl, whisk together the egg, melted butter, fig jam and milk
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones and stir until just mixed through.
Divide the mixture between the muffin cups.
Top with a slice of soft dried Mission fig, if desired.
Bake in your preheated oven for 18-22 minutes or until golden.
Enjoy! If you celebrate Fourth of July, who are you watching the fireworks with this year?
|They smell soooo good!|