is my favorite season. Easily. Sure, summer brings watermelon,
beach trips, and outdoor BBQs, but --at least in Washington, DC -- it also brings
oppressive humidity, which necessitates a co-dependent relationship with my air
conditioner. Not fall, though. Fall brings light, cool air that requires comfy jeans
and big sweaters. Sure, no watermelon, but what about ripe, juicy, honey crisp
apples from West Virginia?
On any given Sunday I head to the farmer's market in Dupont Circle. Lately, though, I've been traveling for work and busy with tedious chores, plus I had a debilitating case of the flu (No, it wasn't H1N1, but thanks, EVERYONE, for asking), so it's been a few weeks since I filled my market bag. This week, as I headed for Dupont, I practically skipped down Connecticut Ave. It was a beautiful morning. The air was clean, cool, crisp; just the way I love it. The annual introduction to fall made me want to stand on the sidewalk, take a deep breath, raise my hands slowly above my head, and greedily suck it all in. You know the move you complete at the end of an intense aerobics class with Richard Simmons?Yes, that's the move I'm talking about.
These corn fritters fall under the seriously-delicious-but-pain-to-make category. I think it's the frying part that is particularly discouraging. Don't get me wrong, I love fried food. I just don't want to be the one frying it. For one, it freaks me out to see all that oil. It seems so...OILY. Not to mention that frying fills my apartment with a smoky fry smell that is extremely unpleasant. The worst part? Frying corn in oil typically results in hot kernels shooting at you (at one point while making these seemingly innocuous fritters, I felt like I was ducking bullets...pop, pop, pop). Basically, frying corn fritters is like turning your kitchen into a war zone: it smells, it could kill you, it's just not good for you.
Be that as it may, these little fritters were delicious. Sweet, creamy corn cakes dipped in light maple syrup makes for a perfect brunch (or midnight snack). So, if you feel adventurous or if you have mastered frying, I would recommend that you make these. With so much corn at the market - which is soon to disappear - it's a great summer recipe.
My love for figs started with Fig Newtons. As a child I would eat them by the dozen. When I got a job as a "counter girl" at Barbara Ann's Bakery my tastes became slightly more sophisticated. At the bakery, when no one was looking, I would snack on giant fig bars, filled with sweet fig jam, engulfed by a thin, flaky crust. I still love figs. I'm eagerly waiting for them to show up at the Farmer's Market. It seems we are all waiting for figs to arrive. (Sounds like the start of a novel, doesn't it?).
I haven't yet seen any fresh figs, but today at the 14th and U Street Farmer's Market, I spied this White Fig and Balsamic Vinegar Jam from The Copper Pot Food Company. It's perfect jam: light, spreadable, figgy, and the vinegar adds a bright flavor you may not find in most jams. At $6.50 a jar, it's worth every penny; a special treat to tide me over until figs arrive in the market.