I can't see the future. Never could.
Some people can, though.
Like my husband.
Colin envisions the life he wants. Then he makes things happen. He's a directed dreamer, a hardworking visionary, an idealist and an idea-ist.
And while his feet remain firmly rooted in the possible, what's possible for him is very broadly drawn, with fungible borders that shift, stretch, and swell.
We talk of our plans, of our dreams. I etch in pencil, he in pen, then we both grab the charcoal. We press hard.
One of those dreams for our future:
Rustic and plain and just for us two. With a kitchen that's small, no-nonsense, and bright.
We cook simply. Some lentils, a stew. Bubbling crocks of this thing and that. I knead bread in a faded smock, breathing flour.
There's a garden outside. And recently, he told me, fig trees. A whole mess of them.
I like this dream. It's aligned with my own.
We have a fig tree now, in the present. A young one. It gave up four figs last year. This year fifteen, maybe twenty. Next year... who knows? They're bright green kadotas with flesh pink and lusty. My knees go slack when I eat them.
But fig season's drawing to an end. The tree's fine, but the fruit's near-gone.
The leaves, however, linger. They lilt and they wave.
As the wind brushes by, they consort, those two -- the wind and the leaves -- all rustle, all bustle, in sync and cahoots.
I move in, eager.
What say you, Leaves?
Keep dreaming, they answer.
Recipe for Fig Leaf Ice Cream
This clean, beautifully pure ice cream was directly inspired by a bowl of fig leaf ice cream I enjoyed at Lovely's Fifty-Fifty, a delightful wood-fired pizza and ice cream restaurant in Portland, Oregon. Kim Boyce, who owns the Bakeshop bakery in town, recommended it to me, and I'm so glad she did.
Since I don't have the restaurant's ice cream recipe, I made up my own. Its flavor is subtle, with notes of coconut (though there's no coconut in it) and vanilla. Smashing a few figs into the custard is on my to do list the next time my tree produces.
Makes 3 to 3-1/2 cups
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
2 unsprayed fig leaves, rough-chopped
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In a medium saucepan, combine the cream, milk, fig leaves, and sugar. Stir over medium-high heat until the sugar dissolves. When the mixture simmers, pull the saucepan from the heat, cover, and set aside to steep for 45 minutes. Strain out the leaves, pressing them to extract maximum flavor. Stir in the vanilla.
Chill for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days. Churn in an ice cream maker.