Cookies

Fresh figs are roasted in a syrup of honey, butter, cinnamon and orange zest then sandwiched (or left open face) between crumbly oat cakes, smeared with rich creme fraiche. 

ABEL URIBE, CHICAGO TRIBUNE

Ficus is a shrub indigenous to the dorm room, waiting room and boyfriend bedroom. It’s unavoidable. Get a boyfriend; endure a ficus.

The boyfriend (or roommate, or administrative assistant) will point to the plant’s quiet habits, its taste for neglect, its curious — if miniature — imitation of an actual tree. You shrug. Ficus is to tree as newton is to fig. Doesn’t even remind you of the original.

In time, the ficus will tire of quiet, of neglect, of tree pose. It will hurl its long leaves across the pillows. Not your problem. By then you will have tired of the boyfriend — or convinced him to upgrade the decor.

Dragging the ex-plant by its ex-trunk, you remember that ficus has roots in the fig family. Dry-eyed, you dispose of the “weeping fig.”

In the kitchen you reach for a basket of tender, dusky figs. You roast the fruit in honey and sandwich it between crumbly cookies. The dish is something like Fig Newtons and — unlike the ficus — in good taste.

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