Fine Fig Time

My meal after an utterly remarkable ride with Eric (New Kid In Town) Roman.

We rode clockwise around the mountain (beginning at Phoenix Lake) and clinging to the shadows under thick bay/buckeye/redwood canopy. I told him how the trails we rode past used to be part of the route. Nowadays, one is not allowed on any narrow trails on the Water Lands. And almost every Marinite has a strong (=polarized) opinion on the matter of bicycles on single track. Just like they have on bicycles rolling through stop signs at two miles an hour. So we baked in the nine a.m. heat.

The destination: press launch of the Tour of California in Sausalito.

“Hey, you’re a photographer, I ‘m a writer, we’re the press”.

The speaker was my ‘glob’ friend Gavin Chilcott. He is so busy that I devised a way to reach him and other busy members of my “Knobby Nobility” cohort–people racing in the 1980’s–just mail a letter to them every month or two, with the subject heading of ‘Retrovians’ or a catchy little hook…well it worked for a couple years, and my list of victims, uh, reader/riders swelled to a couple hundred. Then my server got indigestion, asked me to keep group she-mails down to below…twenty or so. Ulp…
My career in spam-writing. I liked to thinnk most of the vict, er, friends WANTED the notes.

After all, they didn’t have to go anywhere to find them. The ones who, like me have ADD (Another Dumbass Disease) liked the trip-over-it-whilst-fetching-other-emails aspect of them.No unnecessary ‘getting l’austin space’ down-side of blog-spotting.

No fuss. Or so I thought.
Enter Chris Hill’s professionally designed weblog (see the black one, that’s the one I mean) was swiftly fitted, and out the gate I charged, ready to take on the Whirled Wide Web!

(Ed: JP, you’re digressing!!! FOCUS! WHERE are the damn FIGS? What about Eric ROMAN??? YOUR RIDE?)

Er, yah. well, we dropped down Railroad Grade into Mill Valley and even though it was midweek, passed groups of lycra bedizened bikers on their morning cruise…going the opposite way from us. Clearly we were in the minority, attending a press conference about Tour of California….This catered morning gathering accetuated how big the business of road cycling has become here in Marin. The towns fall all over themselves to win the bid for inclusion in this prestigious, improbably pricey producton….and surely this will lead (we wonder) to better awareness of riders…

Paul Albritton, vice mayor of Sausalito, was the only other Person Who Arrived By Bike.

Here in the USA, suits and cycles are still considered incompatible (what a pity people can’t see how it’s done in Germany, Scotland, Switzerland, Italy..)

He enthused about the coming festivities…”coming”= Valentines Day 2009! LONG lead time!

Stufft ourselves on quiche, pain au chocolat and bagels and poured coffee down to break it all up, then groaned away from the barely touched banquet (true business people can’t dive into food tables, or they’d fall asleep at the computer) in search of..

A swift tour of the houseboats, with their gay array of container plants (why dincha bring yr little metal “eye”, girl? NEXT TIME PACK THE CaMeRA)  all along the docks… not one among the dozens  had signs of life within, though the gardens on the docks seethed with sedum, geranium, new zealand flax, nasturtium, even roses.
Chances are, 90% of the residents there nowadays are off earning dough to cover the mortgage of what used to be basically free housing for artists prior to 1980.

So we sat and enjoyed the peace, glanced at the freebie materials (“bike porn” photo album of the BMC team, managed by racing colleague Gavin Chilcott) bicycle map of Sonoma County. VERY NICE score!

Home via bike paths, special tip of the hat to the Ross flood channel, then a quick plunder of the fat green figs in a secluded back yard in Sani-Selmo.

Sagittally slice all of them, broil most of them, top with two kinds of cheese, cheddar and jack, then re-broil for two minutes…voila. Arrange on old trophy plate from Charlie’s grandpa. Snap pics since the things are hotter than blazes for at least five minutes.
A lunch fit for a queen — a selfish, not-very-green queen who doesn’t mind heating up the house a little bit, just to have this rare treat. A queen who is looking into solar ovens….

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4 thoughts on “Fine Fig Time

  1. It looks yummy! Figs and cheese,…. I wouldn’t have thought of that. Glad you explained about the plate. I saw the engraving and was wondering what that was about.

  2. jacqui – love love love the food blog! Great stuff! Those fresh figs with melty cheese look fantastic.
    Still looking for a reliable source of fresh figs in DC.
    Can’t wait to read more! – Wendy (sakecat)

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