The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas

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August 10, 2013

Cooking with Simon: Seasonal Favorite Marks First Anniversary

PALESTINE — The other day I was looking back through all of the stories I have written for this column and I realized that next week I would be celebrating my one-year anniversary. I can’t believe it has been that long.

Even more shocking, I can’t believe I have written a year’s worth of stories. It’s a lot of work to actually get a recipe out of my head and onto paper and every week it seems like that deadline comes sooner and sooner.

But all the work aside, I am truly blessed by the great response I have had from readers of this column and feel humbled to know that you look forward to reading each week. I always enjoy running into people around town and hearing that someone has tried one of the recipes or is shopping for ingredients to make one of the recipes.

Often people ask about my favorite dish or what I like to cook for myself. Really I don’t have a favorite because what I enjoy most about food is whatever is fresh, flavorful and seasonal right now. Whatever that ingredient might be, it is the best tasting thing right now, but a month from now it probably won’t be so good.

The one thing I am beginning to crave is fresh figs. They haven’t come out yet, but a friend of mine who has a fig tree says they will be ready soon. I can’t wait to get a big bag of them to use in so many ways. I love them in salads, on pizza, in preserves or just by themselves.

Last summer I did a recipe for a fig and goat cheese tart. If I had to pick, this would be one of my favorite recipes from this column. So find out who has a fig tree in your neighborhood and be really nice to them so they will share some of their figs.

Next week I will have a review of all the recipes of the year and you will have the chance to pick your favorite. And for next year I would love to hear about some things that you would like to learn how to cook. It’s always fun to try new things and perhaps stumble upon a new favorite.

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