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Posts Tagged ‘Fruit’

This may not come as much of a surprise given the Manhattan-centrism of this blog, but I have a bit of a complex relationship with most of the U.S. See, with the exception of the Northeast, I have no real desire to live anywhere else. Now though this preference may seem fairly simple, it is significantly complicated when faced with the job market for econ PhD graduates. The U.S. has quite a concentration of top tier schools in the Northeast, but quite a few other schools decidedly not in the Northeast. It’s a rather large country, you see.

So in the process of converting me one state at a time, Greg recently brought home a large, delicately packaged box of fresh California calimyrna figs. In doing so, he planted the tantalizing fantasy in my mind of a mystical fig tree in our backyard that could produce figs at our . California figs are “succulent, aromatic and naturally sweet”, “environmentally friendly”, “the perfect fruit choice for summertime noshing”, and “a virtual powerhouse of nutrition”. (Additional propaganda found here.)

We’ve been savoring these figs a few at a time, since “sweet, savory, fresh or dried, sliced, diced, baked, puréed or sautéed – there are a lot of ways to enjoy simply beautiful, simply delicious California Figs.” If you find yourself with some fresh figs on hand, one of our favorite preparations of figs so far is halved with a drizzle of honey or balsamic creme. Another favorite preparation is chopped figs with maple-nut granola and Greek yogurt for a low-fat, heart-healthy breakfast.

Maple-Nut Granola

3 c rolled oats
1 c nuts (chopped hazelnuts, almonds, sunflower seeds)
1/4 c maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl, combine oats, nuts, and maple syrup. Mix thoroughly to combine maple syrup with other ingredients. Spread evenly on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until granola is browned.

Additional modifications:

Maple syrup can be replaced with honey, agave nectar, molasses, or other liquid sweetener.

Dried fruits such as raisins, dried cranberries, chopped dried apricots, coconut flakes can be added with no modifications to the other ingredients.

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Day Two in Ottawa was yet another culinary success. After dropping Greg off at the conference, I browsed through the shops and stalls at Byward Market and procured the following for a gourmet picnic:

1 loaf olive bread, The French Baker
1 wheel triple creme Brie, House of Cheese
$1 of wild boar and fig pate, House of Cheese
$5 of apricots, peaches, and blueberries, market stall
1 fig, Byward Fruit Market

We set up a small picnic outside the main conference site, complete with real plates and silverware procured from the hotel restaurant and a makeshift tablecloth, surely drawing the envy of many an economist. There aren’t too many places to eat right by campus, and we suspected that the majority of the other participants refueled at a nearby nondescript bar and grill type place with surely mediocre fare.
I spent the rest of the afternoon exploring Ottawa while Greg was off hearing Daron Acemoglu (of instrumental variable fame) present on political regimes and institutions. Highlights from my afternoon included the following: touring the Peace Tower at Parliament (the castle-like structure above); happening upon a Syrian protest; obtaining an invitation to an invitation-only Iranian event at the National Arts Center; sitting by the Rideau Canal spectating a family of ducks learn how to swim. Highlights from Greg’s afternoon included a lecture on binary choice models with endogenous regressors.
When we reconvened for the evening, we went off in an ultimately failed street meat tour, Ottawa edition — a quest to try a variety of shawarma vendors in Ottawa. Spoiled by our initial journey to Shawarma Palace, 45 minutes later and half a dozen shawarma locales visited, we decided to trek back to Shawarma Palace, a 20 minute walk away. And our appetites were surely rewarded! The amount of food offered was constrained only by the size of the plate with some allowed amount of spillover onto the tray — tabouleh, hummus, shawarma chicken, cardamom brown rice, pickled vegetables and fresh vegetables piled HIGH on our plate, and a bag of pita bread tossed on the side. In a nutshell, it was awesome. And our recommendation is the following — even if you’re starving and accompanied by a big appetite-ed companion, a split order of a shawarma plate will leave you satisfied.
And this mostly concludes our trip to Ottawa. Greg is presenting this morning on Labor Allocation and Productivity: Consequences of the 2010 Health Insurance Reform, and then we’re off to New Haven!

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