Honeyed Fig Crostatas and the Post Call Ritual

Eventually I will detail how I made these delicious Honeyed Fig Crostatas, for Sourdough Surprises, my favorite online sourdough community, www.sourdoughsurprises.blogspot.com

fig crostatas

But first, I want to wrap my Medicine Sub-I in saran with a little discussion on the aftermath of call schedules. There is a wonderful thing in medicine called the “Post-call Ritual.” For some people, this involves arriving home after an all-nighter at the hospital, peeling off ones’ scrubs in exchange for a good swaddling in Jerzees, only to fall immediately unconscious. This is called Post Call Planking. I am particularly good at it. Izzy thinks its a contest, one of the few she can easily win.

planking post call

Others, and I am also among these, have some gentle wind-down activity before falling into bed. One girl I knew liked to make a pot of chamomile tea, get into her pajamas on the couch, and put a cheezy romantic comedy on TV. Some find lawn mowing ruminative and lulling. Many like to go out for post-call brunch. My post-call ritual is slowly expanding, almost to the extent that it threatens to eclipse the nap component for which it is meant to be a prelude.

Here’s the little ritual I find restful: 1) feed chickens and get eggs, 2) log eggs into my Egg Tally register, 3) check for new red tomatoes and red peppers, harvest if present, 4) return eggs and fresh produce to refrigerator, notice what else is on the brink of decay, 5) cook near-dead vegetables into some soup or salad or stir fry, 6) try new bread recipe, 7) blog while bread is rising, 8) maybe study something medicine-y, EKG interpretation let’s say, but quickly bore and find myself writing more for book #2, 9) catch up on Jimmy Fallon shows, 10) transfer bread to proof, while singing to Billie Holiday or Lake Street Dive “You Go Down Smooth” or Jack White’s “Lazaretto,” 11) realize that something may have been overlooked in the case of one of the patients I had been caring for overnight, 12) send frantic email to day team to order a test or add something esoteric to the differential, 13) return to writing, 14) bake the bread, 15) take pictures of the bread, 16) evaluate the laundry situation for my next 4 shifts, 17) notice fashion pieces I haven’t worn since the nineties and try to assemble a professional outfit around it that will allow me to wear it again at work, 18) throw the failed pieces into the Goodwill pile, 19) miss friends I haven’t talked to in a while, make a few calls, write postcards or write several long emails, 20) realize that one of the letters I’m writing would actually work much better as a poem, 21) design my Thanksgiving card and draft a poem to print on the card, 22) reorganize my stationary in the process of looking for a good card to use, 23) reread cards I have recently received from friends and organize those into my “received correspondence” file, 24) find a stray recipe Mom sent in one of her cards and start to make that for dinner, 25) oh but to make this recipe I’m going to need milk, so maybe I should go to the store, 26) remember that I have a Redbox coupon for a free movie, so at the store I pick up a movie, 27) while watching the movie, realize that it would be a great film to show for our Movie club, add to the queue, send evites, 28) wonder if the chickens have all been killed and dismembered by the possum my neighbor saw down the block yesterday, or by the hawk from last week, run outside and check for new blossoms on the eggplant and squash, 29) phew, the chickens are alive and still eating, get some more eggs from the nest, 30) Repeat. Or, nap, if it isn’t already nigh.

Actually, my last post-call day this month was interrupted by a wonderful Labor Day Pig Roast, again in our backyard, with KP’s soccer team and their magnificent trophy, and lo and behold, a miracle happened—Lucille allowed herself to be picked up by two adorable giggly girls who so badly wanted to hold a chicken like a baby doll. Lucille is beyond compare.

chickens with the girls chicken lucille cameo1

Save the best for last–my last post call afternoon was certainly the capstone for the season. I am thrilled to have a break now from intern schedules for several months to apply for residency and pass my board exams. Meanwhile, I recommend these crostatas for one of these Labor Day Weekend mornings—I do believe crostata is a metonym for “lazy morning.”

fig crostata

Honeyed Fig Crostatas

Adapted from Food and Wine

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar

Kosher salt

1 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons ice water

1 1/2 pounds fresh green and purple figs, each cut into 6 wedges (I used black figs)

5 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon thyme leaves, plus small sprigs for garnish

1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water

In a food processor, pulse the flour with the sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Add the butter and pulse until it is the size of peas. Add the water; pulse until the dough comes together. Pat the dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough 1/8 inch thick. Cut out eight 5-inch rounds, rerolling the scraps if necessary; transfer to a parchment paper–lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

fig crostata dough

Preheat the oven to 375°. In a bowl, toss two-thirds of the figs with 3 teaspoons of the honey, the lemon juice, thyme leaves and a pinch of salt. Arrange the figs on the dough rounds, leaving a 1/2-inch border all around. Fold the edges over the figs and brush the dough with the egg wash. Chill for 30 minutes.

fig crostata with fig

fig crostata weave

Bake the crostatas for 35 minutes, rotating halfway through baking, until the crusts are golden. Let stand for 10 minutes.

Gently toss the remaining figs with the remaining 2 teaspoons of honey. Transfer the crostatas to plates, top with the figs and thyme sprigs and serve.

Happy Labor Day to all— fig crostata close up

8 thoughts on “Honeyed Fig Crostatas and the Post Call Ritual

  1. Rach my dear, after reading the above account of your post-call ritual, I am more perplexed than ever by how on earth you manage to get 7-8 hours of sleep per night, as you once told me you did! You are my sleep role model/inspiration when I find myself falling into bad habits of majorly skimping on it 🙂 These crostatas look divine! I hope you and KP enjoyed some during a relaxed Labor Day weekend morning, aaahhhh 🙂

    1. I’d say my 7-8 hours is a decent average. All the dementia/sleep deprivation literature has changed my tune since college. Precious neurons depend on it!

      1. I am highly impressed, and very inspired! I too have had a massive, um, wake-up call about how crucial sleep is thanks to all the new research being done on it. Here’s to sleep! 🙂

  2. Lovely crostata!! I like your post-call routine, LOL. My husband’s was always “try to spend time with the kids by sitting on the couch and watching tv, but passing out in mere moments and then spending the next few hours getting irritated that the kids were talking to him, playing with him, and the dog was licking his face”. LOl glad those days are behind us! Good luck with the match!!!!

    1. Thank you! I matched to Tulane and am starting soon here in New Orleans. There will be many postcall days ahead, I’m afraid!

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