There were three edible plants in my yard growing up: a small bay leaf shrub, a truly gigantic fig tree, and a misbelief tree. Though the shrub produced year round (and gave flavor to countless pots of gumbo, red beans, and meat sauce), my childhood was marked by anticipation of the fruiting of the fig and misbelief tree. Both offered their beauty in abundance, enough for us to share with neighbors and friends
Though all three plants now live only in our memories (we lost them to illness and Hurricane Katrina), I hold a deep appreciation for the ways that they added flavor and joy to our lives.
The cookie made in their memory is a shortbread flavored with bay leaf steeped butter and a misbelief liqueur developed by my dear friend Aria. The dough is painted with homemade fig jam and then rolled and sliced, producing a pinwheel shaped cookie that is as dynamic as my homeland.