Caramelised Figs and…’Would You Like Us To Delay the Connection?’

I’m sure you are all by now bored with the updates of my internet woes but sadly, they remain unresolved and I had a rather traumatic conversation with Raj from customer service who works for the internet provider.

Caramelised Figs with Grand Marnier Sauce and Spiced Cream

Raj’s first mistake was to not look at the notes in my file that would clearly state that I had been advised first thing Tuesday morning that the internet would be connected within three working days.  When I woke yesterday I celebrated that it was working day number three and phoned and asked what time I would be switched on.  It was insensitive and inappropriate of Raj to advise that it would be another ‘five to seven working days’.

I did have to say to Raj, ‘Now you stop that right here right now because in the file it would tell you that I was told first thing Tuesday morning that I was only going to have to wait until some time on Thursday’.

Raj did check the file and realised his error but came back to advise I won’t be connected ‘before 5pm on Friday or would you like us to delay the connection?’  I paused for a moment just wondering if he was completely mad or just trying to send me over the edge.

‘Raj, I have been phoning your company every day for the last 13 days advising how urgently I require a connection.  Knowing that why would you ask me if I’d like a further delay?’  And Raj advised I had two choices.  I can have the 5pm Friday time slot or he can delay it further.  My conversation with Raj did not end well, mostly because I’m all out of patience and I do not understand how a simple connection can be such a challenge.

And we all know, if you’re late paying your bill they’re only too quick to find that disconnection switch.

I now await 5pm Friday but my fear is this:  If I’m not connected by then I will have to phone back only to be told that as the technicians don’t work weekends, nothing can be done until Monday.  ‘I’m very sorry mam and I understand your frustration but there’s really nothing I can do’.  It so easily just rolls of the tongue.

But back in the kitchen…

A week or so ago I mentioned I’d been to dinner at a friend’s house and they served a wonderful dessert of fresh figs.

We’d had quite a rich main course so a light-ish dessert using fresh figs was an excellent way to finish a wonderful evening.

Caramelised Figs with Grand Marnier and Spiced Creme

Serves:  4

Degree of Difficulty:  2/5

Cost:  I would only make this while fresh figs are in season.  At the moment fresh figs are widely available and are therefore at their most affordable.  Grand Marnier isn’t cheap but the recipe only uses 2 tbspns.

There’s no better fruit to caramelise than the fig!

For the Figs:

  • 60gms butter
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 8 fresh figs, halved

Place the butter and honey in a large frying pan over medium heat and stir well to blend.  When sizzling add figs cut side down and cook for about 2 minutes.  Turn and cook for another minute.  Remove and arrange on serving plates and drizzle with pan juices.

For the Sauce:

  • 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tbspns Grand Marnier

In a small saucepan combine orange juice and sugar and bring to the boil over medium heat.  Simmer for about five minutes until mixture has reduced and thickened slightly.  Add Grand Marnier and bring to the boil to remove alcohol.  Spoon around figs.

For the Creme:

  • 300ml creme fraiche
  • 1 tbspn honey
  • 1 tspn ground cinnamon
  • pinch ground nutmeg

In a small bowl combine ingredients and stir to mix well.  Place a large dollop on each plate and serve.

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  1. Maybe Raj has a wicked sense of humor or has been drinking Grand Marnier on the job. You should ask them to credit your account for the time where you haven’t had internet. It worked for me once. As to the dessert and the pictures – such a simple recipe, but an incredible result. Lovely picture!

  2. Meanwhile next door, ours keeps getting switched on and off every day or so. I thought perhaps they were confusing us with you !

  3. Good luck! I hope they turn up and you get connected tonight. 🙂

  4. Charlie, I had a conversation today with a work colleague who lives in your suburb, and he told me that because of the big rains a week or so ago (when all the inner west rail underpasses flooded), the internet access for whole streets in your area had been out for over a week. So it’s possible that the delays are due to a huge backlog on your ISP’s part?

  5. Oh yes please to the figs. No thanks to the connection delays though! It’s madness!

  6. Oh for goodness sakes. What a ridiculous conversation. Why would ANYONE answer ‘yes’ to that foolish question around delay?! Bizarre system these people work in. I do hope it’s kicking in for you now-ish!

    On this dessert – I discovered figs late in life but have come to really enjoy them. Thus, this looks great 🙂

  7. *Sigh* fresh figs don’t come into season in the UK, so I shall have to make do with gazing at that wonderful recipe and photograph.

    Commiserations about all your internet problems. Call centres are pants. I usually filibuster. I refuse to get off the phone and tell them to ‘escalate me to the next level’. After about an hour and a half and manymanymanymany levels, they tend to give me what I want: does make one feel like billing them for their time, though…

  8. Raj thought maybe u were in india? Your story sounds very familiar to me…

    Caramelised figs as dessert sounds better then good to me. I d love to cook that for my family in austria, they would be so pleased to have such a treat!

  9. I would have been completely dumbstruck when he asked if you wanted your connection delayed. Sounds vaguely like a threat, doesn’t it? Grrrrr.

  10. I’d be furious with him. I’ve never tried figs!

  11. Your connection journey is ridiculous. Meanwhile, since it is past 5 pm Friday for you, I hope the problem is solved. Meanwhile, anything with a Grand Marnier sauce is a winner … and so is having a sample during the preparation process! Hope you have a good weekend … and with a connection to boot!

  12. Wow. Unreal. I would’ve demanded to speak to Raj’s manager immediately. Great dish, nonetheless!

  13. I would be as frustrated and upset as you with the internet company. Have they ever given a legitimate reason for the delay? This is just so crazy.

    The fig dessert looks delicious. I’ve never had fresh figs, never even seen them. I’m pretty certain I’d enjoy them.

  14. Poor Raj! haha, I’m kidding I just feel weird for the kids that are usually working at the customer service of providers, they usually have no knowledge about the service ..
    I really hope that you’ll get your connection till Friday. your fear has a reason, if it’s not Friday it will go Monday – Tuesday.. I’m a network engineer and the only thing I can think about it is that maybe it’s an old infrastructure coming to your new home and they need to change some things..
    anyway.. if they dont, you may have to consider changing the provider. If their service sucks now.. I dont think it’s going to get better…

  15. I really feel sorry for your internet problems. I have never experienced so many days without connection, but even a couple of hours made me furious. I hope you will have it back soon!
    The dessert looks lovely and it’s so nice to watch the seasonal fruit from other parts of the world 😉 Here I will have to wait a couple of months.

  16. Technology can me baffling and frustrating… but figs never disappoint! GREG

  17. Well, let me tell you…now I AM MAD at Raj. I would be furious at his nasty attitude. I AM furious! Give me his number and let me talk to him and resolve this for you. Ha!

    The figs are gorgeous! They won’t be in season for a bit over here…but I will definitely be trying this dessert.

    Have a great day and try not to think about Raj and how he holds your internet future at the push of a button. The minute your internet connection is back on, call and complain about his lack of customer service skills. Not that it will make one bit of difference but at least the rant will make me…uh, um woops…I mean YOU feel better. 😉


  18. It’s shocking how dependent we are on our internet connection, isn’t it? And your story could take place anywhere in the world–certainly here in Mexico!

    I love figs and I love Grand Marnier. What a grand and simple recipe. My mouth is watering.

  19. Oh man… I’m kinda embarrassed to say that I’ve actually never tried caramelising figs. After reading your post, I’m completely sold and can see how it’d be absolutely luscious and delicious, NOMZ. Anyway, I can’t tell you how much I love having Grand Marnier in cooking and am always finding new ways to use em. YUMMO =D

  20. Don’t be mean to those guys… they will only make your life miserable!!!

    My mom loves figues, this looks like a dessert she would fall in love with!

  21. I think we’ve all had those conversations with someone like Raj. Never fun and can led on to drink heavily.

  22. Hang in there & Have a Great Weekend:)

  23. It is one of the great oxymorons of our time that they call themselves internet “service providers.” I daresay each of us have had similar problems and it is ridiculous! Before the rant begins …
    Your figs look and sound delicious! It’s definitely a recipe I’m going to try once figs come into season. Thanks, Charlie-Louie!

  24. I think there’s a standard answer sheet these guys read off, ask to speak to a supervisor next time.
    Luckily I have some figs in the fridge, and some liquor in the cupboard to make this yummy dessert.
    I think you need a good slug or two of hard liquor Charlie, I hope you get your internet before too long. Fingers crossed!

  25. Oh how frustrating, At least you have the figs. Maybe you should send one to Raj? heehee I hope it gets resolved soon!

  26. How utterly annoying…I know this one too well myself and it’s just so frustrating! Hope it is all resolved for you!

  27. Fresh figs are such a godsend. They’re so magnificent when perfectly ripe. And yes, they make for the most satisfying dessert, no matter how you enjoy them.

  28. Hope it all gets perfectly resolved sooooooon! Love the look of this dessert, except for the orangey part which is like doom to my soul. But the rest = delicious 🙂

  29. Bloody internet companies! You should threaten to take your business elsewhere or mention “ombudsman” and see what they say, heh. Hope your internet gets fixed very, very soon 🙁

  30. Now I know where Alfie gets it from! Loving your blog………NOW STOP THAT!

    • hotlyspiced says:

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying it. Yes, Alfie is a chip off the old block! But I keep that a secret! xx

  31. Wow, Raj seems to be a bit of an adrenaline junkie, living on the edge like that. I would not have envied his position that day.
    Not that it’s much of a consolation, our service providers are equally as bad with customer service. And for the most part, they subcontract the help desk out to far away places, and sadly most of the time neither I nor the agent can understand one another due to language difficulties. Fortunately, understanding yelling is not an issue.
    I love the fig recipe and will put it on my list as soon as they are less expensive ($1.99 EACH!).

  32. Sounds like the follow-up to Cable Man… what a nightmare.. how are you getting these blogs posted? Or was this done after 5 last night when he finally got his sorry A23 over to your place to get you hooked-up?? You poor thing… Now onto more important issues… I don’t think I can find fresh figs here. I saw some a month ago and had no idea what to do with them so I’m copying this down so I can make it as soon as I find some.. sticky sweet… heaven!!

  33. I know the company and I know the conversation for I too have suffered there stupidity. I am sure that Raj is quite used to being abused.
    The figs look great …… have an extra swig of grand marnier

  34. Oh Charlie I feel your pain. It’s so frustrating when you have no control over the situation and they people on the other end really don’t seem to care. Good luck with it!

  35. Gah – internet problems, I remember when my internet went down on New year’s eve one night. Two months later after being batted back and forth between the ISP and the telco who both denied responsibility and kept sending me text messages saying “it’s fixed! Please reboot your router and reconnect!” I finally decided to just cancel it and switch over from ADSL to cable and have never looked back – way faster here too… did you consider going with a different company, or even different “data delivery method”? ie: cable instead of ADSL, or vice versa?

    • hotlyspiced says:

      Two months??? You must have the patience of Job. I was thinking of going with a different company but the idea of that also filled me with dread because I knew I’d have to start all over again and then I thought it would take even longer. As they say, ‘Better the devil you know’! xx

  36. This recipe looks fabulous and lucky for me, my dad grows figs:]

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