Sometimes life just deals you a bad hand. This is one of those instances. I know I promised you fig jam, but suddenly the local grocery stores just don't want to carry fresh figs. Annoying! If I can't find an ingredient in a big metropolitan, I don't expect you to find them either. I would rather give you a recipe you can make... like today. So I am going with the flow and adapting.
Now, going with the flow was not always in my makeup. My sisters are likely laughing as they read this because they know. Boy, do they KNOW! Pretty much every Parent/Teacher conference from 1st grade to 8th grade was punctuated with the descriptor, "Bossy." Sometimes it would be candy coated with "Leader," "Determined," or "Independent," but really they were just telling my mom what she already knew: she had given birth to a control freak.
I was describing this story to Brian and he was nodding along like he agreed with my first grade teacher. Rude. But he did agree with me that if people listen to and do what you tell them, that, in fact, does not make you a leader. Therefore, "bossy" is a proper descriptor and one I will gladly add to my hat collection.
As I have gotten older, though, my need to be in control and inability to let things go has diminished. I am more easy going than I used to be and have learned to embrace the change. I actually (sometimes) enjoy not having plans and just making it up as you go along. That doesn't mean I don't get extremely frustrated when my recipes don't work out (stomps up the stairs and screams into a pillow), but I its not nearly as bad as it used to be.
The good news for this recipe is that I returned to Whole Foods One.Last.Time. as I was finishing up writing this story and found figs! There's that determined part all those teachers spoke of. And also the reason why this is getting published the first of April instead of March. Whoops...Stubborn! So here you are the original recipe I promised, Fig Jam. I used a delightful Petite Sirah from the Clif Family Winery (the Clif Bar people!), but use any wine you would be more than happy to down a glass of... or a bottle, whatever floats your boat. This jam is the perfect accompaniment to a salty or slightly stinky cheese. Can also pair nicely with those cheeses that are slightly smoked. Last day of March and the charcuterie board sides are complete! Now you just need to add the meat and cheese! And wine!
The Recipe: Fig Jam
The Bits and Bobs:
1/2 pound fresh mission figs, stemmed and diced
1/4 cup good red wine (I used a Petite Sirah)
3/4 cup + 1 tbsp sugar
2-3 tbsp water
In a dutch oven or other heavy bottomed, non-reactive pot dump the figs, wine, and sugar. Give a quick stir, then bring to a full boil over medium heat without touching. Once you have reached a full boil continue to cook on medium but stir constantly until the sugar dissolves (about a minute or two).
Reduce heat to low and simmer for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. After 20 minutes, test a small drop by placing on a plate and putting in the fridge for a few seconds. Syrup should gel but still be slightly loose. If its too sticky add some of the water and cook another 30 seconds. Repeat test, and add more water if necessary. I almost always end up adding at least 2 tbsp of the water and sometimes the full 3.
Turn off the heat, jar the jam, and cool in the fridge. Good for a couple of weeks in the fridge.