Fantastic Fig Spread

When I was growing up my closest connection to figs were in the Fig Newtons my mom used to buy.  I wasn’t a big fan.

Then came the bunko game a few years ago.  We all brought a dish to share and the only thing I remember from that night of eating was the basket my friend Leigh brought.  It had a small dish of fig jam in it and I don’t recall, but I’m sure I ate the entire thing myself.  I could not believe that was what figs really tasted like.

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After that I became obsessed with figs.  We bought a small fig tree the first year, with no results.  The next year we bought more fig trees and solicited advice from the sales rep.   He knew more than we did apparently, because that year I harvested five figs.  (yes, I did say the number five).  This year, we tried netting, something for the bugs and some fertilizer and we have a bumper crop!  I have so many that I can make Fantastic Fig Spread!

I don’t know where Leigh got this recipe from but I’ve made it before and it truly is fantastic.  In the past when I have made it (from store-bought figs) I have followed the recipe exactly.  This year I opted to add a little orange flavor to it and it was…..dare I say it?…FANTASTIC!!

This is an easy recipe and if you’ve never canned anything before this would be the one to start with.  Give it a try.  You will love it so much that next year you’ll be planting fig trees like I did.

As Ina Garten would say, “How easy is that?”  Enjoy!

Lemon Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce for Mom’s Birthday

We all hit milestones.  Sometimes it’s when you graduate high school or college, when you get married or when you hit a major age in life.  They are all important events but none is more important than my mom turning 80.   A tremendous age to hit, with lots of stories, heartaches, celebrations and memories along the way.

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For such a big occasion we had to make a special dessert.  When I asked her what she wanted she said a cheesecake.  My mom would have been happy with any kind of cheesecake, maybe even the no bake out of the box cheesecake.  I couldn’t have that for her however, so I had to search all my recipes to see what I could come up with.  Frustrated that I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted,  I adapted my recipe from three different recipes, but what we ended up with was a dessert I could be proud serving my mom on such a special day.

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The day was so special, I have to say I forgot to take pictures of the process.  What really counted was that my mom really enjoyed herself, enjoyed the company and really enjoyed the cheesecake.  My husband, who never eats dessert had two slices.  So despite that I don’t really have pictures, please try this recipe.

It makes for a wonderful celebration of an important milestone….in anyone’s life.

Rowena’s Jam, My Pork

Sometimes you think that it’s going to be just a standard dinner but it ends up being one of those dinners when you want to lick the plate.  I had such an experience the other night.

It started off with our usual discussion on what we were going to have for dinner.  We had driven all afternoon from my daughter’s house and honestly I really didn’t want to do any cooking.  My husband suggested a pork tenderloin we had in the freezer so reluctantly I agreed.  My mind was spinning for the rest of the drive home on how I could make this semi appealing.  I remembered I had a jar of Peach, Orange and Clove jam from ROWENA’S KITCHEN.  I could probably do something with that.

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It didn’t begin well.  I opened the jar and the scent of clove was quite apparent.  I love cloves, but my husband does not.  He doesn’t even like the smell.  I had to make sure that it wasn’t going to be the predominant factor or I would never hear the end of it.   I added a bit of this and a little of that and to my delight when he stopped by the stove and stuck his nose in the pot, his only comment was “that smells delicious!”  And it was!  We poured it over the grilled pork and our easy no fuss meal turned into a pork devouring, plate licking event.

This was so good and it made our bland little pork tenderloin so much more appealing.  I would also recommend basting a ham with this, or pouring it on the ham after.  I think it would still end up with the same clean plate results the pork had.

Try it and I bet you’ll lick the plate too.

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