Fig Preserves.

Sticky, sweet, and plays well with cheese.

I know what you’re thinking, that could be practically anything. Even if we’re just sticking to what I’m talking about—fruit preserves—that still could be, well, any fruit growing from a tree. Or a bush. Or a vine. A preserve, while it sounds a bit mysterious and tightly sealed, is really quite simple. It’s produce that’s been intensely heated, mixed with a sweetener, and sealed off to last a lifetime. (Or a little less…) Great for winter, and even better it seems, for outlasting a hurricane.

Sandy arrived here yesterday evening in New York, and my family, friends and I have been extremely fortunate. The surreal state of it all, with only the Empire State building awake and shining in the city that never sleeps, the East River rising up and flowing over the FDR on the East Side, trees uprooting and smacking buildings at last getting a chance to protest the build up…it’s all quite odd, a bit terrifying, and in the strangest, darkest sense, a bit breathtaking.

But the day before, Sunday, I had spent making fig preserves. Perhaps now, it will be my little hurricane tradition. Sweet fruit broken down, combined with tart citrus, smooth liquor, and a healthy helping of sugar. Spread that on a cracker during 70 mile per hour gusts and a tide coming in on the avenues, and things will seem a little weird yes, but not completely lost.

Sharp cheese, crisp crackers, and a deep, rich fig spread to last a hurricane. It may not be the most practical of meals, but it’s comforting.

And responsible. See that barometer? Smart fig preserves checking air pressure. Stay safe.

Recipe on the following page.

Continue reading “Fig Preserves.”