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Cranberry Fig Jam

fig and cranberry jam

In Praise of Leftovers has taken a backseat this week to the rigors of catering prep.  When I get in the zone, I hardly even have an interest in pulling out the camera.  That's serious.

I'm helping my friend Geoff with a gathering he's having in advance of the Organization Development Network conference being held in Seattle this year.  This will give me a chance to praise him--I can make food link to anything. But you know that by now.

Geoff and my friend Kathy have just written a book called Extraordinary Groups.  What I love about the book (my signed copy is waiting to be read--I'm waiting for a no-children window) is not just its provocative premise--that life is too short to waste in groups that don't fulfill their promise--but that I have seen Kathy and Geoff live out the principles and possibilities in their book. I hate what I call the "keynote speaker syndrome," where you see someone speak or present and you can tell they are not living out what they're presenting. It's become a schtick, something they say but don't experience anymore.  In the three years I've known Geoff and Kathy as part of the Community Consulting Partnership, they have exhibited in countless ways what it means to be authentic;  to bring one's whole self to a group; to stay curiously and faithfully engaged in service to the community. Dedicating a cranberry fig jam post to them isn't the highest honor they've ever had, I'm sure, but here goes.

This will be on the cheese plate Friday night--delicious with brie, goat cheese, blue cheese, or even cheddar. It's sad that lots of folks only see cranberries in a sauce on an overloaded Thanksgiving table once a year. Come October, I've got them in my freezer all winter and am always finding ways to shove them into the spotlight.

You can also spread this on toast in the morning, appreciating whatever quiet minutes you might have to yourself before you bring your extraordinary self to the extraordinary groups you're creating.  The world needs whatever gifts you are bringing.

Cranberry Fig Jam
Makes two cups.  The method here is a little strange, mostly because I just made this whole thing up!  I cooked it, let it sit overnight in the fridge, then decided it was too chunky, so performed a little food processor magic on it.  I love the way it turned out.  If you don't have a food processor, just chop your cranberries and figs pretty finely before cooking them.  I can't guarantee how that will turn out, though.  This is one reason I'm so sad Gourmet (the magazine) is going away.  They have test kitchens.  I don't.  We'll save that grief for another post.

3 1/2 c. fresh or frozen cranberries
12 dried figs, coarsely chopped (I used a cake of Kalamata figs)
1 c. sugar
1 Tb. minced fresh ginger
3/4 c. apple cider

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan.  Cook down until thick, about 20 minutes, stirring frequently.  Remove from heat and cool.

Put about 3/4 of the mixture into a food processor with a couple tablespoons of hot water, and pulse until smooth, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a bowl, and mix in the chunkier jam until thoroughly combined.

Reader Comments (12)

Geoff and I are honored by your words and your friendship over these years. And, as you know, since I love to cook, thank you for the recipie! I too feel the loss of Gourmet. I've been a subscriber for more than 20 years.

October 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKathleen Ryan

That's so nice to help your friend. What a nice jam, great on crackers.

October 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHélène

yum! Can't wait to sample.

October 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEm

So excited - I have figs in the fridge and cranberries in the freezer. Making it tonight!! Thanks!

So sad about Gourmet, too...my mom gave me a subscription years ago and I kept up on it after she passed away...what to do now...

October 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBeth DeK

On brother Geoff's prompting I visited your food blog. You certainly prepare tasty looking treats. I have bookmarked your blog to visit in
the future. It will be fun to prepare some of your recipes.
Cooking is a passion of mine. I admire your creativity which all takes time. Looks like your hands are full with your two darling children.
Thank you for sharing.

October 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRandlynn

"The world needs whatever gifts you are bringing." Amen to that and thanks for sharing your gifts~

October 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSara & Leo

mmm. Bet cranberries and figs are a match made in heaven -- they've got to balance one another impeccably.

Love your authenticity... thanks for being one who does "walk the walk"

October 15, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlo

Yes, she does "walk the walk". Love that about her, too.

October 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEm

those lucky ODers...i will be thinking about you as you work your magic tomorrow night!

October 15, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterbethany

Funny, I made Cranberry-Fig Preserves about a month ago. Used Green Figs from our trees, fresh cranberries, a pinch of cardamom and a little orange zest. Seriously tasty. Great minds I guess.

October 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterSteve2inLA

What?! Gourmet is going away? Why? Just it's time, I guess. That magazine always reminds me of Mama. All her endless piles of them that she held on to forever. Do you still have those, Mama?

October 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNaomi Cox

I can just taste that combination with goat cheese - so nice of you to help out too! :D

Hope you have a good weekend!

October 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterBiz

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