Only a week into December and it's freezing! (Ok, by California standards) I hope despite the chilly weather, you've been able to get out and enjoy yourselves. Post-Thanksgiving, Mr.S and I took Kidlet #1 to the San Francisco International Auto Show at the Moscone Center. (Thanks for the tickets Grace and Lawrence!) Kidlet #1 loves sports cars, so he and his dad were gawking at all the cool rides and talking a bunch of auto gibberish that I couldn't comprehend. (I'm used to this, as they engage in the same car nerd talk when we watch Top Gear or Fast 'n Loud.) I'm not that into car shows but I did have a nice time perusing all the new vehicles (the modified street vehicles were my favorite) and afterwards we went to Japantown, where I stocked up on Japanese sundries and snacks at Nijiya Market and Ichiban Kan. Mr.S and Kidlet #1 were also very patient while I spent an inordinate amount of time perusing the aisles of kitchen gadgets at Daiso. As a trade-off, I didn't grouse when they begged to grab dinner at Fisherman's Wharf.
Here's a few photos from the car show:
BLOX Racing- S2000
Nissan GTR R35 Titanium Premium Launch
Modified cars w/ hardwood floors in their trunks
Porsche 911, 50 Yrs Edition
Audi R8 V10
Ferrari 458 Italia
The "James Bond" Car, 1965 Aston Martin DB5 Coupe
For some reason the SF trip spurred a cookie baking kick in me (maybe it was all the cute baking stuff at Daiso?) and I baked a TON of cookies the following week in the cottage's kitchen. Additionally, I chose to break in a cute tea towel that a friend gave me as a birthday gift earlier this year. The tea towel is screen printed with a short poem by William Carlos Williams called, "This is Just to Say." I love plums and seeing that poem made me crave some juicy, ripe summer plums. Unfortunately, it's December so I was a bit SOL; however, I remembered that I had made a big batch of delicious rosemary plum jam this summer. I gave a lot of it away but I had a few jars still squirreled away in the cupboard. So in addition to the various other cookies I made, I also whipped up some fresh thumbprint cookies with homemade rosemary plum jam. Mmmm!
My thumbprint cookies have always been a crowd favorite - they're the perfect blend of savory and sweet. The trick is - I use Alice Water's sweet tart dough recipe paired with one of my own jams...strawberry balsamic, ginger peach, blackberry lime, etc. The rosemary plum is my favorite though. Plus it's super easy to make- I use a standard recipe for plum jam and just add in some fresh rosemary.
3 lbs. fresh plums
a couple sprigs of fresh rosemary
7 1/2 cups of granulated sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 pouch liquid pectin
1. Wash your fruit, cut in half, twist and remove pit. Chop. Place in food processor.
2. Wash rosemary. Remove needles from stem. Discard stem. Chop. Place chopped needles in with plums.
3. Give the processor a good pulse/chop or two. You want the processor to crush the fruit mixture (but not puree it). Alternately, if you're not too fussy - you can chop the plums finely with a kitchen knife and call it a day. It'll cook down.
5. Pour rosemary-plum mixture into a large heavy bottomed pot. Add lemon juice then sugar. Place on high heat and bring to a full rolling boil boil. Stir constantly while the softened fruit and sugar meld.
6. When it gets to be a full rolling boil (rolling boil-= boiling so hard it can't be stirred down, it keeps bubbling), add the pectin in quickly. Keep stirring the entire time.
7. Return to full rolling boil for exactly 1 minute. Check to see if the jam has set. If it has, remove it from the heat. Skim off any foam.
8. Ladle the jam (while it's still hot) into hot, sterilized half-pint jars. Leave a 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe the rims, secure the lids and finger tighten the rings. Then follow the procedure for processing in a hot water bath.
PS This jam is also amazing when paired with roast pork.
How to sterilize jars and lids
How to hot water bath/can your jam