<editorsnote> Nerds, meet my buddy Fanny. No really – that is her actual name. She is a massive massive massive foodie, and would like to share with you all the adventures on all of the things she puts in her mouth. Wait, no – not like that … I mean … well, you know what I mean. Aw shucks, just hit it already Fanny … </editorsnote>
#TalkNerdyToMeLover’s Fanny Slater
as you may have all heard by now, my time in los angeles is about to come to an end. in just two short weeks from tomorrow, olive and i are packing up our pots, pans, coffee mugs, and coors light and headed for the east coast. prepare yourself, i’m about to hit you with a cliche. you know that quote you generally find inside a fortune cookie or written on a homeless person’s sign: “it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey.” well, i’ve found that to be very true in my life recently. i was once someone who was terrified of change. i mean ANY kind of change. i literally dropped to my knees at the side of my parents’ red volvo at eight years old when they sold our beloved car. when i was seven, i had a red flannel shirt (what?! you?!) that i wore for about three years straight until all the buttons had fallen off and the sleeves were so tattered and ripped that they barely went past my elbows.
in short–i usually like to stick with what’s in my comfort zone. moving out to los angeles was doing exactly the opposite of that. i wasn’t doing it as a permanent location change, it was just something i had always wanted to do. so i did. i believe you should do something until it doesn’t make sense anymore. that time came for me a few months ago when i realized that i was prepared to move onto something new. the foodie in me is ready to move to a smaller town and be in a place where i can continue to grow as a person and expand my passion for cooking and writing. when i moved to the west coast, i got a lot of feedback from people telling me that it was courageous of me to actually pick up and follow my dreams. i’m now doing the same thing back in the other direction, and i can only hope that this will inspire all of you. if you’re sitting on some kind of dream–no matter what it is or where it will take you–know that all you have to do is stand up, walk out the front door, and make it happen.
along the same lines of doing things out of your comfort zone, today i’d like to give you a recipe that’s probably something you thought you would never make. it sounds a little fancy, and it certainly seems daunting to make it yourself–but it’s as easy as this:
homemade fig jam
making your own jam does not mean that you have to wear a ruffly apron and start collecting mason jars. it’s simply a quick, easy, fresh way to turn fruit into spreadable form. i know that there are thousands of store-bought jams and jellies that come without preservatives, but creating something like this from scratch offers you the opportunity of knowing everything that went into it. since we’re talking about conquering fears and a go-big-or-go-home attitude, let’s just go straight for the fanciest of them all. fig jam. mine was a balsamic-fig jam, but you can opt for plain if you like. this was fabulous on frozen yogurt or mixed into oatmeal, but in my opinion–it doesn’t get much better than goat cheese and fig jam crostini.
for the crostini:
-slice a baguette into rounds, brush or spray lightly with butter and toast at 350 until golden.
-top with room temperature goat cheese.
for the balsamic-fig jam (if you can find fresh figs, congratulations. if not, regular dried black mission figs are fantastic for this):
1. slice ends off of figs (a 1 lb bag will make about two cups of jam) and chop into smaller pieces.
2. simmer figs with 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/2 cup water, 1 tsp vanilla, pinch of cinnamon over medium heat.
3. once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low, and let it sit for another twenty minutes while the liquid evaporates (make sure to stir it every few minutes).
4. you want the texture to remain chunky, but you can use a potato masher to break some of the bigger pieces of fig down and give it more of a jam-like consistency.
5. take it off the heat and stir in 1 tbsp of fresh lemon juice.
-top crostini with cooled fig jam and lemon zest for color.
-optional: if you’re feeling REALLY fancy, top crostini with reduced balsamic drizzle.
see, that wasn’t so scary was it? you just made your own jam! FIG jam nonetheless. congratulations, you’re officially fancy. just keep in mind that when the word gets out, you might have hungry fans demanding more homemade jam at all hours of the morning.
click here to check out more from Fanny! (heheheeheh her name is Fanny)