Fig Leaf Syrup (or Jelly) ~ recipe

fig leaves 1

I enjoy making fig jam in late summer (especially rich Mission Fig jam), but fruit isn’t the only culinary ingredient a fig tree yields — fig leaves make an unusual syrup that’s perfect for glazing savory and sweet foods (it’s a nice alternative to maple syrup for pancakes, too). My recipe below presents you with two options: liquid fig leaf syrup or fig leaf jelly. If you want jelly, all you need to do is set the syrup with pectin in step no. 6 below and use jars instead of bottles…

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Parfums Raffy

Last Roses of Summer ~ jam recipes

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As autumn approaches, my garden is preparing for one final flourish before Day of the Dead (in Seattle that’s, aptly, The End…when my last marigolds will succumb to too much damp, the few remaining roses ‘forget’ to open fully, and quince stragglers, brown, soft and vinegary, lie on the ground).

In these late-August days, I’m thinking ahead: I need to make one more batch of fig-leaf syrup (my Desert King fig tree is so happy it’s two stories high, its leaves bigger than my head) and plan this year’s assorted quince treats: savory, sweet and alcoholic. Our Russian quince tree (Aromatnaya) has so much fruit I’ll be donating some to a pig sanctuary and a weed-chomping, underbrush-clearing goat herd. I’ll also make the final batches of rose jam.

I didn’t grow up eating roses…

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A summer of violets

Violet beauty products, 1

After writing last week’s review of Fabergé Straw Hat, I took a look around and realized that my violet obsession isn’t restricted to perfumes. I’m applying and ingesting and inhaling other violet-perfumed products on a regular basis, too. Here’s a quick round-up of some favorites.

Lush Daddy-O shampoo (top center image) is anything but a “shrinking violet” —its floral aroma is rich and vibrant, with added notes of ylang ylang and violet leaf to add complexity. The scent will linger in your hair all day…

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Edible perfume

Jeni Britton Bauer of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams makes (and eats) an ice cream sundae inspired by Estee Lauder Bronze Goddess. She uses cherries cold-poached in orange blossom water and peach liqueur, Salty Caramel ice cream, toasted coconut flakes and honey whipped cream; you can find the recipe here.

Proust had his madeleines

Proust had his madeleines; I have the holy trinity. That smell immediately ushers forth countless memories of youth, my mother dutifully sauteeing the trinity to begin something that, inevitably, would be enjoyed by the family with unsparing alacrity and glee. If we were lucky, it’d be her famous crawfish etouffee. I have friends from college who to this day still ask me for her recipe. It’s that good. And it all starts with that inimitable punch to the smell center of the brain...which just happens to be the same part of your brain that processes memories. There is no small coincidence there, friends.

— Scott Gold writes about the smell of the holy trinity in New Orleans cooking, in An Ode To The Olfactory: The Best And Worst Smells In New Orleans at New Orleans Public Radio.