THE THANKSGIVING TABLE
2 cups of dark brown sugar
½ cup of Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon of ground cloves
1 teaspoon of whole peppercorns
1 teaspoon of whole Allspice
1 tablespoon of whole cloves
1 quart of apple cider plus an additional for the pan
He combines the sugar and mustard in a saucepan over medium heat and then adds the spices and cider and simmers the mixture until it reduces by about one quarter.
While this is going on I'm in charge of stripping the ham of it plastic and netting protective coating. Then I smear the ham with a healthy coating of Dijon mustard, score the ham with a crisscross pattern and spend hours trying to find the intersecting points in my crisscross pattern where I have to poke a whole clove. I'm a mustard mess by the time I finish my clove poking but it's worth it.
1½ cups of sugar
1½ cups of water
1½ pounds of fresh figs, firm to ripe
Fresh rosemary sprigs
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 large jar
Place in a cheesecloth bag:
4 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary sprigs
2 bay leaves
½ tablespoon of juniper berries
1 tablespoon of whole allspice
1 4" long slice of orange peel
Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan and bring this to a boil stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Reduce the heat to a simmer for about 5 to 7 minutes until the mixture begins to form a light syrup. Add the cheesecloth bag to the mixture and allow it to simmer for an additional 15 minutes.
Add the whole figs and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes more turning the figs from time to time so that they are evenly cooked
Carefully remove the figs from the saucepan and place them in a jar. Reserve the syrup. Add the orange peel and rosemary sprig to the jar. Slowly pour the syrup and balsamic vinegar into the jar. When the figs are cool refrigerate them. You can do this well in advance of serving them. They'll keep like this for at least a week.
Cy DeCosse, photographer
Represented by Verve Gallery, Santa Fe, NM