It all began—or did it—when I couldn't find the candle wicks I use to make recycled beeswax candles out of leftover bits.
And so, as one does, two days before hosting Thanksgiving, I emptied almost every kitchen cabinet in a desperate search.
It was obvious to me then, and even more so a day later, that I'd lost my mind and that it wasn't about the candle. Knowing this, didn't help me get a grip.
What has calmed me, is my current search for holiday socks. I found them. And so, a little mental order has been restored.
BOMBAS | PHOTO BY NIKOL KNUDSON
Now seated, as I often am, on the couch, curled beside my pup, I'm reading over the pickled cranberry recipe that I'm going to make (despite forgetting the necessary orange, I went to the shop to get this morning).
I've got about 24 hours left to prep and I'm determined to get at least one recipe done with the suggested 1-2 days marinating time. More or less. Obviously, less.
This perfectly balanced pickled cranberry side is from last week's class with Kate Sonders Solomon—whom we adore! She's graciously shared her tasty recipe:
CROSTINI WITH FIG JAM, BRIE, THYME, AND PICKLED CRANBERRIES
1 large baguette, cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
Olive oil for brushing (about 5 tablespoons)
Kosher salt or sea salt for sprinkling
4 ounces brie cheese, thinly sliced
Fig jam (recipe below)
Pickled cranberries (recipe below)
A few sprigs of fresh thyme
Fig jam (makes 1/2 pint jam):
6 ounces (about 20-22) dried mission figs, stems removed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water
2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice, from 1/2 lemon
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed from stems
1 cup apple cider vinegar
3/4 cups water
12 ounces fresh cranberries
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick
2 star anise pods
Peel of 1 orange
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Arrange the baguette slices in a single layer on a large sheet pan and lightly brush both sides of each slice with olive oil.
- Bake on the middle rack, 6 to 10 minutes, until lightly crisp and golden. Sprinkle toasts lightly with salt.
- To make the fig jam, place the figs, sugar, water, lemon juice, and thyme in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer until the liquid has thickened slightly, about 8 minutes. Turn off the heat and cool the mixture for 10 minutes. Remove the thyme, transfer to a food processor, and process until smooth.
- To make the cranberries, bring the vinegar, water, sugar, and maple syrup to boil in a 4-quart saucepan over high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes. Tie the peppercorns, star anise, and orange peel in cheesecloth and add to the saucepan with the cranberries. Cook until the cranberries begin to burst, about 4 to 6 minutes. Add the cranberries with the cinnamon stick to a large mason jar, along with the spice packet. Allow to cool to room temperature, discard the spice packet, and seal the jar. Refrigerate for one to two days before serving.
Yield: Serves 8 to 10
During Kate's class, it dawned on me that our cooking classes are really more than a class—they're time enjoying each other's company over great food we've made together. There's healing and joy in this shared experience and I am deeply grateful for these supper club-styled nights and cannot wait for our next one (which will be with another fabulous teacher, Lydia Mande for a Moroccan feast).
Now, I have to get back at it, clock's ticking and this cranberry sauce isn't cooking itself. If you find yourself in a tizzy this Thanksgiving, let go of the wicks and focus on the sauce. Enjoy—
Photo and recipe by @katesonders