Thursday, July 14, 2011

My Metric Conversion Nightmare

Ever have one of those days?  Yesterday was mine....I am finishing the edit on my next book that will be due out in September, 2012 and the publisher wants all measurements in standard US and metric equivalents.  They don't know that I can't add, and that my check book is only balanced because of Quicken.  Being the type of cook who rarely measures, unless I'm testing recipes, this makes me a square peg trying to fit into the round hole--not fun, and uncomfortable to say the least.  Yesterday after trying to weigh chopped onions, and shallots, and tomatoes, and bell peppers, and carrots, and then weigh packed basil and parsley and then weight chopped herbs, I was about to do some primal screaming.  Fortunately, my copy editor is the most patient woman on the planet, and held my hand as I tried to make sense of the diverse readings I was getting with each ingredient, weighing some up to 5 times.  UGH!
The kitchen was full of bits of onion, basil, and the other ingredients, and I was not being neat as the photos will attest.  So what do I do with all these onions?  Since it was Bastille day, I made a fig and onion jam that is dynamite to serve with pork, or to dollop over goat cheese on baguettes.  In the Dordogne they serve this with foie gras.....amazing! 
Fig and Onion Confit
Makes about 4 cups

1/2 cup unsalted butter
3 cups finely chopped onion
1/2 to 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 cups dried figs, coarsely chopped (I had Mission figs)
1/2 to 3/4 cup good quality Balsamic vinegar

In a large skillet, melt the butter and saute the onions and brown sugar, until the onions begin to turn translucent.

Add the figs, and cook another 10 minutes, add the vinegar, and cook another 20 minutes, uncovered, until the mixture is thickened. 

Taste for seasoning, and add more vinegar if needed.  (This will depend on the quality of your vinegar, if it is sweet to begin with you may need a bit more to give it some zip)

Cool the mixture, store in an airtight jar in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. 

The day wasn't a total loss, I was able to get through the measuring, and then did an Excel Spread Sheet for the measurements to make it easier for me, and the next unsuspecting author that has to do wasn't fun, but I know that my readers in other countries will be able to convert the recipes easily with these measurements in the book.
Tomorrow I'm teaching the Specialty Produce Farmer's Market Bag Class at Great News in the morning, and I'll be back with a few recipes for you to try this weekend using some of the amazing produce we have in the bag this week, until then have a great day!

No comments:

Post a Comment