confiture: 2 posts

French Fig Jam

Jam has become such an industrial, mass-produced product that it might be hard to imagine making it at home. This is not the case in France–or much of Europe, for that matter. When I visited my friend on her farm in Burgundy, we drove around for hours only to discover that all of the stores were out of preserving supplies. We ended up ordering a case of jars from an online shop, because the figs were ripening fast.

My friend follows a recipe that has been in her family for several generations. We cut figs into quarters and weigh them to determine the amount of sugar. It’s 2 parts fruit to 1 part sugar. Figs are sweet, so we add lemon juice. As their juices melt into sugar, the syrup becomes pink, then purple, then burgundy, like the famous wines of the region. The green perfume of figs transforms as they cook. The fragrance of natural coumarin in their peel, the aromatic that smells of toasted almonds and cherries, becomes more pronounced and richer. The lemon zest gives the fig jam a twist reminiscent of Shalimar.

Continue reading →

Belgian Strawberry Capital and Russian Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam

My ideal weekend would be spent reading or watching my favorite movies, but since we moved to Belgium my routine has been completely upended. Our apartment is so tiny that even the most minimalist notions of privacy are compromised–this is further compounded by the transparent bathroom door. To escape our weird living situation we’re taking lots of weekend trips. Belgium is a small country, but its size belies its impressive diversity. The travel distances are ridiculously short, especially by American standards, and if you are here as a tourist, I highly recommend renting a car and seeing the country this way.

A couple of weeks ago we were once again on the road going south. Belgium is divided into two regions; the Dutch-speaking Flanders spread out to the north, and the French-speaking Wallonia to the south. The line that bisects the country at Brussels may be imaginary, but it’s easy enough to get your bearings. Once the street signs start appearing shorter you’ll know that you’re in French-speaking Wallonia. Dutch, like German, has a tendency to fuse several words together in a string that looks unpronounceable to me.

Continue reading →

From the Archives

Latest Comments

  • Mel in Reading Sa’di’s Gulistan: Just finished Becoming Modern by Carolyn Burke which is a bio of the poet Mina Loy. Her collection “Lunar Baedeker,” published in 1923, is probably the most “well-known” of her… October 3, 2022 at 1:59pm

  • Linda in Reading Sa’di’s Gulistan: I never know what I will find on your site, but I do know I will be introduced new beauty. Thank you. October 3, 2022 at 1:23pm

  • Gabriela in Reading Sa’di’s Gulistan: Immensely beautiful. Thank you. Find beauty, be still. October 3, 2022 at 12:32pm

  • Katy in Reading Sa’di’s Gulistan: Lovely. I was thinking about his quote that is hung in tapestry in the UN. Heartbreaking what happens in this world. Thank you for sharing this. October 3, 2022 at 11:50am

Latest Tweets

Design by cre8d
© Copyright 2005-2022 Bois de Jasmin. All rights reserved. Privacy Policy