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Tomato Jam Session

My new friend (and art patron), Kim Watkins, wrote a while back and asked for this recipe, said she was intending to serve it for dinner when her in-laws came for a visit. I do love to hear who these recipes get served to, what words they might use to describe what they taste, and how many times they lick their fingers — I take joy in those little pieces of everyday extraordinaryness, the vision of someone’s mess-faced children bellied-up to the supper table, smearing their chubby fingers across an earthen plate to sop up that last spicy, treacly goodness.

Since I had this written up I thought it might be sharing time again. Here’s the best semblance of August 7th’s tomato jam recipe I can come up with — I had it in mind for weeks (months?) theoretically, but totally concocted it on the fly.

In a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, sweat in 2 tbsp olive oil until translucent…

1 large yellow onion, chopped 1 red bell pepper, chopped 2 garlic cloves, minced throw in some kosher salt (a teaspoon, perhaps), 2 sprigs of fresh thyme and 1 of rosemary

add to that…. 2 28-ounce cans petite diced tomatoes (Hunt’s is my favorite) 2-3 tbsp brown sugar 1 cup chopped kalamata olives the zest and juice of 1 orange 1/2 tsp cardamom 1 tsp. cinnamon

Now this is important: let the mixture simmer over mediumish heat for a good while. Let it reduce, linger, loiter, cook down, get all sticky and jammy….the consistency should be similar to something you’d want to smear on your morning toast. Once this delicious perfection has been reached, fish out the herb stems, taste and season with more kosher salt and black pepper if needed.

So as anyone who attended Hutchmoot knows and can attest, it’s quite good served with the Moroccan chicken. It could also be tossed with some hot, fresh pasta, crumbled goat cheese and fresh lemon zest for a belly-warming quick supper. Perhaps you’d like it piled onto some slabs of crusty artisan bread, toasted or grilled, then topped with some shards of ricotta salata or parmesan and fresh basil torn over the top. Or maybe you just want to sit on the couch with the pan, a spoon and a glass of pinot noir. Let me know which scenario you end up choosing.

Instead of just cherry-picking one for the next go-round, are there any recipe requests while I’m at it?

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