Want to be popular? Carry good food with you. Lately I have been packing tree ripened figs from the miracle in my backyard. It shot me to the top of the list. Who hands out sweet and succulent figs, black on the outside and ruby and gold on the inside, in Queens? To keep a good thing going, I made preserves with the rest of my bumper crop.
Equal parts in weight of fresh figs and sugar (or slightly less sugar if you like it no so sweet) and 2 whole pieces of star anise per pound. Start with a few tablespoons of water and bring to a simmer. Add the sugar and cook to melt. Add the figs and star anise. If you like lemon, add a piece of zest with no pith. I am thinking this could be good with a half of a vanilla bean thrown in as well. Cook over a low flame, until a little puddle stays in tact on a plate.
I have rehearsed my line for my first meeting with the principal: “I come in peace.”
Then I set a pack of freshly baked snickerdoodles on the table. (2 and 3/4 cup of flour, 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar, 1 teaspoon of baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon of salt combined. In another bowl cream 2 sticks of room temp butter with 1 cup of sugar and then 2 eggs. Combine dry with wet. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Roll walnut size balls in 2 Tablespoons of sugar and 1 teaspoon of cinnamon. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes.)