Last week was a whirlwind. It started with a company party and overnight in Philadelphia, brunch with friends the following day, a couple of days of relative normalcy, a train trip to Washington, DC for a Barbra Streisand concert, and then a flight to Manchester New Hampshire for a dear friend’s wedding. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.

The DC concert came about because I misread the date of the wedding. We had tickets to see Barbra here in Philadelphia on the 20th. I thought the wedding was on the 28th and booked plane, hotel, and rental car accordingly. A couple of weeks later I realized my mistake.


Rebooked the flights, paid the ridiculous change fees, and said goodbye to Barbra.

Then I went online, saw that tickets were still available in DC, and bought them. Used Amtrak points for the train, booked a Hyatt – where I can always schmooze my way into an upgrade – got a hold of our Nonna-Sitter, and sat back, ready for the whirlwind.

And what a whirlwind, it was. The concert was just unbelievable. Mere words cannot describe. It was just great.

And then it was off to Manchester. The flights were a breeze and we got an upgrade on the car to a Jeep SUV. The hotel was where we stayed when we got married back in 2010 and more laughing and schmoozing with the front desk ladies had us in another great room. And then we got to meet up with more friends who came in for the festivities.

Dinner at the Elks club – steak and lobster for $20 – was the rehearsal dinner, or would have been had there been a rehearsal. Huge perfectly-cooked ribeye steaks, 2lb lobsters, baked potatoes, corn on the cob, watermelon, apple turnovers, and for us, an open bar, set the tone for the night. Good food, great friends, a bit of booze, and lots and lots of laughter.

The wedding was perfect. Outdoors, casual, and low-key. We FaceTime’d friends from Seattle who couldn’t make it in person – modern technology rocks – and just had a great time. Just perfect.

Monday we drove out to the middle of Nowhere, New Hampshire to meet another dear friend who lives in Vermont for lunch. Another great time. Then it was back to Manchester and to the Irish pub where we had our wedding reception. More laughter and fun. Airport, home, and back to work and reality.

While we were gone the garden exploded and more tomatoes and even more peppers were ready for picking.

I brought home a pound of figs not knowing what I was going to do with them and first thought a pepper and fig jam was in order – and then was reminded about a caramelized onion and fig dish I had once made – so it became a Fig, Caramelized Onion, and Pepper jam.


I caramelized an onion, processed the figs with the peppers and sugar, cooked everything down, and proceeded to start eating it.

Fig, Caramelized Onion, and Pepper Jam

  • 1 large onion
  • 1 lb figs
  • 3 hot peppers – more or less, to taste
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup fig balsamic vinegar
  • pinch of salt and pepper

Caramelize onions in skillet with a bit of oil until they are nicely browned.

Meanwhile, process figs, sugar, and peppers in food processor until well-mixed.

Add a hefty splash of fig balsamic vinegar to onions and let it cook down. Add the fig and pepper mixture to the onions and cook until it is thick thick thick.

Stir in a bit more fig balsamic and taste for seasoning, adding a bit of S&P, if desired. Place into a clean, sterile jar, cool, and refrigerate.

First thing I did with it was put it on a chicken breast and served it with a cheesy rice stuffed bell pepper – also from the yard.


I have pounds more peppers I need to get canned before I head off to work, today.

And tomorrow Victor is making pasta sauce form the ton of tomatoes we have in the freezer. I’ll jar it when I get home!

So the whirlwind is slowing down and we’re back to domestic normalcy for a few more weeks before we head west to my nephew’s wedding in California.

But we have some of the best memories of some of the best people on the planet.

We really do lead a charmed life.