Shiro-basil jam is divine, so is chicken salad

I grew up eating this chicken salad and still feel it's pretty close to perfection; so simple yet every bite bursts with flavor. I also like that while the base recipe is good year round, it's also quite adaptable to better suit each season. During the heat of the summer, red grapes and celery are infinitely refreshing and pair winningly with lightly toasted pecans. For cooler nights or earlier/later summer, you could sub fresh cherries for the grapes and toasted, slivered almonds for the pecans, perhaps even going with fennel instead of celery. It's important to use really good chicken and poach it gently until it's just done. You'll let the meat cool and then chop it into small cubes, dress it with a mayo-cinnamon-lemon-salt concoction and let it chill for a while, absorbing all the flavors. Reseason and serve chilled with some summer tomatoes and good bread, and you've got a hell of a meal: hearty, satisfying, humble and just plain good.

While I was preparing that, I made a small batch of jam. I wanted to use up the rest of my gorgeous Shiro plums (a small, yellow variety) but take them in a more savory direction. Basil! This is really a scrumptious and gorgeous (just look at the color) treat, I am thrilled with the outcome and really hope to find some more of these plums at the market this coming weekend. Both recipes (chicken under Nanny's Chicken Salad) will be posted shortly.