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Month five of lockdown, or is it locked-in? I’ve lost track. The weeks somehow manage to fly by and the weekends crawl at a much slower pace. I’ve abandoned counting the days since this all began, but I can tell you that as I write this post, we are about 28 weeks in (or 195 days!). With 52 weeks in a year, that seems like a significant amount of time to remain virtually isolated.

We remind ourselves that we are lucky. We could not really want for anything, but yet something still does not seem right. Our lives are changed, and the global and local economic impacts are pervasive. Everything is intense. It’s as if every moment around us is now amplified. It is mentally and emotionally exhausting, confusing and illuminating in no particular order. We look for new ways to adapt, to mentally escape, and we try to find where we can place our hope. We need hope.

In the pandemic new world order, there is such limited in person contact with my network. I started reaching out to my friends on social media setting aside food posts for the weekends as a way to stay connected and engaged with them and my hobby. I used to be someone who always showed up with something homemade to share, and to be honest, this seemed about as close as I could get to “sharing food”. I found happiness in swapping food photos and recipes. Suddenly the weekend had a new element to it, and it was fun catching up with Rita, Ray, Cindi, Jason, Shawn, Fabrizio, Massimo, Leon & Ursula, Thomas, John, Lori, Rosa, Kevin, Dave, Brett, Emma, Lisa, Mike and Alexandra.

In honor of my social foodie friends today, I am sharing two recipes that I promised I would jot down for Rita (1) plum cardamom filled sweet rolls and (2) fresh strawberry sweet rolls. The full sweet roll recipe can be found HERE– and it really is easy.

Theses sweet roll fillings are magical, right up there with unicorns and rainbows on the spectrum of special.

Plum Cardamom Sweet Roll Filling


1/2 pounds red plums, pits removed and cut into chunks

1 tsp ground cardamom

1/3 cup sugar

pinch of salt


Combine plums, cardamom, sugar, and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until plums release their juices, about 5-10 minutes. Uncover and cook until plums soften and start to fall apart, 6–8 minutes longer. Let cool slightly.

Purée plum mixture in a blender until very smooth. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl, pressing on solids. Let cool and use as filling for sweet rolls or hand pies with a sprinkle of chocolate chips or serve over vanilla ice cream. The full sweet roll recipe can be found here

DO AHEAD: Plum purée can be made three days ahead.

Fresh Strawberry Sweet Roll Filling


6-7 strawberries, stems removed and sliced in half

5 TBSP butter, melted

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

pistachios, unsalted, shelled and roughly chopped


Purée strawberries in blender. In a small bowl, whisk strawberry filling ingredients together.

Use as filling or as a glaze or both!