I bought a large box of nectarines last week at the farmers market, and canned a bunch of them - among other preparations - in a light sugar syrup (2 cups sugar to 6 cups water). Just on a whim, I tossed a star anise into one of the jars.
The resulting nectarine/anise simple syrup is so delicious - so subtly perfumed with both flavors, that it is almost better than the canned fruit itself. I've been enjoying it as a spritzer with perrier, or just thinning it with water. Alas, I just finished the jar at breakfast. But now, I'm looking forward to cracking open the next jar, into which I threw a cinnamon stick.
Did you cook anything recently that was unexpectedly delicious?