Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Fig Season

In my part of the world, the fig trees are now dripping with ripe fruit. A few gallons of figs are easy to gather in an hour. I have a love/hate relationship with figs. On one hand, I grew up eating them and they are comfort food for me in every way. The bright pinkish red insides are distinctive, beautiful, and deliciously sweet. Fig preserves on a warn, toasted piece of bread, muffin, or biscuit in the dead of winter warms my soul. On the other hand, they're probably one of the most delicate fresh fruits I enjoy all year. Drop one and it may be bruised beyond recognition when you pick it up. Wait more than 24 hours to use your freshly picked fruit and it may already have rotted. It is somewhat ridiculous the care and speed needed to utilize these little beauties when they are picked ripe.

At least the chickens adore the ones that don't make the final cut.

They are also a sign that summer's end is creeping closer. Growing up, this made figs the last thing I enjoyed eating fresh from the tree, vine, or bush before returning to school for the rest of the year. As I've spent most of the summer pregnant, I'm scrambling to put away as many figs as possible for the colder months to fill out the space left by my lack of preserving much of anything else this year. I managed to gather and freeze some blackberries, but that's been it. My plan is to fill in the remaining space with figs, dried, preserved, and turned into jam.

So far we have fig preserves, fig and ginger jam, and dried figs. I'm hoping to make some habanero fig jam as well with some of the extra peppers from the garden. Looking forward to a tasty winter!

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