Saturday, July 12, 2008
FIGS, I LOVE FIGS
I love figs more than any other fruit. Billy's Mama had a tree and every year she would put up a few jars and she always gave me one. They were wonderful with hot buttered biscuit. A big Oak tree appears to be taking over that tree now. No one there to pick them or at least no one who cares for them.
Not too long ago, Billy came home with this hopeless looking little fig tree. We planted it and waited. The birds got the first crop. I didn't know about netting and it took a few trips to find figs with holes in them to figure it out. Then I caught one, a rascal bird, pecking and grinning, on my tree. I wanted to take a shotgun to the thief but he would probably have ducked. And I've never shot a gun either, so there is that!
Now I have little babies on there again and this time, I am going to protect them. I have mulched and fed it and now I am standing here with my fork and great expectations. I like them right off the tree, but fig preserves or fig jam is great too. And stuffed figs with cream cheese and a little brown sugar, gets my attention. Chocolate dipped figs, fig-banana smoothie, fig bars, fig bread and although I have never tried it, figgy pudding is on my list of things to try.
I'll bet a lot of people have never eaten a fresh fig. They eat fig newtons and dried figs but those are to figs what canned peas are to fresh, no comparison. A fresh fig tastes like a mix of a fresh Georgia peach and a sun ripened strawberry!
Here is Emeril's recipe for fig preserves from the food network...So simple.
1 pound fresh ripe figs, washed, stemmed
1 cup sugar
In a medium saucepan, mix figs and sugar together and cook on low heat, uncovered, about 30 minutes.
If processing, pour hot preserves mixture into a hot, sterile 1-quart or 2 (1-pint) glass canning jars, filling jar to within 1/8-inch from top; wipe rim and seal jar with lid. Put jar in water-bath canner or on rack set in a deep kettle and cover with hot water by 1 to 2 inches. Bring to a gentle simmer (180 to 185 degrees), and process, covered, 5 minutes. Transfer jar to a rack using tongs and let cool completely. Store in a cool, dark place.