Posts Tagged 'figs'

Figs, fig jam, and grape jelly

  1. Lots of little pots of grape jelly Grapejelly
  2. Jars of balsamic-rosemary fig jam (savory)
  3. 5 mismatched jars of cinnamon fig rose petal jam (closest to the flavor of fresh figs)

The last 5 were done tonight. I have my freezer back, but now we have very little counter space. All the ingredients for all 3 kinds of preserves came from the garden, except the balsamic vinegar, sugar, and cinnamon. Yay, Gardener!

It’s fig season again

In my burgh, it’s fig season. I have 2 trees, and between workplace diplomacy and a neighbor with a ladder, lots of figs have been used up. I have a bunch waiting in the refrigerator, and I’m hoping they stick around long enough for a fig and almond cake. I made a good lot of fig jam (in the refrigerator). And, sadly, fig processing and knitting are not compatible (unless I want to hand-dye everything an amazing color of purple-brown). Also, some of the yard work I’ve done lately has banged up my fingers, so beyond fantasizing about getting a pair of socks done, not much knitting right now. Many books are being read in the meantime.

I finished up a Laurie R King book: The Language of Bees.

I’m now onto 3 others — an Edith Pageter book about Czechoslovakia, W. Somerset Maugham’s Cakes and Ale, and an Alexander McCall Smith mystery (set in Edinburgh). So far, Edith is winning. I haven’t quite figured out what the Maugham book is all about, other than making me think I’m reading unfunny Bertie Wooster (hopefully it will improve once I get used to the narrator).

Sunday was the day to

begoniaClean floors,

enjoy the sunshine,

figs simmering on stovetoppick figs and make fig jam*,

knit a little,

and generally discomfit the cats.**

Huzzah. (It all beat the hell out of listening to bongo man down the block practice outside.)

*3 little bags of freezer jam, carefully put in a larger freezer bag to protect them. There is a small bowl of jam waiting for cheddar sandwiches tomorrow.

** The cats hate floor mopping, especially in a room that has been a battlefield of “thinking outside the catbox.”we are not amuzed

Just call me a curmudgeon and be done with it

Thoughts while waiting to be able to put milk in my coffee at the local bakery, in line behind two women who were busy leaning on the coffee and sugar serving area chatting about their ex-husbands and experimenting with sugar in their ice tea and deciding they had put too much in:

“How nice you’re having an event. I’m having a day.”

Yes, they were having a wonderful time jawing, and gawking at the strange sights in the bakery (perfectly ordinary people, who were buying bread or eating lunch). I suppose they were exploring, checking out the chi-chi stores and the greengrocers. I was just trying to bring back bread, a slice of peach-lavendar tart, and my coffee. I’m more irritated that I forgot to buy the fresh ginger root at the greengrocers than anything else. I had vague ideas of committing ginger-fig freezer jam. The trees are getting heavy with the fruit (now turning dark purple-red-black), and it looks like I’ll have to do some small batches of different items. We also have eggs, so perhaps an fig-almond cake is possible this time. 🙂


Last night I walked outside, at 9:40 PM, and picked a few figs in the dark. I worked by touch, selecting the ones that felt whole yet soft enough to be ripe. And yes, each time I found a soft fig, I cringedfig trees are tall hoping I wouldn’t encounter a yellow jacket. The figs were cool in the night air, their skins slightly wrinkled and puckered. A few had split.

Only a few are ripe now. There are many, many green figs showing the promise of a good crop, if the starlings get sick of them before the next crop ripens. There’s nothing like these fresh figs from an ancient tree. These aren’t like Smyrnas, or the light tan ones that one finds in the dried foods section at the market, or the ones I used to get from California. Perhaps turkey figs or some older variety from the 1920s or 30s. So now I’m looking around at different fig recipes to see if I can improve on the fig cake I made the other year.

Info about fig horticulture is out there on the web. Some are hobbyists. But if you’re interested in the history of figs, and you’re trawling the web, be prepared for some fairly weird search results.

I’d suggest GardenWeb for those who want to really research growing the plants. Have fun!

The figs are still green

… but the leaves on the forsythia are turning, I’ve switched to warmer clothing, and it looks like fall is upon us. Back on September 9th last year, we had lots and lots of ripe figs that were turning black on the trees. Heck, last August we had a crop we were harvesting. This season the ripening started later — we’ve had only 5 or 6 ripe figs to bring into the house (and we have 2 trees, filled with green little bullets).

Since there’s nothing I can do to make the figs hurry up and ripen, I’m drinking my coffee and musing away to myself. Wonder if the figs will ripen before hard frosts turn them to goo?

Autumn Offers Her Beautiful Face

… and the sun shines through the last few of the leaves on the trees, like stained glass.

Birch leaves

Birch leaves

We took one more walk around the neighborhood, before the autumn chill knocks all the leaves onto streets and lawns. The streets are paved with gold and they still sleep under an overarching canopy of oranges, red, and russets. The fig leaves are turning slowly turning yellow, then dropping off the trees. And while its leaves are turning from green to red and orange, the forsythia is sporting yellow blooms.

It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood, filled with beautiful gardens to gaze at and birds to watch (including yellow chickadees and black crows). May we all have such beautiful days ahead of us, filled with that bittersweet hope that changing seasons bring. And yes — there’s a lot of raking in my future too.