Monday, September 5, 2011

August 30, 2011

Figs. Who would've known that I was the only one in the family to like them! An uncommon fruit, Figs were often part of my life, growing up as a child while visiting my grandparents in South Georgia. A summer treat that rang in with the heat and stung like a wasp if you weren't careful enough. The sweet Fig trees stuck out like a sore thumb. The nectar blistered through the skins like the sap that ran through the pine trees. It was a sticky tree with a vibrant fruit. Though I rarely ate them raw, I remember them more as a great preserve that was made in the summer and then really enjoyed in the fall and winter months. The gooey syrup was so sweet as it was mashed into the toasty bread and spread on with delight. The seeds within made for a texture that only purists could enjoy. There was something to this. It was homegrown fun. I remember my father picking those Figs off the tree in late August. He'd come home with sticky hands and 2 or 3 bites or stings from wasps and bees. It was all worth it to him. Always a grin inside and a laughter that has been passed down to me. Some things are passed down through life. Others are not cared for and are passed over. Sometimes, we can choose. Other times, we cannot. Figs always stand out to me like a weeping sack of love, on a small willow tree. The branches are hearty. The fruit is sincere. It will fall in due time.

Fig Preserves
3 cups of Water
6 cups of Sugar
4 pounds of Figs, rinsed and left whole
1 Lemon, sliced into 5 rounds
5 pint mason jars with lids, sterilized

Combine the Water and Sugar in a non-aluminum pot. Bring to a boil. Add the Figs, cover the pan and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove the lid, add the Lemon rounds and simmer uncovered for another 45 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover the pot and let rest overnight. The following day, bring the fig mixture to a simmer and then fill into the sterile jars. Seal the jars. *Note: These preserves are great on Homemade Bread or just plain toast. Also great as a topping on Vanilla Ice Cream.

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