As soon as we got into my car I said to my friend, Laura,”I’m going to regret not bringing my camera on this adventure.” I was right. I wish I could share with you the fun I had picking figs last week. I think the best sight of all would have been seeing my car driving down the street with a ladder sticking out of both windows in the back seat and a woman and a 2 year old holding the ladder while I drove. Hahahahaha! It was great.
So I found 3 huge fig trees about 8 blocks from my house when my family was taking a walk one night. So the next day I went right over there and knocked on the door and asked the owner if I could pick some. He hesitated and then agreed that I could pick from the alley and street, only what was hanging off of his property. The sad part is that he obviously wasn’t picking any of the figs and there were hundreds all dried and mushed up on the ground all over his grass! Oh well. I obeyed and only picked what I could reach with my ladder. I was not disappointed. With Laura’s help, we collected about 100. We filled an entire box and part of another box with the super squishy ripe ones, which we agreed would need cooking that night. I just can’t tell you how fun it truly was to collect figs. We were giddy with excitement and got sticky fig tree goo in our hair and all over our arms. (Then we both itched terribly…how Adam and Eve wore just fig leaves is a mystery to us after our experience scratching our arms). When we got home, Laura took half and left. That night I made a jam of sorts. Laura and I exchanged tips and recipes found online and I reviewed the Ball canning blue book. I don’t feel I can share my recipe because I can hardly recall precisely what I made, nor am I certain I did it correctly, to be honest. (I boiled a pot full of figs for a very long time, added a sliced lemon and 2 cups of sugar, a dash of ginger, cinnamon, & nutmeg, boiled some more and then used my immersion blender to puree it into a smooth paste, then canned it in boiling water for 30 minutes). But I will say that I shared the preserves at work the following morning and they were a big hit and someone even asks if I was selling it! What a compliment! So what did I do with the rest of my figs?
6 pints of preserves/jam canned.
6 cups chopped and frozen in 2 cup portions
3 cups shared with a neighbor
12 roasted in the oven with butter and brown sugar and eaten with vanilla ice cream
48 “autumn muffins” recipe from All Recipes.com altered to my tastes, omitting nuts, and adding raisins instead of cranberries and using up some spare apples and using fresh figs, not dried.
3 dozen fresh figs that I’m eating daily. Yum.
My fig adventure was truly unforgettable. Next year I’m going to keep my eye on these trees earlier in August and offer to pick them again.
|my share of the loot!|
|the front jar of golden jam is fig and lemon preserves|
|the muffins and the roasted figs|
|in the work fridge|
|getting ready for the freezer, after the bag was full I placed it flat on a freezer shelf|