Gettin’ Figgy Wid It

Gettin’ Figgy Wid IT

The figs are starting to ripen around here and so its time to make fig preserves. I never liked figs as a kid. Well. Maybe that’s not true. I never tasted figs as a kid. They looked gross. I am sure that’s how the whole “make fake strawberry jam outta figs” got started! Some mother decided to trick her kids into eating figs and it caught on.

Gardening

Anyway, my old house, the cottage, which is now a rental house, has a huge fig tree and while I was living there I felt guilty to let the figs go to waste, so one day I called mama and asked her how to fix them. I’ve been in love with them ever since.

Gardening

Gardening

Ripe figs will have some good color on them and they should pull off the branch easily. The only hard part about picking them is reaching all the ones at the top of the tree. I will have to bring a ladder next time!  And of course it’s a law that your nose will itch while yours fingers are all sticky with fig juice.

Gardening

It’s easy really. Preserves are nothing but fruit and sugar. Some recipes add some extra ingredients but I prefer them plain and simple.

Gardening

First thing to do after picking, is to take off any stems that remain and rinse off any bugs. Ants love figs, so be sure to get rid of them.

Gardening

Put them in a pot with a cup or two of water. I don’t have an actual recipe, but roughly 2:1, figs to sugar. I looked up some recipes to get the ratio, but when I tried that, they seemed just a little too sweet to me. So I go a little less sugar. I’m not sure if it does anything, but I also added a tiny pinch of salt as some recipes included.

Gardening

Last year, I tried a recipe that included some lemon juice. I didn’t care for it. Mama also told me that Granddaddy used to add slices of lemon when he cooked them and that the lemon would be candied when he finished cooking. Now THAT sounds good!

Gardening

Boil for 2-3 hours, stirring to prevent sticking. Burnt sugar is not a good smell. Trust me. It takes at least two hours, but cook until liquid is thick and mostly non-existent. I like to mash the figs when I stir. The figs should be cooked down to almost 1/2 of the original amount.

Gardening

Gardening

Gardening

Notice how thick they are in the above picture. This is how the final product should look. You can easily see from these pictures that fig preserves are not beautiful things. And in fact, are not particularly appetizing looking whatsoever. Brown just does not lend itself well to food. Again, I believe that’s why some smooth mama decided to add some color and call them “strawberries.”

 

Gardening

Gardening

Gardening

I got about 12 jelly jars (half pints) from this cooking. I was giving all these to friends and co-workers to be eaten immediately, so I didn’t bother with sealing the jars. My next cooking will be going into my pantry for use during the next few months, so I will be taking the precautions to keep them fresh. I will run the jars through the dishwasher and fill them while they are still hot. The hot jars and the hot preserves will quickly seal the lids if you get them on quickly.

These do not last long around our house.

Is there a food you’ve discovered as an adult, that you were wrong about as a child?

 

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20 comments

    • gwingal says:

      I loved most all vegetables even as a kid. It was fruits and desserts I didn’t like. um….. allllllll that’s changed now! LOL Thanks for stopping by KariAnne! 🙂

    • gwingal says:

      I have never cooked any dishes with figs, but I KNOW I would love it. I keep seeing things with goat cheese and figs and it is so intriguing. Thanks for visiting and I will return the favor! 🙂

  1. Michelle says:

    This looks amazingly easy. Now if only I had a fig tree. I love fig jam and homemade much tastes even better. Now this is something to be thankful for today.

    • gwingal says:

      I picked another big batch today! So I will be cooking again tonight. Thanks for visiting Michelle. If you ever make it to Alabama, stop by and we’ll have some biscuits and fig preserves! 🙂

    • gwingal says:

      Hi Jodie! I do enjoy sharing the jars of figs. It gives me a good reason to drop in on a few friends that I haven’t seen in a while. Sometimes it takes just such a push for me to do it. Thanks for visiting. 🙂

  2. Anne @ Domesblissity says:

    Hey GwinGal! So nice to meet you. Thank you so much for linking up to Thriving on Thursdays. It’s great to have you here. I’m so, so envious of that fig tree in your garden. How lovely. I do love fig jam and yours looks delicious. You’re a woman of my own vintage and I live life the same as you. No grandchildren as yet as I’ve only got 2 young children myself. I started older. They don’t stop me in fact they help keep me young. It’s great to meet you and I hope you come back for a visit again. Would love to get to know you.

    Best wishes,
    Anne @ Domesblissity (Australia)

    • gwingal says:

      Hi Anne! So nice to meet you. I would love to have some young ones around now so I am a bit envious of you! I would handle them so much differently than I did when I was 20. I would take my granddaughters permanently if my daughter would let me. LOL Coming to visit your blog now. 🙂

  3. Marilyn Lesniak says:

    Thank you for sharing this delicious recipe at the #RecipeSharingParty! I hope to see you next week. Pinned and Yummed. Please visit #OverTheMoon on Sunday or #ThursdayFavoriteThings for more sharing fun! Don’t forget to Comment your link #’s so I can be sure to visit and you get a chance to be featured!

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