Monday, July 12, 2010

Fig Preserves

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There are many reasons for doing things in life.  Like joining the Army for instance.  The best reason I could come up with for doing that was that I look good in green.  When I finished my active duty service, I could have gone anywhere in the world and done anything I wanted, but I moved back to Louisiana for one reason and one reason only:  figs. 

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I love the figs that grow in my yard.  Isn’t it strange how we are motivated by food? 
I am blessed to live in southern Louisiana and to have a nice bit of land.  I currently have 4 and 1/4th fig trees.  These figs are totally organic.  I do nothing for them – no fertilizer, pesticides, nothing.   In that way – I can just walk up to the tree and eat fig as I please!  I used to have 5 fig trees until one of them got hit by a strange root rot disease about a month ago and just fell apart in one week.  I was sad beyond belief!  I plan on planting a few more trees.  I just can’t imagine life on the bayou without fresh figs in July!
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This is my “Celeste” fig tree.  This tree produces the brown figs.  They are sweet and yummy!
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This is the tree that I lost recently.  There are a couple of limbs left.  It produced larger green figs.
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These are my 3 other small fig trees that just don’t want to grow big and tall – not sure why.

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This is what figs look like on the tree in various stages of ripeness.  It is recommended that when you pick figs that you be extra careful – the sap from the tree makes you itch really bad.  Wearing long sleeves is a good thing – even with the summer heat.  Wasps love to eat the sweet fruit, also.  As do the birds!

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Saturday morning my dad got up bright and early and picked us a nice mess of figs!  I decided that I must make fig preserves.  In the past, I have made my fig preserves using whole figs.  I have also cut my figs in half.  This time, I decided that I wanted to chop up the figs for a more spreadable preserve.  When you leave the figs whole, or only cut them in half, they maintain their shape.

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The ingredient list is short and sweet – pun intended ( gosh I crack myself up sometimes).  Figs, sugar and water.  That is it. 

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I cut the stem end off of the figs if they are still attached because I do not like to eat those.

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I chop up the figs and put them in a non-stick pot.

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For the amount I had, I added 4 cups of water and 6 cups of sugar.  I figure I had about 16 cups of raw figs.  I also added a pinch of salt, because I add that to everything.  I turned the fire to medium, medium-high and brought the mixture to a boil.

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An interesting yellow foam formed on the top.  I skimmed that off and discarded that icky stuff.  I cooked the preserves for about 2 hours until  most of the water evaporated out and the preserves were as thick as I wanted them to be.  I turned off the stove and let the preserves cool in the pot for a while.

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I store the preserves in plastic containers.  These hold 2 cups each.  That means I made 12 cups of preserves!  I am more than pleased!  They sure are tasty and delicious!  My sister, Camille, requested 2 containers, my dad gets 1, I get 2, and my Aunt Rowena get 1.  You can freeze these.

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I will be making more in a couple of days, and every couple of days until the figs run out.  I plan on freezing my preserves so I can have some all year.  I love my fig preserves!
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I do not add spices to my fig preserves because I think that the taste of the figs is perfect.  If I want to enjoy the taste of cinnamon – I will make cinnamon toast. 

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Oh – by the way – I did make the bread in this photo, also – it is a light wheat with flax.  Talk about good!

6 comments:

  1. oooh glad to see a post from you when I seem to have a blogging lapse.

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  2. I love fresh figs... nothing like it! Some day when I have a piece of property I will get my own trees!!! I hear you have to put alot of love and care into them.... but the outcome are wonderful fruits!!! YUMMMM!!!

    Thanks for posting your recipe!
    LeeYong rolfmester@yahoo.com

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  3. This was so interesting as I have two very young fig trees, still in pots, and just noticed my first-ever real fig beginning to grow on one of them. I can hardly wait for it to ripen!
    Thanks for the yummy preserve idea.
    ~C.

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  4. Thank you for this recipe. It was super easy. I tweaked it a little though. I did not have as many figs, maybe 8 and I used raw turbinado sugar. It was delish. My dad has five fig trees in his back yard so when they throw off some more fruit, I will be making more for the family. Peace Patrina

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  5. You are welcome Patrina - I like the idea of the raw turbinado sugar. I always tweak recipes - I think all good cooks do - to make them taste the way they should taste best for them! Happy Cooking, sister!

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  6. Thanks for the recipe. I have been dying to use the figs in my mom's back yard to make the preserves I remember from my childhood. I will be trying this one! Thanks again.

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