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Thursday, December 16, 2010

You're kidding right?

So I thought it was funny. First I fall for mushrooms... then it's beets,I mean really people. And now it's figs. Small,rich-maroon colored,seedy ( I think thats a word...),odd shaped figs. See what's so puzzling to me is that I'm not a big fan of seeds.
     Allow me to explain,you see it's a consistency thing...well things with seeds,ie. raspberries,blackberries,and well figs . I just haven't been a huge fan of them in the past. I love the flavors that raspberries and blackberries bring,I just never took to them fresh.I know I'm weird and I'm ok with it.
      I didn't have much experience with figs growing up and they'd never really crossed my path until one day a few months ago.A friend at work came up to me one day and asked me if I liked figs. I told her "umm no" and explained that I never really had a whole lot of experience with them. I could have left it at that but I knew that figs were pretty amazing so I had heard from another friend and  I knew it was time to try something new. She, fantastic work friend mentioned she had a fig tree and wanted to bring me some figs. I said sign me up.I also knew that I was getting a dang bargain because the one thing I did know about figs was that they are not cheap . I had a feeling this was going to be a real treat and if anything I would learn a little bit more about food. Boy howdy I didn't know what was coming down the road or better yet in a Kroger sack in the fridge.
 First things first,nobody told me how pretty things would be. I mean really the colors are just gorgeous and they sure look purty in a seafoam green Pyrex mixing bowl. And the flavors,oh lawd the flavors.The sweetness that slowly meets you at first taste and the the floral notes stay with you for just a little bit longer. I had to ask myself,what the heck have I been missing out on because of some dang seeds. I tasted one little piece and thought,"mmm..." I took another bite and knew I had fallen for,seeds and all, figs. I knew just what to do with the little jewels and it involved some canning. 
    The fig tree at my friend's yard was cranking out some figs. I knew that it would take quite a few figs to make a batch of jam,but little did I know she would bring me exactly enough to make a full batch,hooray! A few weeks later she brought me some more figs, a lot more figs and her family will be enjoying lots of fig jam this holiday season. I know they will be thrilled,I would be. 
adapted from The Joy of Jams,Jellies,
  and other Sweet Preserves
2lbs chopped ripe figs
 (just about 8 cups,chopped)
1/2 c water
3 c sugar
1.Prepare the canner,jars and lids. Combine the figs and water in a preserving pan and set the pan over medium heat. Cook the figs,uncovered,until they are tender. Put them through a food mill.
2. Return the fig puree to the preserving pan and add the sugar. Stir the mixture over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to medium-high heat and cook,stirring until the jam has thickened and a drop mounds on a chilled dish.
3. Ladle the jam into pint or half-pint mason jars. Add the lids and rings, and process them for 10 minutes in a boiling-water bath.



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