My feelings toward our fig tree have softened a bit since I moved in with Chris a few years ago. For you blog newbies, this gal is a beast. (You can read about her miniskirt-sized poisonous leaves and obnoxious need to take over our lives here.) You see, we live in South Philly and we have this sweet little patio perfect for breakfast al fresco or an afternoon of sunbathing. But no. Never. Not once. Because she won’t share. As in, leaves not an inch for us humans once she’s in full bloom. This “original” fig tree runs this place, folks. Two summers ago we dedicated many sleepless nights to turning her into canned fig preserves to be used as both our wedding favors and table assignments (seen here, recipe post here), since she produces enough figs in a summer to feed our entire neighborhood for a year. Then last summer, in complete and utter rebellion, this bossy thing decided to have a rotten season and deprive us. I woke up Saturday morning and opened the windows in our kitchen to let the cool breeze in when I saw this. Baby buds and bright green itty bitty leaves. And the smell, oh the smell of fresh figs right out your window. The sweetest sign of summer.
Category Archives: Fig Preserves
It’s officially fig season. For those of you who don’t know what that means, let me explain. Unlike the rest of us, figs like it hot. When it’s 100+ degrees outside, I hibernate. The figs, they proliferate. During a recent neighborhood stroll, we spotted a fig tree in a neighbor’s front yard (yes, front yards do exist in the city). It had maybe 10 not-yet-ripe figs total. So how is it possible that our tree has 10 per bundle, and approximately 50 bundles?
Since the goal is to “can” every last fruit, we’re at the beck and call of this bossy fig tree. But we’re not taking it lying down. If we have to give up our Friday nights (and Sundays, Thursdays and Mondays), we require drinks. I “stumbled upon” this recipe for White Wine Sangria, picked up some fresh tuna and we hunkered down for a fig-filled Friday (and Sunday).
1 bottle Sauvignon Blanc + 1 bottle Vino Verde, peaches, raspberries, kiwi, mint
and a little Stevia powder to keep it healthy – perfect!
pretty and pink on the inside
our largest bunch yet, producing 10 jars of fig preserves
approximately two hours on the stove with lemon, sugar and water
24 jars of fig preserves in five days made with this recipe (minus a lot of sugar)
Have I told you about our fig tree? The “original” fig tree with leaves large enough to cover biblical naked buns? Oh, well it’s growing in our “backyard” (read: our 16′ x 8′ patio in the city). When we moved in we thought, “how nice, shade.” How utterly clueless.
This is by far the largest, most cantankerous fig tree on the planet. We’re supposed to cover it during the winter? Oops. Don’t worry, two harsh, record-breaking winters later and the figs are bigger and more bountiful than ever – and it’s barely July. Trimming it seems to do nothing more than make it grow exponentially, and if we don’t pick the figs at the exact moment they’re ready, they drop and splatter all over the patio. Though to be fair, we no longer have a patio. We have a few feet of cement and a grill just waiting to be enveloped.
So when life gives you a bossy, overgrown fig tree with leaves the size of miniskirts, what do you do?
It took us 5 hours to figure out what we were doing, but now I am salivating just thinking about all the brie and goat cheese I’ll be bathing in fig preserve. We just need the mason jars to arrive and the figs to ripen, and by September that whole tree will be bottled up and sealed tight.