Sunday, September 10, 2006

Fig Heaven . . .

”Nothing great is created suddenly, any more than a bunch of grapes or a fig. If you tell me that you desire a fig. I answer you that there must be time. Let it first blossom, then bear fruit, then ripen.”

- Epictetus

"Brown Turkey Fig" . . .

"Patience is a virtue . . ."

"Sun Kissed . . ."

"Blissful bounty . . ."

"Fresh Fig. . . breakfast bite. . ."

As I post this entry, the aroma of the fig confiture fills the air. Our home is scented with a sweet, honey, caramel essence. The next few days will be focused on harvesting, pickling, and putting up the beautiful bounty the garden has to offer.

Fig Facts:
* Figs = Ficus Carica
* Fig trees have no blossoms on their branches. The blossom is inside of the fruit! Many tiny flowers produce the crunchy little seeds that give figs their unique texture.
* Figs are harvested according to nature’s clock, fully ripened and partially dried on the tree.
* Figs naturally help hold in moisture in baked goods, keeping them fresher.

Nutritional Facts:
* Fat free
* Sodium free
* Cholesterol free
* Highest content of minerals
* Calcium content highest only second to oranges
* More fiber than any other fruit
* Each ripened fruit is 50% sugar

I recently acquired , "Fig Heaven" , by Marie Simmons. As I perused the pages for recipes, I found myself filled with excitement in learning more about this precious fruit. In the early years living in our country cottage, I took the tree out front for granted. The tree was pathetic with broken branches and a scarred trunk. With years of nurturing and diligent care each season, we now have a treasure trove of wonderful, delicious, sensuous fruit. I now treasure each one of the gems that come off the tree. I'm winning my battle with the Blue Jays, simply by getting to the fruit before they do.

I am inspired to create some special meals while we have the fresh fruit available. As the ripened fruit is highly perishable, it does not travel very well. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I can take some to my Mom this year. Last year's attempt via snail mail, was disastrous! Most of the fruit will be reserved for the award-winning confiture we offer as gifts from Le Maison. I already have a list of blogger friends to share this season's bounty. First on the list, is my dear friend, Kim.

Life is a banquet, my friends.


Anonymous payal said...

Hi Anni! It's a lovely tree, isn't it? We have this path by our house that used to be part of the rail system in Marin (late 1800s, early 1900s). People use it primarily to go for runs (G & I), walk their dogs, kids, bike, etc. Along this path are several fig trees. When you come down this way, I'll have to take you on this path :)

2:10 PM, September 10, 2006  
Anonymous Ivonne said...

Hi Anni,

What a brilliant, inspiring post! I especially like the quote at the beginning. Figs are so magical and just make instantly feel like I'm in Italy.

I often found myself looking at "Fig Heaven" but never bought it.

Do you recommend it?

6:34 PM, September 10, 2006  
Blogger anni said...

Hi, Payal!
I'll make sure to bring along a large harvest basket. :-)
What's your schedule looking like the next couple of weeks?

Anni :-)

10:06 PM, September 10, 2006  
Blogger anni said...

Ciao, Ivonne!
I do recommend the book! It will make a grand addition for your current library.
It consists of 70 luscious recipes using both fresh and dried figs.
Many Italian families I know, cherish the fig tree. Some families, share a cutting as a gift to a newlywed couple or the birth of a child. This way the tree symbolizes the growth between the happy couple or the development of the child.
Marie Simmons lives in the Bay Area and is scheduled at various events. I am inclined to search her out to inscribe my book and share some of our figs.

Anni :-)

10:18 PM, September 10, 2006  
Blogger Lis said...

I love figs and can not wait for what you decide to make with them! I wish we had a fig tree nearby, but I'm at the mercy of my grocer and farmer's market! Looking forward... :D

6:24 AM, September 11, 2006  
Anonymous Sean said...

Yummers! I used brown turkey figs on those cocktail party apps the other day and they were fabulous. Still had a couple of them left in the fridge this morning, so I just cut them open and mashed them onto some toast in lieu of jam. Mmmm.

9:40 AM, September 11, 2006  
Blogger Jann said...

It is a wonderful fruit.......happy to see so many new recipes with figs!

4:41 PM, September 11, 2006  
Blogger anni said...

Sweet Sean!
You can work it! Those appies were da' bomb!

Anni :-)

8:42 AM, September 13, 2006  
Blogger anni said...

Hello, Jann!

Welcome to the banquet. Glad you stopped by, given your busy travels.

I enjoy my virtual trips with you.

Stay tuned for "fig delights".

Anni :-)

8:44 AM, September 13, 2006  
Blogger Kim said...

My nocino is almost ready for bottling - do I see another trade on the horizon? Kim

7:03 PM, September 15, 2006  

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