Monday, September 2, 2013

FIG-alicious August

Whoa- what happened to August?
Let's see....
There was a vacation.

Here we are with our peeps out in Missouri
We had an amazing visit and adventure in the Ozarks with brother Jon and sister-in-law Candy.  Together we camped and floated down the crystal clear and cold spring fed Current River in the Ozarks National Scenic Riverways.  It was good to go and see everyone, but after 2,000 miles in the car and 9 nights in 7 places, we were glad to get back home.  We've been back a week and I'm just now feeling like I might be getting caught up on things, though you know the reality of life in the country, you never really get caught up.  Everywhere I look I see another task that needs tending to.

Something else that's been taking up lots of time, surprise, surprise- harvesting and processing.

Figs were coming in like crazy before we left, this is a fraction of what we were dealing with. 

 Add cupfuls of the above, fresh sliced ginger and lemon...
 Bubble, Bubble Toil and Trouble

Ta Dah!! 
20 jars of fig and ginger preserves to stash under the bed with the canned tomatoes and peaches.

I made another 4 pints yesterday with the ones we harvested after we returned, they are coming in daily and if we don't pick them quick, they turn to fruit fly and wasp food, dripping sour juice or full fledged fuzz balls covered with fur.  I think they are slowing down.  They sure are tasty both fresh and cooked.

The tomatoes really are finished and it's time to pull out the dead and dying squash, cukes and early beans and plant the fall garden.  I am happy to report the forecast for this week brings a cold front on Wed that will usher in cooler drier fall weather. Pretty much from the first hot humid days in June, I wait eagerly for the moment when the weather cools again.

But now- I need to go out and mow the grass.

My fig preserves:
12 cups (after prepping) washed, stemmed and halved fresh figs
6 cups of sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 whole lemon; quartered lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced
2 inches of fresh ginger; peeled and thinly sliced
1 stick of cinnamon

Put it all together in a large heavy bottomed pot and bring to a simmer.  Cook one to two hours stirring frequently over a medium-low heat until thickened.  If you have a thermometer, it should reach 221 degrees.  Be careful not to scorch or burn on the bottom.  Be careful when you stir, it can splatter and burn you!  Makes about 10 half pints.  To process, pour hot into sterilized jars, top with new canning lids and rings and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes.  Remove to cool.
OR put in containers in the fridge, give to friends and keep refrigerated until its gone.

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