There is no treat more refreshing than to be able to walk right up to a fig tree and indulge. I have a fig tree in my yard, and if I'm able to get to those figs before the birds and squirrels do, I'll have myself a little snack right then and there.
Figs are nutritious and delicious, with or without the skin. And, oh, what a wonderful way to start the day.
When I am picking figs, I am in competition with the bees. Sometimes my tree doesn't yield enough figs for my recipes, so I'll turn to friends for a supply -- in exchange for something special from my own bounty, of course.
The fig is a member of the mulberry family, and they are short-lived. They become soft almost as soon as they are picked, which means one has to decide quickly what to do with them. As for me, I make preserves.
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2 quarts firm figs
4 pounds sugar
1 1/2 cups water
2 lemons, sliced
1 ounce cinnamon
Rinse figs carefully. Allow sugar and water to come to a boil. Add lemons and figs. Place spices in cheesecloth and place with fruits. Boil slowly until figs are tender and clear, about one hour. Place fruits into sterilized jars and cover with juice. Seal while hot.
FIGS IN WINE AND HONEY
1 pound fresh figs
White wine to cover
1/2 cup honey
Place figs in a saucepan with enough white wine to cover. Bring to boil; add honey and simmer until figs are tender. Chill. Serve with cream.
Recipes from Ervena Faulkner's personal files
Columnist Ervena Faulkner is a Port Royal resident and a retired educator who has always had an interest in food and nutrition.