Saturday, July 21, 2012

You gonna eat that figgy paper?

I never really knew fresh figs until I moved to Alabama.  There used to be a "fig man" down the road that sold a box of figs for about $12.  I think it was a gallon of figs, but it seemed like a lot more.  Man they are like candy!  So good, sweet, soft, mmmmmmm yummy. So I guess it was the summer before last we found him and started stocking up on figs.  Well not so much stocking up, as getting them and eating them like crazy for a month.  Then last year the fig man died, and his wife tried to sell them.  She wasn't available daily like he was, but when she was, we'd load up on a box of figs every time we drove by.  I believe they were mission figs.
(I just spent 10 minutes looking for a picture of them I took a year ago and couldn't find it, and I didn't want to rip one off of someone else's website.)

We have a fig tree in our yard and this year we probably got about 3 baskets full.  B also bought a new fig tree this spring but it's still a bit small and hasn't produced any figs yet.  But someday, we'll be getting more out of our yard.

Our fig tree.  B built a frame around it so we can net it - to prevent all the birds and squirrels from eating our delicious fruits.
 One day last week B brought home 2 bags of figs, 2 different kinds.  The brown ones are mission figs and the green ones, I'm not sure what kind they are, but they are huge!  Figs are high in calcium (higher than any other fruit), iron, potassium, B vitamins, vitamin K, manganese, bromine, vitamin A, protease, fiber and antioxidants.  So it's ok to eat them by the handfuls, right?   But they do have a latex on the outside of the fruit, that is an irritant.  If not washed off it can make your lips burn a little bit. The best way to avoid that, is to just put the whole fruit in your mouth.

The green ones ARE ripe, they have to be a different vareity.
MMMMMMMMM  fig cobbler about to go in the oven; I took a picture of it baking in the oven, but you can see how nasty the bottom of my oven is, so I deleted that one - note to self: clean oven

that yellow stuff....butter goodness
Last year we made homemade pizzas with figs, prosciutto, and goat cheese.  Oh that trio is soooo delicious together. I'm not sure why we haven't done that this year.  Oh yeah, because I'm lazy about making the dough.

I think I made about 3 fig cobblers out of the green figs.  I just ate the brown ones at lunch everyday, and breakfast, and anytime I opened the fridge.  These figs were so super ripe, that some of them were going bad in the fridge.  So those got tossed out the window to the chickens.  They also love figs.  Yes, I toss kitchen scraps out the window to the chickens.  They come running when I open the window.  Cool birds.  Sometimes when they see you through the window anywhere in the house, they'll stop and watch you.  I wonder if they think this is our coup. Where was I? So because figs ripen so quickly and burst open, it's a hard fruit to transport.  Most fresh figs are eaten locally or dried for distribution.  If you happen to find somebody that has a fig tree, I highly recommend eating some fresh.  Rain is bad for them, and we have had so much rain the past couple of weeks, I hope that the harvest isn't over yet.

Round 2 of green figs that B brought home were over ripe, they were starting to go south super quick and I hated to waste them, I had to figure out what to do with them.  I haven't quite ventured into the world of preserving, like jam or jelly.  I will someday though.  I don't think it's that hard, it's just a matter of learning how to do it, and then doing it.  I had this bright idea that I'll make fruit leather.  It's like a fruit roll-up.  I have a dehydrator and a big bowl of figs.  I googled a few recipes for fruit leather and went to it.  I washed and sorted the figs.  The chickens got about half a dozen.  I put the figs in our food processor, there was a little over 3 cups,  and started pureeing them, I just squeezed a bit of lemon juice in, and added about 1/8 cup of cane sugar.  Yum!  It tasted delicious.  A few hours later I pull the trays out.

Our food dehydrator came with these sheets to lay on the mesh trays for dehydrating liquidy things such as this. Well I couldn't find them so I used wax paper. Bad idea. Bad, bad, bad.

Some peeled away, but not much more than you see here 
paper starting to stick and tear

It peeled off in some places, but it mostly stuck to the paper.  Grrrrrrr.  I ended up with 2 sheets of fig paper.  What I could peel off tasted super delicious.  Ashley and B gave it a thumbs up.  Although it does get stuck in your teeth pretty good.  

Here's a pice that I rolled up, oops, there's a piece of wax paper stuck to it.  And I ain't gonna lie, we all ate some with paper on the back.  Ok maybe just me and B, I don't think Ashley went that far.  While this was a great attempt, I have to consider it a failed attempt.  Sad face right?  At least the figs were free and I was just out time, dirty dishes, wax paper, electricity, figs.....shaking my head, ok.  We say a lot around here that free stuff always equals a time investment of some sort.  I have found that anytime I try to make a "homemade" version of something you can buy in the store it takes so much time.

Isn't it pretty? mmmm, chewy fig, fig paper

And in my normal fashion, I go read directions in my dehydrator book AFTER I make it.  Oh wow, it specifically says "never use wax paper." EEEEERRRRRR.  Ok, well B volunteered to get more figs next week and I'll try again.  This time I'm going to hunt down those trays.  I knew I ordered them for a reason.  If it's a success, I'll share again.

Alrighty, I think that is all for today.  I updated a couple of things on previous blogs.  Emily said I could use her name in the chicken processing story.  She's the super awesome lady that gave us the butchering lessons.  Yesterday I left my deodorant in the bathroom and found that it turned super soft and left me with green gooey armpits when I reapplied before bed, so back into the fridge it goes to live.  Also I'm still waiting on Melissa's review of her deo stick, hint, hint.  I'll probably take tomorrow off, I may take Sundays off from blogging, or we'll see how it goes.

Yesterday 2 friends, (thanks Fred and Ashley!) posted a link to this blog on their Facebook page and I swear I got 3 times as many hits, so if you can help me promote by doing the same, that would be fantastic.  Just copy the link into your status and say something to get YOUR friends to read it, then I can reach so many more people.  More readers equals more incentive for me.  I'm really enjoying doing this and I find that it is already keeping me motivated to do new things.  I've already got a little notebook - er well the note app on my iphone - of topics that I want to blog about.  This is about a healthy lifestyle so I believe there will be some exercise topics in the future too. 

Mmmmmmm cheese wrapped in fig paper


  1. It looks so yummy. I so love figs.

  2. Nice blog.....In many ways, you're carrying on the "Fig Man's " legacy......It's interesting how someone that comes into your life, leaves their influences.

  3. The fig paper was yummy!!!! Can't wait to have it again ;)

  4. You are so creative. What a great idea. Your kids are going to love that treat:)

  5. This sounds so cool. Its like you made your own fruit roll-ups! That pizza looks awesome. Figs are also good with pork loin on a sandwich.

  6. A new fruit roll up. And healthy.