Tag Archives: harvest

Figs

My new house has 3 huge fig trees in the front yard.  They are planted in an awful spot, obscuring our view from the big windows in the living room.   Some pruning is going to have to happen, stat.  In the meantime, though, they are producing prolifically.

Not being much a fig-eater myself, I turned to The Internet in Its infinite wisdom.  I came away with a couple excellent uses for all those figs in my front yard.

One was Spicy Fig Microwave Jam, which I highly recommend.  It’s super easy and freaking delicious on everything from Gruyere cheese to roast chicken.

The second idea I discovered was to dehydrate the figs for use in myriads of recipes like Fig Newtons , Stuffing, and…Figgy Pudding.  Not so sure about that last one.  If you make it, let me know how that turned out for ya.

That said, here’s what I did to prep and dry the figs:

Step 1.  Heft your ladder out to the front yard, climb up to the top and attempt to balance there with a large cardboard box.  Proceed to pick all the figs you can reach.

Step 2.  Haul your catch inside to the kitchen.  Wash the figs and line them up on a towel because fig-drying with Rachel is nothing if not orderly.

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Step 3.  Cut the little stems off with a paring knife.

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Step 4.  Slice the figs in half lengthwise.

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Step 5.  Arrange the sliced figs face-down on the dehydrator trays.

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Step 6. Dehydrate at ~155 degrees F for about 20 hours.  It may take more or less time, depending on the efficiancy of your dehydrator.  You’ll know they’re done when they are pliable and leathery, but don’t have any discernable pockets of moisture.  I left mine for too long.  They were brittle in the morning, but I think they’ll still be fine.

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Step 7.  Double bag the figs in a labeled gallon-sized freezer Ziploc bag.  Store in the freezer or a cool, dry place until the spirit moves you to make Figgy Pudding.  Or something.

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Canning Mania

Having recently moved to a new house on acreage with a tiny orchard, I’ve been newly inspired to preserve some of the autumn bounty.

I have zero experience in canning and until recently have had zero desire to try it.

That’s why God gives us friends.

Alicia & Bula the Gargoyle Dog

Alicia & Bula the Gargoyle Dog

Alicia and I decided we’d tackle this intimidating canning thing together.  So we made a list of 85 varieties of sauces, jams, chutneys and conserves that we wanted to make, and set to work harvesting and canning.

apple bounty

apple bounty

Rule number one of canning:  have some good company because you’re going to be working all day. Alicia and I canned for 12 hours straight.  I’ll be honest:  we were a little nutty by the end of the night.

coring

coring

I’m sure our great-grandmothers would have laughed to have seen us scrambling around the kitchen forgetting to set timers and figuring out how to use this thing.  It was a circus.

heating lids

heating lids

The applesauce tasted divine and our jars sealed properly, so I count the day as a success.

cooking apples

cooking apples

I would definitely do it again.  I just need a few days break.

Besides…we’ve got 84 other kinds of preserves to make.  We can’t stop now!

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