Since it’s been a stormy summer day with Little Dog cowering and trembling and chattering her wee teeth when the thunder booms, I found the time to peruse the net to find lovely things to make with my newfound figgy wealth.


I curled up in the comfy chair and went to my jam-guru blog, but alas, found no fig recipes. Check her out anyway. Especially her strawberry vanilla jam recipe, which the Power Rangers call CRACK JAM. I dole it out to them when feeling all queenly and magnanimous.

So I Googled “fig jam recipe” and a slew popped up, of course. But one stood out: Drunken Fig Jam.

Allow me to break it down:




And I was smitten because what’s better than succulent figs? Fig jam! And what’s better than that? DRUNKEN fig jam. To quote Madame JoJo: oh, HELLS yeah.

As I cross-referenced my household supplies against the recipe, I knew it was Meant To Be:

Recipe says four cups of sugar. That’s what I had. Exactly.

The wee black knotted vanilla bean I let live in the now-empty sugar jar.

Recipe says ¾ cup brandy. That’s what I had. Exactly. Well, its understudy, Grand Marnier. But it worked sublimely.

No mo’ Marnier!

Thus begins the jamming:

Chopped up figgy bliss with microplaned lemony goodness.

Vanilla-sugary grit and mess.

After a one-hour nap. Juices flowing, ready for the heat!

The recipe called for mashing, but because of my food texture issues (I hate the unexpected stealth chunk in an otherwise pristinely smooth jam), I’m a huge fan of the wand mixer. VROOOM!

Blorping merrily and smelling like boozy heaven.

BLORP! This time with gnarly, weirdly goldenrod-colored, foamy grossness. Skimmed that nasty, foamy little ickiness and none came back, so WOOT!

I got 4 pints total from this recipe instead of the 3 pints they said would be the outcome, but to be fair, I probably started out with at least a half pound more figs than I needed.

It’s just lovely. The vanilla sugar adds a nice, caramelly smoke to the rich, figgy flavor, and I may just hunker down and eat my not-enough-for-a-full-jar jam with a spoon.

No judgement. It’s jam time.




Give me some figgy goodness…

June 30, 2012

Figgy picking day today. I first visited the Matt Family Orchard a few weeks ago and picked a bazillion blackberries…

blackberry bounty

which became some jams…

and wee bitty individual cobblers. No pics of the cobblers. I assure you that they met a good end, piled high with whipped cream and inhaled at a Game Night with the Power Rangers.

So despite it being one of my summer days off, I set that alarm for all too early and ChrisTina and I hauled our grumpy butts up to the farm. The Matt family representatives crack me up. A young joker stood behind the counter while a more *ahem* mature joker met us as we walked up and greeted me (in my workin’ girl headscarf) with “you’re a PIRATE!” and ChrisTina with “thanks for bringin’ MY coffee!”

“WELL!” Chris barked back, one hand on hip, the other waving her cup widely and dangerously, “we didn’t KNOW what you WANTED!”

“You coulda called.”

Yeah. It’s a good place. Our kinda place. You should go there. Often. But not before I go and get my stash, please-and-thank-you.

After more banter, during which we were instructed to pick purple, brown, or yellow fruit that “feels like a boiled egg,” we set off with buckets for the trees with fruit that dripped nectar.

And here our paths diverged. ChrisTina is a wanderer. She strolled from tree to tree, commenting, picking a fruit, tasting it, commenting, talking figs to a guy who crossed her path (irritating the girl with him, too…she started whipping figs into her bucket the longer he talked to Chris).

I was a machine. Search. Touch-test for boiled egginess. Abandon or pick. Repeat. No fruit visible? Crawl up in the midst of limbs, girl! Inhale that yummy fermented figgy whiff coming from the windfalls…but harvest!!

Thirty minutes later, my two buckets brimmed with fruity yumminess. ChrisTina had scored about a dozen. And blamed me for picking the trees bare before she could get to them. Whatevs.

We sweated home and I checked out my bounty. Nine pounds of figgy riches.

Some browns, some purples. No. I don’t know the names. Don’t care to. I picked BROWNS and I picked PURPLES.

Not only did I score a massive fig haul, but I brought home fresh Eggs From Our Farm.

Ain’t they purty? Lookit the freckles on this one.

Ever since I’ve really started on my canning /preserving kick, Big Dog and Little Dog now see me piling bags of fruit into the kitchen as the sign that they will have to go Out Of The Kitchen Or Else, and obligingly took care of their afternoon ablutions then set up shop hovering in the kitchen doorway. Waiting…

(Yes, that’s laundry sitting in the white basket behind the table. Don’t judge me.)

The preserves gang, all stem-free and spotless and shiny and ready for their closeup:

And some too delectable to cook up that were spared just for eatin’:

Now to find recipes…