Friday, July 19, 2013


This is mostly for me so I don't keep creating lists in my iPhone of random things I want to keep track of. But follow me on my journey if you like!

I saw this in the National Portrait Museum in DC. Love Mickalene Thomas!

Real live mermaids! Never thought I'd be planning a trip to Tampa!

Reading "Americanah" by Nigerian author Adichie. Curious about a Nigerian snack she mentions called chin-chin.

Since I don't live in Paris, Dave Leibovitz makes me want to try making these.

Be still my heart. Fresh fig cake with buttermilk glaze!!!!!!!!!

More on figs.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Fig Preserves

I love figs and I love living in a region where they grow abundantly. My husband gave me a fig tree when we bought our house and while it's growing rapidly, it's still a baby. There are however, several mature trees around the city. Now, lest you think I am a common thief, I make sure I case the trees for some time to ensure that no one is paying attention to these beauties. It is just rude to let good fruit rot on the tree, no? Anyway, we raided a few trees on the 4th of July and I had about three pounds of figs to contend with. There's a fig cake I love and there's always fig ice cream but yesterday I decided just to make some preserves. I looked at several recipes online and here's an approximation of what I did.

Fig preserves:

6 cups figs, washed, stemmed and halved
2 cups sugar
1 lemon, sliced thinly
juice of one more lemon
1 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. clove
1/2 t. cardamom
1 t. ground ginger

In a heavy-bottomed pot, bring all ingredients to a boil and then turn down and let simmer for an hour. Stir frequently. Process in a water bath.

My thoughts:

Every recipe I looked at called for far more sugar. For example, one recipe called for half as many figs (3 cups) but the same amount of sugar (2 cups) that I used. One recipe called for 1 cup of sugar per pound of figs. since I had about 3 pounds of fruit, that would mean 3 cups of sugar. Well, I used only 2 cups and I thought it was on the sweet side. Delicious, for sure, but next time I'd dial down to 1.5
cups. Also, I added the juice of one additional lemon since I thought the one sliced thinly did not give enough acidity to the batch. I added only juice because I had already zested it for something else but I'm sure you could just do 2 thinly sliced lemons. I have a tendency to go overboard with spices so I restrained myself and perhaps too much. Definitely will dial up the spices, at least the ginger, in my future batches. But still, it's wonderful and I had it on my oatmeal for breakfast with some pepitas. Fantastic! Finally, lots of recipes I saw called for booze of some sort. I'm sure this would be good but I don't think it's necessary.