August 19, 2013

Fig Frenzy

I think I have fig fatigue -- brought on of course by this weekend's fig frenzy. 

In my entire life, I've eaten fresh figs only a handful of times. They are intrigueing little bundles of goodness though, so naturally I jumped at the chance to go fig picking with a friend. Within 30 minutes, I had a bounty of figs (and mosquito bites!)

Motivated by the fact that figs go bad very quickly, I set off to make the most of my fruity finds as quickly as possible. 

I tried my hand at canning years ago when I lived in England. My raspberry jam was a gooey mess that needed to be consumed within a week. Looking back, I'm sure I didn't use pectin, or even proper canning jars. I don't remember ever sealing anything. I've never bothered to can jam since. Besides, I usually receive a stash of yummy homemade jam over the holidays from other friends and since the Sailor and I don't eat it everyday, I don't really feel the need to make my own batch. 

Chutney, however, is in high demand in our household. It really is such a versatile condiment, in my book. You can serve it with meat, use it on a sandwich, or simply eat it with a nice cheese.

I made peach chutney the other week, and this weekend, I tried my hand at fig chutney. I found this recipe from David Lebovitz and it turned out fig-fantastic. 

One pound of figs makes about two cups worth, so you can easily just keep it in the fridge and consume it right after making it. I kept a little bit out to eat that night, and then canned several small jars worth to save for later. I have a feeling they're not going to last very long though. 

Apparently I wasn't alone in my preserving party -- this past weekend was National Can-It-Foward Day. Even if you missed it, there's still plenty of time to can all kinds of good stuff. Ball has a great PDF on the basics of canning here.

{I see you eyeballing my Pyrex bowls at the top. The small Gooseberry pink cinderella bowl cost me a whole $1 recently, as did the Town and Country mixing bowl at a local thrift store. I already have the same small Gooseberry bowl in my collection, so I'm thinking that perhaps another giveaway is in the blog's future? What do you think? In the meantime, you can see more Gooseberry goodness here.}

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