Monday, January 26, 2015

Week 4: Project 365, the 2015 Edition

Tuesday, January 20:

Ivan returned from Totoral Monday night with nine kilos of fresh figs! He helped pick them at a friends' on Monday afternoon. They were ripe and needed to be used pronto. I sorted through, pulling out the ones that were more firm for whole figs in heavy syrup. I ended up with 3 kilos of those:
 (The scale is set to grams.)
Can you tell there are two varieties?

The remaining six plus kilos were rinsed and sliced to start jam:
To make the jam, I weighed the figs and then divided by two to get the amount of sugar needed. There was such a quantity of figs plus sugar I had to use my largest stock pot. I started cooking the figs about 10 a.m. and it still wasn't thick enough by the time I went to bed, so I left the pot sit overnight (just like I'd done with the plums the week before).

Wednesday, January 21:

After a doctor appointment first thing in the morning, I finished cooking the jam and was thrilled to end up with 12 jars, plus a small Rubbermaid container we're using right away:
I was well into my 30s before I had a fresh fig. Prior to that I'd only ever had Fig Newtons. This jam brings those soft cookies to mind because it has that same thick gooey goodness I remember from my childhood.

Thursday, January 22:

My friend (and former Spanish teacher) Marcela came over with her oldest daughter Carolina, who's visiting from Europe. Caro is a flight attendant and spends most of her time traveling the world.
It was so good to catch up with Caro and see Marce. Living so far from my own kids, I know how much Marce is enjoying Caro's visit and we appreciate that they carved out time to spend with us.

Friday, January 23:

So I didn't mention how I made the whole figs in heavy syrup. I found the recipe here but had to substitute homemade brown sugar for the hard brown cane sugar. Thankfully the substitution worked just fine. I also chose not to use any spices.

This was another multi-day process. On Tuesday I put the figs in water to soak. On Wednesday I cooked the figs in fresh water with a pinch of baking soda. Thursday I started cooking them in a mixture of brown sugar and water. Since I basically tripled the recipe, it took all day and then some, so I didn't finish them until this morning. I think because the figs were so ripe to begin with, a lot of them had started disintegrating by the time the syrup was thick enough. I poked through and pulled out the whole ones, filling two large jars. The remainder I put into a 4-cup Rubbermaid container and have in the fridge. They'll keep quite a while that way, and make a nice treat when we have guests.

Whole figs are normally served with cheese for dessert. We buy fresh farmer's cheese from friends in Totoral and I wish I could convey what an utterly amazing taste combination this is!
Keep in mind these are some of the less-than-perfect figs that had started to disintegrate. I sort of propped them up to look whole for the photo :) And I have to 'fess up and admit that after the photo shoot, I put two of the figs back because they are so rich, one was plenty with the three small pieces of cheese. So, so good!

Saturday, January 24:

Ivan had to replace brake pads on the front of the car this morning. I sure am glad I have a husband who is handy with tools!

Sunday, January 25:

Our friends received Rainbow Rhino, and thoughtfully took a photo of their wee one on top of it for me:
Look at that head of hair! I think she gets that from her grandma. Lois has such lovely, thick hair and so does her daughter, and now granddaughter. Lucky girls!

Ivan spent siesta time working out in the shop, "making sawdust" as he calls it. He has started on a little project:
Can you guess what it is, and what it's for?

Monday, January 26:

The grass seed is already starting to sprout! Not everywhere, but in a lot of places, and I.Am.So.Excited! We're finally going to have a lawn in front of the casita! Woohoo!


The Bug said...

Mmm those figs look fabulous! I love fig newtons.

Is that a model plane wing? If not, I got nothing :)

sara said...

that fig jam looks sooooo good!!! and on cheese, YUM!

rita said...

Airplane wing is what I thought as well.
Oh, so hungry for one of those 'higos'!
So good to see you three ladies. So happy for you.
The quilt looks even more beautiful with the baby on it.

Lhoyt said...

I concur with the idea of an airplane wing. This would be the ribbing, and it may have have something to do with his friendship with Julio and their mutual hobby.
The figs here gave prolifically this year, but we ate them as they were ready