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:
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:
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.
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!
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:
Ivan spent siesta time working out in the shop, "making sawdust" as he calls it. He has started on a little project: