Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Upcycling

 The world is so full of alternate uses for other products.  I do it with food all the time (like the time I made pancakes out of leftover pear crisp).  I do it with clothing from the thrift store (like the time I made throw pillows from the comfy bathrobe I found for $1).  I do it with other people's throw away appliances, like the front load washer we bought for $10 that became a window and a firepit.




Having a fun gardening shed and a firepit over which we can cook without having to buy outside resources (like charcoal) is amazing!

Life is good!


Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Figs, Glorious Figs!!

 I love figs!  We have several varieties.  Brown Turkey,  Brunswick, Black Mission, and a new one we got from my husband's dad that has the biggest figs I have ever seen, and named it Grandaddy Fig.

The Brown Turkey is our biggest producer here in North Carolina and has a good flavor.

The Brunswick stands out because of it's long finger like leaves.  It is a more golden color as it ripens.  Unless I am doing something wrong, it is not my favorite in taste.



The Black Mission Fig is my favorite just for eating.  It has the sweetest taste when allowed to fully ripen.  Love it!


The Grandaddy Fig is new this year.  We dug it up from under it's mother tree.  From the mother, we know the figs are huge.  It looks like a huge Brown Turkey fig when it is ripe, but has a slightly watered down taste from the Brown Turkey Fig.  Still good though.


When the figs are coming in slowly, I make fig preserves.  This recipe is one I developed myself, as I prefer to not use anything that I don't know what is in it (including pectin).  Wash figs, remove stems and any spots and half or quarter them, depending on size.  Measure the quantity and put into a kettle that would hold at least twice as much volume as the figs, as they will foam up at the end of cooking.  Add as much sugar as you had figs and a teaspoon of lemon juice for every cup of figs (remember 3 teaspoons = one Tablespoon).  Bring to a boil on low heat stirring the sugar and lemon juice into the figs.  Simmer until it reaches jellying temperature at 220.  Pour into clean small jars leaving about a half inch to the top, clean tops and put on lids and rims.  You can process them at this point or not.  (I just leave them and check to see if they sealed as they were cooling down.)

Another recipe I recently made was that I halved the figs in a pie plate, drizzled with about 1/4 cup honey mixed with about a teaspoon of cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg.  Then I added a layer of ricotta cheese I just made and put in the oven for about 10 minutes.  I served this as our protein this meal with some baked sweet potatoes.

Additionally, we like to put quartered figs in our dehydrator.  These are great in winter salads, or just to munch on.

This homestead life sure includes great food!