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!

Sunday, September 5, 2021

There's Gold in Them Thar Hills!!! (and Sweat!)

Talk about treasure in your own backyard, today we dug for sweet potatoes and were blessed with 6 bushels!  Since it was late, we closed them into the barn for overnight.  Tomorrow we will be getting them out, cleaning them, sorting them, and probably canning the ones that are damaged.  We dug some by hand, then used the potato digger on the tractor when we found out the pitch fork was causing just as much damage.  Picking them all up by hand can make one tired and cranky at the end of a day.  Tomorrow we will take the sweet potato vines to the cows, as they love them.

After picking them up, we let our dogs do the gleaning. . .They seem to love raw sweet potatoes.  

This morning we visited The Point Church in Holly Springs.  What a wonderful service and music that spoke to our souls.  Thanks goes out to our good friend Gary, and prayers for Gwen's brother and Gwen for safe travels.  God is good.

Thursday, September 2, 2021

Homestead Kitchen Chaos

When you have inclement weather outside, you try to finish as many of your indoor projects as possible and often end up with kitchen chaos.  For example, it rained yesterday and is wet today, so here is what my kitchen looks like:

At one end of my kitchen I added a shelf to the bay window.  We have blueberry and grapevine plants being rooted, lettuce seedlings growing, tomatoes waiting for space in the dehydrator (as soon as we get out the first batch.)

We were out of coffee beans so I had to roast a new batch.

Bread is on the last rising.  Roasted dandelion roots were taken out of the oven and allowed to cool while helping the bread rise.

Milking equipment has been washed from this morning's milking.
Soap has been cut from the making of it yesterday.  Life is Good!