When we bought our house last fall…September 21 to be exact, we had a lot of work to do. We came by the house the week of our closing date to do a final walk through and inspection with my dad, and to my immense surprise (read excitement), we discovered that hidden on the side of the house was a fig tree! It was my sign from above that yes, no matter the bad smell, nasty carpet and stained walls, this house was meant to be ours.
You see, I grew up like most kids in the US…with little to no exposure to figs. I thought figs probably tasted just like the sweet gritty filling of Fig Newtons, and I couldn’t have drawn you a picture of one if you asked.
That is until I spent a summer touring Europe in college. During my month in Sicily (amazing, beautiful place, but DO NOT GO in the summer…so so so hot), I spent one long, lazy afternoon at the beach house of a classmate of mine sipping espresso and watching the whitecaps break on the rocky shore of the deep blue Mediterranean Sea. (gosh, this is making me want to go back! I think I’ll have to pull out some old pictures!). Stefania’s mother offered us some fresh figs off the tree and my manners and curiousity sent me out to pick a few. And that is how I met the luscious, delicate, sweet fruit that is the fig.
Last fall we moved in towards the end of fig season (not that we knew), however this year we’ve gotten to watch our tree bud and leaf since late spring, and anticipate the growth of the tiny green fruits. We pruned the tree quite a bit last winter in hopes it would be a bit shorter and have a better harvest. It didn’t get the memo. Apparently it was so happy with its pruning that this year it has grown even taller than before (almost completely blocking my 2nd story windows) and it is full of fruit!
Last weekend my besties Hannah and Rachel came over along with Hannah’s hubs James and we had a fig picking party. We picked two huge bowls and proceeded to make fig, goat cheese flat bread and at least a gallon of fig jam.
Later in the week, Josue and I walked out to check the tree and to our surprise we had a whole new harvest of large ripe figs to pick! We picked two more huge bowls with the help of our dear neighbor Sherry (because the tree we thought we had trimmed so well is slowly taking over the side of her yard too). This has seriously been the week of the figs.
In the past week we have consumed figs in the following forms:
and fresh, of course. We have also taken to freezing them whole in hopes that come Thanksgiving and Christmas we’ll be able to pull them out and add them to our menu!
This afternoon I’ll head back out (with my parents who are in town visiting!!!) to pick more figs and see what other adventurous fig-related meals await us! Hope you have a very Happy Labor Day weekend…enjoy these last few days of summer!