Figs! If you read my earlier post you know that I love them! My fledgling fig trees now have close to 20 figs on them which is great for eating fresh but not enough to preserve. Yay for me that the same neighbor who gave me the yummy Asian Pears, also let me have at his (NINE!) fig trees since they have way more than they can use. I took home about 10lbs of figs and he said I can go back for more and if I have time, I will! A note about generous neighbors (or really anyone who is generous to you). RECIPROCATE! There is nothing worse than feeling used by a friend or neighbor who always takes and never gives. It makes you not want to give anymore, whereas when someone gives back in appreciation, you are usually moved to give even more. Such has been my experience at least. So when I go back to get more figs, I will bring some of the preserved pears and figs that I made from his trees, as well as some collards and herbs that I already noted that he doesn’t grow and wishes he had. This neighbor ALSO gave us some homemade wine and a baby pomegranate tree with the promise of some perennial divisions in the fall that I am greatly looking forward to. Best neighbor ever! It pays to be friendly and to give generously is all I’m saying! Now off of my soapbox and back to the figs…
- Fresh Figs – I had about 8 lbs
- 3 cups balsamic vinegar
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 cups water
- 4 cups sugar
- 2 Tbl molasses
Wash your figs and remove the stems. In a large saucepan, combine all the other ingredients and turn heat to high. Add the figs and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to medium and let simmer for a couple of hours stirring occasionally. Mash figs with potato masher as it cooks down and turn the heat to low as it starts to thicken. Taste and add more sugar if you’d prefer. Remember this is not meant to eat with toast (although you could) but more as an accompaniment to meats and cheeses so it doesn’t need to be ridiculously sweet. When it looks like the picture on the right and the liquid coats the spoon without running off immediately it’s ready to go. Ladle into hot jars leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Remove air bubbles and add lids and rings. Process 1/2 pints and pints 15 minutes. Makes about 7 pints. Figtastic!