Know what we did this week?

Snipped figs.

Hahahaha! Oh dear heavens. Snipping figs from a tree in my own backyard is something I never, ever, ever imagined myself doing. Until this week, I’ve never eaten a fig, so the thought of ever being in the presence of a fig tree, let alone HAVING one, never crossed my mind until I inherited one when we bought this house.

Here’s the deal: my fig knowledge is truly pathetic – I had to Google “when to harvest figs” (when they are full and soft and the stem bends back toward the tree because it’s heavy with juice) and then “how to eat a fig” because I wasn’t sure if you eat it with the skin, without the skin, eat the fleshy parts or just the seedy looking part. Yea, classic. In case you don’t know either, you can eat the whole thing, skin and all. The preferred method, it seems, is to hand split it and then pop each half in your mouth. (If you’re interested, you can even watch a YouTube video on how to eat a fig without making your lips and mouth sore – what in the world!?)

Here’s a pretty bad picture of what they look like when they are ready to be snipped. The ones toward the top and bottom of the shot aren’t ready – not soft and still perpendicular with the tree branch. The ones with the bottoms pointing towards the camera were ready.)

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Of course, as I covered here, we have an ‘over planted yard’. This translated into no real easy way for me to get to the fig tree. And I certainly was not hauling out the ladder to do this. So, instead, I brought out a stool. See it there on the right towards the bottom peaking through the bushes? I then used the stool + the fence as scaffolding on which to climb to snip figs all the while holding scissors. I pretty much negated everything I learned in kindergarten with these moves, but it seemed like a great idea since I am super athletic and not at all clumsy. (Those are lies. I am about as graceful as a hippo, as noted here.) I am sure this was quite a scene for any of the surrounding neighbors who happened to be looking out the window during my fig-snipping stunts. This got old pretty quickly, and my self-consciousness around teetering on a stool in public where the threat of either falling into the bushes – or worse – over the fence into my neighbor’s yard only grew with each passing snip. I only did like six or seven. Stopping there also provided me with the benefit of seeing the joy and excitement on Kenny’s face when he got home and I told him that he had to snip figs after dinner. And trust me, he was overjoyed!

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I ended up with 17 figs. 17 figs! And there are still a million still hanging around waiting to ripen. Grace, the ever eager eater, could not wait to try one. Until she tried one. I scraped out some of the seeded part and gave it to her on a spoon. She started off with a slow nod and an almost smile – I could tell she was wanting to like it – and then quickly furrowed her brow, shook her head no and handed the spoon back to me. Funnily enough, as soon as she came home yesterday, she handed me another one and tried it again. This time she seemed to like it better, but still only ate two small tastes. I ate the rest of both of them. Not bad. Not my favorite, but not bad at all.

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So, this leaves me with 15 figs. I was telling a friend about my fig-filled fun (yay, two alliterative phrases in one post!) and she suggested that I make preserves. We like to joke about quitting our jobs and starting creative / crafty / artsy / writing-based businesses, so her reply was to start a preserves company called “Bridget’s Fantastic Figgies”. HAHAHAHAHA. Now that is hilarious. Definitely not happening, but funny nonetheless. I did say to Kenny that I should probably make some preserves and ship them back home to folks that will appreciate it more than we would. (AQ – don’t be surprised if there’s a batch in the mail to you since you are a self-proclaimed fig lover – haha!)