I have fig trees in my garden. Although the oldest one fell down in July because it had been overwatered for years, and its roots had rotted, I still have one big, old tree that produces lots of figs, and a younger one with lots of saplings growing around it that will need some serious pruning this winter. Throughout spring and early summer, I spent a lot of time examining the fig trees, and checking on the progress of the young figs.
Did I mention I love figs?
I was hoping I’d get a decent crop of figs, so I had plenty to eat without having to buy extra at the market. Compared to a lot of summer fruit, the fig season is relatively short, so you have to make the most of them while you can, and I was very excited when I picked my first ripe fig in my own garden.
I continued to pick figs every day. At first, it was just one or two a day, then a few, then several, and the number kept going up. I started to post my running total on FaceBook.
Ate 19 figs today, and have 7 left in the fridge
Ate 22 figs today, and have 16 left in the fridge
Ate 18 figs today, and have 29 left in the fridge
Then I gave up counting them, and started weighing them instead!
I knew I couldn’t eat all the figs I was picking before they went over, so I started frantically looking for recipes. I started out thinking of biscuits and cake, but that isn’t a great deal better than just eating the figs. Eating lots of cake might not upset your stomach like fresh figs do (if you eat enough of them – and trust me, I know!) but it doesn’t do anything for your figure.
The I remembered my ex made some fig chutney one year when we were together, and we both loved it, so I started searching for chutney recipes. I found a simple chutney recipe at Really Nice Recipes that looked easy enough that even I could make it, and used ingredients that I knew I would be able to source locally, and got ready to make my chutney.
The trouble is, when the temperature is close to 40 Celsius, the last thing you want to do is turn the oven on to sterilise jars, and then have chutney bubbling away in a pan for over an hour, making the room all hot and steamy. Plus, I didn’t have enough jars to make a dent in my fig stocks!
So, I moved on to plan B and looked into freezing figs.
Apparently, you can freeze them, and they freeze quite well, except for being rather soft in the middle when you defrost them. I figured that would probably be fine for chutney making. It might just take a bit longer for the chutney to thicken because of the extra moisture from the frozen-defrosted figs. So, I started putting figs in the freezer, and kept on doing it until my freezer was completely full, with just a little bit of space for bread and ice cream.
Once the weather cools down properly, I’ll start making chutney. And since the figs are frozen, I won’t have to do it all at once, so I’ll be able to use the jars I’ve got, and just make another batch of chutney each time they’re empty. That seems much more cost effective than buying more jars.
The number of figs ripening each day has slowed down dramatically now, and I think we’re coming towards the end of the season. Not counting the ones the dogs and I ate as I was picking them, we only got 9 yesterday, so I have less in the fridge each day rather than more.
I’m sad, but also a little bit relieved that the fig season is almost over. I never thought I’d say this, but maybe there is such a thing as too many figs.