About Dana

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I'm a dichotomy of blue jeans, pretty jewelry, frugalista, and Southern girl living the simple rural life. I want to live my life holistically, thoughtfully, economically, and most of all gratefully, and encourage other women to do the same.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Fig Preserves

Part of living the country life is enjoying the bounty you or your neighbors grow. One of the things I love most about summer produce, besides homegrown tomatoes, is figs. My grandmother has a fig tree that has been mowed over, run over, and generally abused, but it will not give up. It was planted in the early 1930s before she even moved into her house. Can you imagine what it was like then when the tree was a sapling? Our country was going through The Great Depression and looked very different than it does right now. Still, the fig tree stands and flourishes.

Every mid- to late August, the tree's green figs are ripe. If you can beat the bees and birds to them, they are delicious to eat right off the tree or to make fig preserves to enjoy all year long. I like to do both, but my favorite thing to do is eat fig preserves in the morning on my toast.

This year, I tapped my 91-year-old grandmother's surprisingly easy secret to making fig preserves.

After picking the figs that were ripe, I washed and dried and put them into a large soup pot. If you don't have access to a fig tree, they often sell them in nice supermarkets in late summer.

For this amount of figs, I added almost 5 cups of sugar. I'm sorry for the inexact amounts, but I usually wing it depending on the quantities I have. Let me put it this way - you need to have at least an equal amount of sugar-to-figs ratio.

Then I cook the figs, covered, on the stovetop over a low temperature for 2-3 hours until they thicken, stirring every so often so they won't stick. In the end, they'll look like this.

While the figs are cooking, prepare your Mason jars and lids in a boiling bath as directed by the manufacturer. While the figs and the jars are both hot, fill them, wipe the rims clean, and apply the lids. They should seal as they cool. For those that don't seal, you can pop them in the refrigerator and eat them first. (Or share them with friends - they'll really appreciate them).

How beautiful in my refrigerator.

(These are the boogers that didn't seal).

Happy canning!


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