Do you remember your childhood freedom?
Do you remember the times you ran naked through the garden, the camping site or on the beach?. Can you see yourself do the same thing today? Probably not, so what has changed over time? Well you took a bite from the apple of paradise, and with that loosing a part of your childhood. You were raised by your parents, trained to be a grownup, learned how to behave as an adult, and with that leaving your childhood behind.
As a kid you were shameless, without clothes you were still not naked. You felt the comfort and stronghold of your mother and father. Creativity ran through you as a natural energy line, there was no right nor wrong. These times you were more close to paradise than you can imagine today. So if there is one intention to hold on to this year, or better the rest of your life, become a child again! Be surprised by things, happy with something small, make something without being afraid of the outcome. There is nothing to be ashamed of.
The only tree that offered Adam and Eve some protection was the fig tree. With its big furry leaves it would cover the shame that growing up brought them. It was inevitable and planned. Though the trees are hibernating, they still provide us with good things. The fig tree unashamed, stripped from all its leaves in wintertime, still has some not ripened fruits on its branches. These little green droplets we will turn into little delights.
We will preserve them in a sugar solution, where they will last for at least six month. Probably they won’t get that old, because they go so well with a piece of old cheese, or goat cheese with some port, or with a roast. Serve them with a dessert, let your fantasy run wild.
If you are lucky there is a fig tree in your garden or in your neighborhood that has the droplets still attached. If the tree is not your own make a small talk with the owner, and with the promise of a filled jar in return, you will be probably allowed to pick the fruits.
What you need to make sweet preserved figs:
1 kilo / 35 ounces of Figs
100 gram / 3,5 ounce Salt
1 tablespoon of purification salt / baking soda
1 kilo / 35 ounces Caster sugar
10 cm/ 4 inch Ginger root, fresh and sliced
3 sticks Cinnamon, lemon parts, thyme
Several cooked / sterilized jars to fill
How to make it :
1 Wash the figs and carve them cross-wise at the bottom parts
2 Leave the figs for 24 hours in a glass/porcelain bowl, covered with water in which you dissolved the 100 grams of salt
3 Rinse the figs under cold water, and boil them gently in a pan for 10 to 15 minutes in water in which you dissolved the baking soda
4 In another pan you dissolve the sugar in 3 dl /1,25 cup of water, and boil softly for 15 minutes with the slices ginger root
5 Optional are the cinnamon, lemon, thyme, or whatever you like to put in
6 Spoon the figs in the syrup, and boil gently until they are translucent, about 1 to 2 hours
7 Boil your jars and lids for 5 minutes, and turn them upside down on a clean towel
8 Fill your jars with the figs and top them with the syrup
9 Make some nice labellings to go with your conserved figs
The figs can be eaten of course also as a little sweet treat on its own. The extra treasure is the syrup, that will taste just beautiful, and can be used in dressings, as part of a marinade, in a mix drink or in your tea.
Just enjoy, there is nothing to be ashamed of.
the Dutch Cook
Recipe to be found at http://mamastaverna.com/baby-fig-spoon-sweet-sikalaki-gliko/
Inspired on “Groenvijgenconserve” from the publications “Uit de boomgaard”