Friday, September 07, 2007

Born in the USA....

i will most probably be taking a leave of absence from blogging... as P and I are returning to the states for a long anticipated, totally exciting trip! there will be tons of photos and stories, i'm sure. and i do hope to update at least once while i'm away, but if you don't hear from me till mid-october you can just assume that the bagels and burgers stole me!
ciao ciao!

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This picture is for me, while i'm away from my little, sweet, darling simon.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

fig jam!

Figggggg jam!!! so in preperation for the winter. like a little squirrel (do squirels eat figs?) like a tree full of birds... oh this is going no where. umm... i had never made fig jam before. but was fascinated by the prospect. or i mean, i wasn't like fascinated, but i wanted to use these things. honestly i was pissed off at the birds. the figs came and we never really ate many of them. and so finally i decided to take them all and make them into jam. here they are in all their glory.

P (ie Mr. Longlegs, Mr. Longarms, Mr. Oh-can't-you-reach-that?-sarcastic-"fun"-guy) was sweet enough to help me reach some of the many of the ones that were out of my reach. what i don't get is... if you're a bird why does it matter how close they are to the ground. so what i want to know is why there are a gazillion figs on the top branches and the bottom ones just picked clean. i guess my annoyance with the birds is coming out rather strongly. i had hoped to kind of make it seem not that big of a deal. god i am going on now.
anyyyyway, here are the beautiful figs

and here they are again... there's no turning back mr&mrs figgytops. it's all over. it's fig jam outta you! sorry.
the final completed package. ready for delivery to many a smiling face upon our arrival back in the USA.

Fig Jam:
take all of your figs and cut the ends off then peel them to some degree... you don't have to be that exact about it - a little bit of peel is fun! then weigh them. you want to have about 2kg (1lb-ish). cover them with about 3 dL of water (that's not that much!).
cook on a slow heat.
once it starts to cook add about 600g of sugar for each kg of figs (actually this was a big much ... i found mine to be a bit sweet so i would go for more like 400-500g).
cook on a slow fire until the sugar is melted, then turn up the heat, let it boil and remove the froth as it arrives. stir it occasionally - don't let it stick! when the vapor is less dense and the bubbles that form are smaller and closer together. reduce the heat and start to test it for jam consistency (there are a few ways: 1) with a plate that you've left in the fridge beforehand, put a spoon of the mix onto it and see if it forms a "skin" after being refrigerated for a few minutes. or when you put the wooden spoon in the mix see if the jam drops from the spoon when tilted into two drops, instead of one.). once it has reached this point follow standard jarring procedures.

use sterelized jars and pour the HOT jam into them. quickly close the jars tightly and then boil each jar for about 10 min to prevent bacterial growth. afterwards the jars should all reveal their sealed state by popping IN their tops. it's a beautiful sound... it means "jam is ready. jam is perfect!".