Wednesday

Figs - The Food of the Gods


Our precious Fig tree was ravished by the hard freeze a couple months ago. I had such great hopes, but ended up with shriveled up rotten fruits. How did that happen? Come to find out that figs soaked in rain water, frozen and exposed to heavy freezing winds are just dammed to die. 

If it doesn't come back we must start again with a hardier variety. 
A few months ago I received a couple of bags of fig fruits from my sister in law Catherine. They were super ripe and because I had no way of using them right away, they went in the freezer.
In fact, Figs freeze super well and will, this year, be used to make a fine jam, maybe even a fig/pear jam. After long research I've obtained a recipe that looked simple enough and sounded absolutely delicious. Simplicity and quality in home made foods is essential to me. 4 ingredients or less are preferred, but hey, I will get "helpers" too if it's more than 6 pounds

Here is the recipe: 
FIG JAM
6 qt. boiling water
6 qt. fresh figs
1/2 cup sugar for each cup of crushed figs
1 qt. water
8 slices lemon
Pour boiling water over figs; let stand 15 minutes. Drain and thoroughly rinse in cold water. Pat dry; remove stems Crush and measure figs, place in a large Dutch oven. Add 1/2 cup sugar for each cup of crushed figs. Add 1 quart water. Bring to a rapid boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 3 hours or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
Ladle jam into hot sterilized jars, leaving 1/4 inch head space. Add a slice of lemon to each jar. Cover at once with metal lids and screw on bands. Process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes. Yields 8 1/2 pints.

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Saturday

A Blue Brugmansia?

I found this rare flower at my favorite seed shop. Looks like a Brugmansia Angel Trumpet and found it research worthy. It's actually a relative of the Brugmansia. This beauty comes from from South America:

Description: Small shrub, generally to 3-6ft, sometimes to 10ft. Flowers are borne in clusters of up to 6-12 and sometimes more. Flowers grow to about 2-3", are cobalt blue in color and can remain on the branches for a while. Flowering may occur for much of the warmer months. There is a white type as well.

Hardiness: Hardy to 20-22F. Growing Environment: Grows best in filtered sun to full sun. Water moderately.
Propagation: By seeds.

Uses: Still a rare plant, it is cultivated as an ornamental and can be found in a few botanical gardens. Native Range: Native to Argentina.


What shocked me were the prices these seeds are being sold for. I've seen them for as much as $15-$30 per 10 seeds???? !eek, that nuts. I also found that the seeds have a good shelf live and are not highly perishable. So $7 for 20 seeds seems a good deal considering the rarity of this specimen. Found here.

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