Musings by Katherine, photos by Greg
This may be the most important advice anyone will ever give you about fig picking: Wear gloves. Do not leave them in the car and proceed to let fig juice run down your wrists in 95 degree heat. It will itch. The mosquitoes will like you more. You will drive your husband batty on the short drive home making high-pitched noises and saying things like: “Get it off me. It burns. It burns.” He will drive too fast. Oh, but once you’ve showered it will be so, so worth it.
Fig trees are all over the South and a coworker was nice enough to let us fig sit for him. This is similar to house sitting or dog sitting, but the only requirement involved is that you pull ripe figs from the tree, take them home and eat them. Rough gig if you can get it.
We picked on two separate days, once in that 95 degree heat after work and once on a Saturday morning just after 7, when the sprinklers had just kicked off and the thermostat was a nice low 82 or so.
The second haul was more impressive than the first, four or five pints perhaps. My gloves were so sticky the figs were practically Velcroed to them by the end. As for Greg, well he’s a guy, he doesn’t need gloves. He just hosed that juice off in the yard. Now, why didn’t I think of that the first time?
We’ll be posting a few fig recipes in the weeks to come. We’re just getting started on this year’s crop (or blogging about this year’s crop anyway), but here are a few recipes from last year to make you feel all warm and figgy: Baked figs with Grand Marnier; braised chicken breasts with fig sauce; and of course fig jam.
You can also check out the fig and olive oil cake over at Lemons and Anchovies; grilled figs with honey at The Orange Bee and we love how Joshua Fagans serves them. Sometimes it’s all about the wine. Also, we’d be remiss to not mention how much we love this fig picture over at Camerahols/Food Photography & France. We’d like to give it our fig picture of the year award, which has no cash value, but is nonetheless very prestigious.