This is our fig “bush.” Well, it started out as a bush several years ago. This is what happens when you don’t prune it back severely, but we’re rather delighted
with the way the branches look almost sculptured beneath the canopy of leaves. (Fig leaves are rather hairy and scratchy, by the way, and I can’t imagine why Adam and Eve chose them to cover up with if banana leaves were around. But I digress.)
I think I may have given the recipe before but it’s worth repeating now that figs are in season. Do not worry about exact measurements. As a friend once said, “There’s a Jesus factor in all these pinch-of-this, dab-of-that recipes,” which means that these recipes are very forgiving.
So! Wash and stem 8 – 10 lbs of fresh ripe figs. Dice one large or two small lemons, rinds and all after removing the seeds and stringy white core. Cover with 5 or 6 lbs of sugar and stir well. Some of the figs will be split open, but that’s okay. Refrigerate overnight, stirring once or twice to wet all the sugar. Next day, stir in two heaping tablespoons of pickling spice. (This is the secret ingredient and must not be omitted.) Bring to a boil, stirring well so that all the sugar on the bottom melts. Simmer until the fruits are translucent and the liquid begins to thicken. Immediately ladle into clean hot jars with canning lids and rings. Tighten lids. Cover with a dishtowel until cooled and sealed. Serve on hot breakfast biscuits or use as a glaze for roast meats.