Saturday, 18 January 2014

The best-laid plans of mice and men.....

I was reminded today of the saying 'The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry'. I had my morning planned out as my husband had picked some figs so that I could 'do something with them' as I had been complaining that he had been eating them all straight from the tree instead of bringing them inside for me to cook something with them although I didn't have a clue what I was going to cook. However, after asking Mr.Google for some recipes I found a couple and was preparing the figs for cooking when I had an unexpected request to take a family member to an appointment.



I had found a couple of recipes on Martha Stewart's website that appealed to me and thought I would try them out.The Honey-Caramelised Figs with Yoghurt looked good as well as the Fresh Fig and Almond Crostata which looks fabulous. But alas, there was no time to make them today so perhaps I will try the recipes with the next batch.


As the figs were really ripe and had been picked yesterday, they needed to be used as soon as possible. I thought I would put them in the fridge while I was out. However, some of them have ants in them and I didn't want ants running around in the fridge so I put them in water for a couple of minutes to get rid of the ants and then I sliced them before they went into the fridge.


It was just as well I did as a couple of them had grubs in them so the fruit fly must have done the damage.


 We have quite a few fig trees and, in the past, there hasn't been much of a harvest as they weren't looked after very well. So I had a word to the garden CEO about trying to save some this year and he had the idea of bagging some of the figs to protect them from fruit fly. So off he went to the Op Shop and came home with metres of calico which he cut up and then we both sewed them into bags. It doesn't look pretty but it worked. He put one of his fishing nets over another tree but the birds got to the figs on that one.  



However, now we have to fend off the ants which got into a few of the figs. One of the DTE members suggested putting petroleum jelly around the base of the tree and on some of the branches to stop the ants. If you grow figs, how do you get rid of the ants?
I can see I have some experimenting to do with cooking figs and I would appreciate it if anyone could share their tried and true fresh fig recipes.





13 comments:

  1. I like the bags, they should at least protect them from the birds. Not sure about the fruit fly, we haven't had any down here yet.

    And whilst I don't have ants here either (at least in the fig tree), I think petroleum jelly slathered around should work. Let us know the outcome!

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  2. Ree, of course fruit fly is a real pest here in Qld and the bags seemed to work on the majority of the figs. I wonder if the ants are a sign of rain to come. It is very very dry again here.

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  3. what a glorious crop...there's a limit to how much fig jam you can eating but could you poach and then freeze them, Chel?
    xx

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  4. Sue, we don't eat much jam if any and I found a recipe for a cake which I will make this afternoon and see how that turns out. Using the figs up isn't an issue as my husband will just eat them outside while he is working in the garden. I just wanted to have a few from the harvest to use in a recipe to do a bit of experimenting. Freezing is definitely an option though if we do get more than he can eat. :-)

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  5. All those recipes look very yummy, cant wait to see what you make with them. My mouth is watering just looking at the photos

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    1. Sarah, I ended up making Fresh Fig and Almond Breakfast Cake except we won't be eating it for breakfast. Half of it has gone already. :-)

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  6. I have never had enough figs to make anything, so eat them fresh. So far no ants or fruit fly. Keep us posted.

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    1. Deb, that was always the way here too until my husband started putting the bags on the fruit. Mind you we have lived here for over 35 years and he probably planted the figs down the back many years ago.

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  7. I had to Google to learn about figs and ants, as I could not imagine how ants could get inside the actual figs. Turns out they can.

    What I cannot find is how the ants come to be inside the figs. Do they burrow? Is it some kind of chemical-juice-saliva process? Are their already small openings in the blossom end of the fig, increasing as they grow larger? Magic? Time travel?

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    1. J, I asked my husband and he said there was a little hole in the fig where the ants get in. I will try and take a photo of it as I am intrigued too. I think he said it wasn't at the blossom end of the fig.

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  8. I have never used figs for cooking; just ate the from the tree like your husban. But I once saw Lorraine Pascale on BBC, making a pizza that had figs. Itlooked interesting, though I would not have preferred that much basil or eating it whole as is done in the recipe. I looked up the recipe online
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/prosciutto_mozzarella_98052

    Maybe next time:-)

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    1. Thanks Damaria, I will keep that in mind.

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  9. Sounds like a yummy cake Nanna Chel. I don't know alot about figs except they are very expensive to buy. You are very lucky to have so many :)

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