Well, everyone - I am cheating (maybe that's a strong word) a little today - on Tuesday's I've decided to post different recipes that I have cooked the week prior. Well, IF you read my post yesterday you know that I was just a little busy at the hospital all last week and really didn't have time to cook something and take pictures of it - so, I decided to re-post something that I did a
Hello, Blogging world - it's me again and have I been busy!!! So many things have happened to me in the past month or so, it's a problem to think about where to begin. However, I have decided to let you in on my latest adventure from this past week -after this adventure I have been told that I am turning in to "little Miss Susie-Ann homemaker". Now, folks, I can't be just a simple Susie homemaker - after all I AM southern and everyone knows that all southern girls have two names (ex. Mary Beth, Samantha Ann, Jessica Lee, etc.). So it just goes to reason that my new name is going to be Miss Susie-Ann Homemaker. Why? Well, I thought you would never ask.
These, my friends are - homemade, fig preserves!! Made by - yours truly!! Now, this part is really important - I have never made preserves before, much less picked the figs, cut them up , cooked them, and yes, put them in jars and preserved them (yes, there is more to it than just putting the cooked fruit into a jar).
So, how did this not so country girl get to the place that she is actually making preserves. Well, some of that will be covered in future posts, BUT the short of it is - money!!!!! Mountain Man wanted preserves and they are darned expensive in the store - and a friend of mine in the "village" said - "Well, Carol, there is a fig tree back behind 'Joe and Sarah's' house (not their real name to protect the innocent - ME!) and you could go and pick your own and make some preserves." Now, this friend does not realize that I am kitchen challenged - if you don't believe me, just ask my kids - they will tell you. I have even bragged in the past that "the only reason we have a kitchen is because it came with the house". I will be the first to tell anyone that I am no cook, chef, or any other word you could invent if it has to do with doing something in the kitchen. Seriously, I really don't know how I managed to raise two children and do so little in the kitchen. I can do a little more than "Hamburger Helper", but let's not push it too far. My belief has always been - why cook, that's the reason God invented restaurants. But I get too far off topic - back to my preserves.
In recent days I have decided that one of the things I am going to have to do to save some money - since other measures I have tried in the last few weeks have not worked - is to become more familiar with things in the kitchen, so, when this friend tells me about the fig tree - I say to myself "okay, self, you can do this" - I mean after all I do have a Master's degree. (Never mind that it is in Educational Leadership! It is a Master's for Pete's sake!)
So, down to 'Joe and Sarah's' house to the infamous fig tree. I take Mountain Man with me, because my friend had told me that she and I weren't the only ones who knew about this fig tree and to be able to reach the ripe figs I was going to need a ladder. Mountain Man and I load the ten foot step ladder on to the top of the golf cart and head off to the fig tree - where I proceed to climb the ladder while M.M. "spots" me. (Good thing he is there to 'spot' me - I almost fall off the ladder twice as I am trying to reach "that perfect fig" - not that I know what a "perfect fig" is - have I told you that I have never even eaten a fig, except in a Fig Newton cookie? No, well, that is just another little element in this little adventure.) I am finally able to pick two plastic containers full of figs without falling off the ladder and breaking any bones. I tell my dear husband that I think this will be enough and back home we go after loading the ladder BACK on top of the golf cart. (I have NO idea if I have enough figs to make preserves, but it sounded good!)
Now, back home I come face to face with the kitchen and come to the quick realization that I don't have a recipe for fig preserves. I might not have a recipe, but I do have the Internet - off to the office I go and type 'fig preserves' in Goggle. Now, I'm not sure what I thought would happen, maybe a couple of recipes would come up, but no, not for me. Instead out pops not one, not two, not even three, but 257 recipes. Oh, great - 257 different ways to make fig preserves- who knew? For heaven's sake, I just need ONE - two hours later, after reading about half of the 257 different recipes, I say to heck with this - let's just take a couple of these, combine them and see what happens.
First things first - wash the figs - cut the figs- measure the figs. This isn't so hard. Okay, two quarts of water, three cups of sugar, six cups of figs, 1/4 cup of lemon juice - OH NO!!!!! The recipe didn't say two quarts it said two cups!!! Pour everything through the colander (have to save the figs) and start again - Two cups of water, three cups of sugar, six cups of figs, and 1/4 cup of lemon juice - bring to a boil and cook.
This is what fig preserves look like after about 2 hours cooking on the stove. About another hour later I had the most beautiful preserves you have ever seen! Mountain Man loves my preserves! Now, I won't bore you with the process of sterilizing the jars, lids and seals, nor the part of 'setting' the preserves in a boiling water bath for ten minutes. The point is - I did this all on my own - with no help from anyone, (well you can't count the Internet - it doesn't stand over you to make sure you don't use 2 quarts of water instead of 2 cups!).
And, guess what, the roof didn't fall in and I didn't kill anyone or even make them sick - maybe there is a place for me in the kitchen - I might not be Emeril, or even Paula Deen, but I am this household's "Susie-Ann" homemaker - and I think I even like it.
Did I hear Food Network calling??? No, well, maybe next week.
Well, this was my first adventure into making preserves - but not my last. I'll share other adventures soon!
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