Guess what time it is?

It’s fig-picking time down the bayou, and as the comments on the fig recipe post show, lots of other places, too.

So, guess what I’ve been doing?  So far, I think we’ve picked about five gallons off the tree, about that many have hit the ground during the torrential rains, and about that many have been eaten by the birds and squirrels.  The old Fig Tree really produced some beautiful figs this year.

Seems like I’m always making fig preserves on my birthday, which I truly love doing.  It really is rewarding, and it doesn’t require a lot of work for the reward.  So far this week, I’ve put up four batches of mock strawberry, made from figs using Jello, and a couple batches of whole fig, preserved the old-fashioned way of slow cooking with sugar and lemon.

If you have access to a fig tree or can buy a gallon from someone, go for it.  You will be so glad you did and your family and friends will be so impressed with the fruits of your labor.  A craftily-decorated jar of homemade jam makes a beautiful gift for someone who has been ill, or for a holiday gift, or just because.

I look at it like this:  When we don’t have anything else, we will still have time–time to do things like canning for our families and others.  Even when I have nothing else, hopefully the Fig Tree will still produce, and hopefully I can afford the sugar.  If I don’t have lemons, maybe I’ll have lemon juice.  If I can make preserves each summer, I will always have something that I can share.  And that makes me feel really good on my birthday, especially.

So,  tomorrow, I will resurrect for the third time, our family fig preserve recipe and hope that everyone will try it again this summer and add their own twists and turns to it.

Happy Birthday to ME!!!!!


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  1. Ohhhh…it’s been so long since I have picked figs. Reminds me of my youth here in Louisiana. We picked figs every summer and then grandma would preserve them and put them up on the shelves. The pix are great. Much needed at this time when Louisiana is in so much flux. Roots.


  2. BW hi Just got done picking my second batch if figs . I just beat the rain and theres still a bunch out there and its still pouring. I canned up 8 quarts yuesterday and will do the ones i got today and any I get in the AM tomorrow.. Made a bobo tho’ wore short rubber gloves and my wrists got toasted. that sdap is awful, but the figs are worth it. I have orders for about 15 quarts and will put a sign out for the rest if theydon’t go at the farmers mkt next Saturday. Also got peach preserves, pepper jelly (hot) a few dewberry left and chow chow and hot sweet relish. canning season id great , Talk about instant gratification; they look so pretty and taste so good, and in my case, I also get the ego bump from all my customers. The downside is no time to fish til its done but I guess I’ll survive a couple more weeks, or just blow it off one day and go any way.

    1. Girl, we are gonna have to get together! You fit right in here on this blog! I’m glad to make your acquaintance! And I’d LOVE to try some of your canning handi-work! See ya! BW

      1. BW Pics of canning stuff on my facebook pg but dont know if ya got one -if so friend me- moura maun

        1. Would LOVE to get your recipe for chow chow! I had a certain kind about 20 years ago, and have yet to find any like it!

  3. Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear BW, happy birthday to you! (AND many more)
    I’ve picked figs between the showers (down pours sometimes) and I still haven’t quite finished. I don’t have nearly the amount you do though. Gustave took out my big tree. I did take a cutting from it which I need to plant. My cutting is about 2 1/2 ‘ tall now.
    BTW, Do you or any of your “followers” have a recipe for sugarless preserves? I don’t want to experiment with the few figs I do have this year.

    1. I hear that Baritone!!! you are the FIRST AND ONLY person to sing that to me today. No cake this year. No singing, either I guess. They DO go together, don’t they? Thanks!1

    2. you are the THIRD person to ask for that this year. Is Sue-Jel pectin made from sugar????? I guess I’ll have to experiment with my extras.

      1. they make sure-gel and ball pectin for for less sugar but the ball is the only one I know that does the really sugar free stuff. I makes sugarfree jams for some of my diabetic customers. If ya want to experiment tho try this with a few figs: start them off with about a cup per Gal of unsweet apple juice concentrare(the forzen kind) put in a T lemon juice to clarify the figs and cook a til almost done add splenda to taste and finish cooking. the syrup will be thin but it might work. I’ll see if I can find a recipe, I’m pretty lucky at that part. good luck

        1. Hey Swam, read Cammy’s response and link. Sounds like she answered the question, also. It’s good to share information until we find what works the best. Thanks for your contributions! BW

  4. Well happy birthday. I saw gold turkey figs at the store and was wondering.

    These grocery things are like eating lint covered packing peanuts.

    Got my imported preserves in fridge though.

  5. Mom came by yesterday on her way to the store for jello and sure jel. Her fig trees are loaded this year. She has the small sugar figs and the large turk figs.

    BW & Steffi, for a low sugar/no sugar recipe, go to and scroll down to step 6. It gives the info you need.

    1. D@%#, I got this too late. My figs are cooking right now. However, I did put the site on favorites to try next year.

  6. Sorry, I forgot to add that even further down, it gives the type of artificial sweeteners that will NOT work. And it gives links to other pages where you can find recipes to make your own pectin.

  7. Happy Birthday, BW! From the sounds of things, you don’t need a cake for there to be plenty of sweetness around!

    I’ve not seen a single fig this year in any of our markets – I’m so jealous. I met my first fig when I was a senior in high school, but unfortunately they were brandied and I thought they were gross.

    I didn’t eat a fresh fig until about ten years ago and I fell in love with them. But they’re so hard to find. It must be wonderful to have such bounty right there at hand!

    1. Oh, honey, and I wish you were here right now because I’m about figged out. And the ones I can’t reach up high in the tree are a deep purple color and I would LOVE to taste one of those. Alas, I can only stare at them longingly from the upstairs bedroom window . . . . until I remember to take a ladder up to the camp with me, that is! Don’t know how much longer they will last. Are you still coming back?

  8. We bought a house 5 yrs ago and were blessed to find 3 fig trees on our property. One has been putting out figs each year but the other two bare no fruit at all. Last year we made fig preserves for the first time and loved it. This year one of the storms knocked down part of the tree that has producing figs. I am afraid the rest of it will die soon. I want to plant some more trees, what variety do you recommend.

    1. Maybe my readers could chime in about the best kind. Cammy is very knowledgeable, as well as Steffi and Swampwitch. I think a common fig is the Celeste. I’m not sure what area of the country you live in, and I think that has some bearing on the type of tree you should plant. Anyone else care to chime in on this? Thanks, BW

      1. I’ve got Celeste too.
        I’m hoping to get a cutting from a Turkey Fig tree soon. I really don’t see this friend turning me down when I ask for a cutting. I sent him a 2 1’2′ Celeste tree for Fathers Day. He’s the father of my favorite daughter-in law over 5’8″. BW, (you’ve met her.)
        You want a cutting too?

        1. Ewwww! That would be SWEET! I’ll plant it at the new house, because when the old trailer is demolished, I’ll have more front yard to play with!

          1. OK, Swamp Witch…My cuttings were taken in Aug. I lost my big tree to Hurricane Gustauve, so I just cut some pieces (12″) of the newer growth, stuck them in some Miracle Grow potting soil, said a prayer and watered it regularly.

        1. Today is the first day in a while that I didn’t cook figs. I went to the tree, picked a few deep purple ones for my breakfast, and went back home. Didn’t even pick the rest. Left them for the birds, because today I had to go to town and do something very “citified” . . . . . SHOPPING!!! Dotter and I had a very productive shopping trip today and I think I feel a post brewing!

  9. Happy Birthday BW!! I have made 5 batches of strawberry jam and have several more types in the works!! Love having jars of goodness to pass around.

    1. Hi Teresa! It is great having jars of goodness to pass around, isn’t it? Be sure you come back and tell us what other kinds you make, okay? BW

  10. Thanks for a great site and great recipes! I found you while looking for a recipe for fig preserves. Your ‘old fashioned fig preserves’ recipe is just like my granny put up in Mississippi in my youth (long ago). Can’t wait to try them. Happy Birthday! And thanks for keeping us all posted on bayou life. Are you still looking for a recipe for fig pie as requested by Terry back in July ’08? I have one and would be glad to share.

    1. I’m not sure if anyone posted a tried and true fig pie recipe. But I would be happy for you to post it here, if you would like! Thanks for the birthday wishes and I hope the old fashioned recipe works well for you. BW

  11. If anyone is close to Duson that wants fig trees I got celest and the branches have touched the ground and rooted themselves. probably got about 4 that can be trimmed off and planted. I’m not sure when that should be done tho. My tree is awsomely huge and I can.t reach the top either even with the branch catcher EJ made me. Oh well the birds are happy and sing in the tree even when I pick

    1. It must be done in the winter, when the tree has no leaves and is dormant. If I’m wrong, I’m sure the experts that know more than I will honk their horns soon enough! Let’s stay in touch on that and maybe I could come get some for a few of us over this way! Thanks for the generous offer. Just finished canning 10 half pints of mock raspberry and 7 half pints of whole fig. Mmmm. Still have 2 gallons in the frig to deal with but I’m OUT OF JARS.

  12. Disaster! I lost 1 pint while taking it out of the water bath. When I picked up the jar the BOTTOM literally fell off! Hot figs all over the place. I’ll probably be mopping up sticky syrup for a week.
    BW, it doesn’t take too long to get a lot of replies when your blog is about food. LOL

    1. I know, huh? Oh my goodness! Do you think that jar had a weak spot near the bottom? I have had that happen one other time and it was a terrible mess and the splash was HOT on my legs. Did you get burned? Oh well, we were both cooking figs today. Hey Swampy? Were you cooking figs today?

  13. I hate it when the bottom stays in the cooker!
    I’m not sure when to put out the fig cuttings. Moms trees have hit the ground and rooted themselves too. Now that she has sold all her chickens/guineas, she should have tons of figs! She put wire around the bottom of the trees every year and the chickens still tried to stretch thru to those sweet figs!
    We had a huge turk fig tree here over 30 yrs ago but, our son is highly allergic to the plant and the outside skin of figs. He loves them but, we have to skin them first. We cut the tree down to save him from disasters when he was out playing. Now, I get figs from mom and my neighbor has a turk fig tree in her front yard about 55′ from my front door. I have an open invitation to help myself whenever I want them. Some of hers this year are almost as large as a baseball!

  14. This is a follow up request (from yesterday) by BW for Swamp Witch.

    My cuttings were taken in Aug. I lost my big tree to Hurricane Gustauve, so I just cut some pieces (12″) of the newer growth, stuck them in some Miracle Grow potting soil, said a prayer and watered it regularly.

    1. Uh, yea, the prayer worked because that is the hottest month of the year and God wanted that tree to live because it should have DIED. D E A D.

      1. Prayer must have been the answer, because everything I’ve read (good ole Google) since yesterday says I did EVERTHING WRONG. I didn’t have much of a choice on the season though. I figured if it worked, GREAT! If not, I didn’t have anything to lose, my tree was gone thanks to the hurricane!

  15. I’ve never had fig preserves and I’m trying hard to think if I’ve had a fig in anything besides a Fig Newton. Save a jar back because I swear I am coming down there by this time next year if I have to just pick up my purse and drive off!