Fig jam: the story of the woman with the creepy canine
Figs, the fruit of the philosophers, contain infinite properties for health, among which it is always mentioned that it is a magnificent restorative; In addition to being considered the quintessential Mediterranean tree, it is also very symbolic of our Christian culture. I love figs, it seems to me a beautiful fruit, perfect in its shape and color, and with a delicious taste. The truth is that I prefer vegetables and fruits to flowers (it must be because I am Capricorn). I am passionate about touring the markets to choose the best fruits and vegetables; I am also interested in knowing its origin and the peculiarities of the different varieties: a strawberry from Huelva has nothing to do with a strawberry from the Ulla or Tambre river.
Figs bring me a first memory of those late summer afternoons when we were no longer going to the beach and our mothers were looking for any pretext to get rid of us. A must visit was to eat the figs of Rosiña, who lived very close to town and had a very small house and a very large fig tree, in a diminutive village like her. Rosiña was very proud of her fig tree that was loaded with beautiful figs, possibly the only thing she could boast of since Mother Nature had not endowed her with great properties or personal charms; for this reason, the arrival of the children at her house, far from bothering her, made her happy and was a good occasion to tell the last details that had happened to her dog and her leafy fig, which were the living beings that kept her company . I know that memories are always idealized by everyone, but I have never eaten figs like yours. I don’t know why, as I grow older I remember with special interest the apparently bland life of people like Rosiña, and when I ask about them, I always receive the same somewhat indifferent reply: “Look who you remember now, a thousand years ago he died!” After all, what interest was this woman’s life to anyone?
Currently, I never buy figs in greengrocers but from countrymen who go to the markets and sell figs from their trees (or so they say) without going through any type of camera. This year, I have made jam from three different fig trees: the first from a town in Granada, Cogollos Vega, which produces a good fig, big and sweet, perhaps because it is located in a cold and high place.
The second ones I found in a small stall that sells fruit and vegetables from the fertile plain of Granada and the Alpujarra, that beautiful wild and leafy area of the Sierra de Granada, which also gives us beautiful figs and hardly any seeds.
And finally, the figs in the last photo, the worst in appearance but undoubtedly the most exquisite. They come from a Galician villager who sells the fruits of her small orchard outside the Santiago market, leaning against the wall of a church; it only comes on Saturdays because it has fewer and fewer chickens; that is, eggs to sell. The merchandise is placed on the floor on top of an old rag but shiny clean and there it displays exquisitely the eggs, some vegetables (beans, lettuce, onions, turnip greens …), freshly picked fruit and a few flowers depending on the season (mimosas, camellias, roses and even sweet peas, that “rare bird” impossible to find even in the best of the florists), and then they will aromatize my house with the perfume of the natural flower. I have the habit of going to this position before any of them, due to the fascination that this “mujericu” produces in me. It is like a character taken from a grotesque in Valle Inglán: high, lanky and lean, aged (perhaps of indeterminate age, which can range from 70 to 90 years), with an elongated, wrinkled, or better cracked face, and “blackened”; of considerable nose, jaw sunk by the lack of teeth, dressed in black with a greyish apron, which indicates that he has been a widow for years, a black scarf in the way that the Galician women put it on, and on top of that a straw hat to garrison the sun, not precisely from the beach, but from work hard that she has carried out all her life in her land, while her husband played the game in the village canteen.
But the most outstanding thing about her is that when she says “as xudias stall moi strawberries, desta mañá “, his only tooth, a monstrous upper canine appears and then his ugliness is accentuated, if possible. He The mediocre portrait I have described of this dreadful woman, whose true spirit only a good expressionist painter could portray, attracts me as the spectral beings of the Haworth moors attracted the Brontes; perhaps because, unlike other saleswomen, screaming and vociferous, I perceive that this woman emanates a strange reality, the reality of beings from another world; I love to haggle, an unquestionable Galician custom, but I would never dare to offer her any other price than the one she requested. Sometimes I have tried to party with her and find out something about her life and, on one occasion, she told me about her two children and she told me without flinching: “A two meus fillos went to America hai tempo, e o outro pra o outro mundo non hai nin un ano ano. “After all, what difference is there between America and the other world, if the consequence is the same for her: the absence of her children?
This jam is not different at all from the others, therefore I will limit myself to summarizing it and I will refer to other jams explained in more detail:
a kilo and a half of ripe figs
a kilo of sugar
1. We remove the tail from the figs and break them into several pieces, and add the sugar (always in the ratio (4X3), which must be well dissolved when it goes to the fire.
2. We add two lemons and let it marinate overnight:
3. The next day we cook it a little more than the other jams because the skin of the fig is harder; so we need about an hour to cook; at first, on high heat for 5 minutes and then more suaae but without stopping boiling.
4. I like to see the pieces of the fig as you can see in the photo. If it has many seeds, you foam it with a strainer, but that does not matter too much because it is typical of this jam.
5. You can pass the arm of the minipimer if you see that it takes a long time to cook:
6. Now you can put it in the cans that must be prepared, as I explained earlier in this link.
7. Fig jam is another beauty of color and texture. I use it for toasts, crostatas and above all, very minced serrano ham sandwiches mixed with jam and: Oh pleasure of the gods!