, originally uploaded by mulmatsherm.
I have a friend with a fig tree in the back yard of her business on Liberty Street just north of downtown Salem. I didn't know we could grow figs this far north. The temp rarely dips below 20F in the winter, so I guess they would grow just fine here. Funny that we've been here 7 years and this is the first fig tree I've spotted. I always notice interesting plants and agriculture here,
Hoppy Oregon, originally uploaded by mayjor. Hops fields near Brooks Oregon
and filberts (hazelnuts) - this picture is probably from January or February.
*sigh* I LOVE winter in Oregon. It's so lush and mysterious and beautiful...
(I really need to get my camera out in the countryside so I can show you the dill farms and all the beekeeper boxes stacked up at the side of the road when it's time for the dill to be pollinated. I only wish I could capture the smell. Hmm, I wonder how dill honey tastes?)
Every week I check the figs and they should be ready in another two weeks or so. She asked me if I want to gather as many as possible before she cuts the tree back. Fig trees are like filberts, where they have suckers at the bottom and they spread from the base. The tree is gigantic and towers over the roof of the house where her office is located. Anyway, I plan on gathering up figs when they're ready. I'm getting recipes ready to go for fig preserves and etc.
At Christmas, Gram used to make rich, thin, and crispy oatmeal lace cookies that she sandwiched together with a paste she made from dried dates. I think those cookies might be really good with some kind of fig paste. I'll have to experiment. Maybe substituting fig paste for date, prune, or poppyseed paste would work in a lot of my recipes. A lot of them are Czech and Slovak pastries and they use large amounts of these ingredients. Prune Kolache (plural; pronounced KOH-lah-chee) are a favorite and I'm sure substituting fig for prune would be superb. Have you ever heard of kolaches? I should make some.
My Aunts Irene, Rose, Elsie L. and Elsie K. all made kolaches and each recipe was slightly different. You could almost tell who made which batch by the tenderness and flavor of the dough. My favorite version was made by Irene-Rose-Elsie L.-Elsie K.
See? I'm being diplomatic. And honest. They were all great.
As for the figs, I have no what variety they are. The largest ones are about the size of key limes, small tomatillos, or really large cherry tomatoes (like the kind you buy still on the vine). As they ripen the seem to be turning golden yellow, so my guess would be Calimyrna, not Mission.
Doesn't this look good? I'm not a fan of goat cheese, but some of these other ideas look pretty tasty. Nice party food.
Hmmm, is it lunch time yet?