It has now been many years since I have tasted my first fresh juicy honey sweet fig. It was many many years ago, while on our first ever holiday together with the Cooked Husband, then boyfriend, and while we were driving all around and accross Malta and Gozo, he was often asked to stop the car so that I could climb out and collect ripe lush figs from trees that were all around without anyone tending to them.
It's also been a few years since I realised that people actually grow them here in UK and get to harvest their own figs. And so a dream was born, a small one, you could say, to one day have my own fig tree and to be able to eat figs directly from it, still warm from the sunshine. This summer saw me fulfilling this dream.
When we moved to this house, I knew that there was a perfect place to plant a fig tree. Our terrace is south facing, and we have a lovely corner sun trap, just above the indoor staircase, so I can see the beautiful leaves stroke the window when I walk up to the kitchen in the morning in our upside-down house.
After a huge disappointment of last year, when all the fruit dropped of the tree with rusty spots, I have had a feast like no else during the last month or so. Watching this beautiful tree grow from a small 'stick' into a large lovely and proud tree was a huge pleasure and then, finally, see the fruit ripen made the feeling even better. The figs start very small, smaller then the nail on your pinkie, cosily attached to the branch. As summer gets nearer, they slowly grow bigger but stay hard and green.
Being me, I bought a lovely fig in the market one day in early July, and brough it home to 'show it' to the tree. I mean, this tree was born in a garden centre in the UK, how could he possibly know what to do? You can think I am crazy but all I care about is that it worked!
A few weeks after this 'tree education' we noticed one of the figs getting bigger and darkening. Then it swelled massively almost overnight and became plump and soft and sweet smelling, and then it got plucked of the tree and ended up being my breakfast. The best breakfast ever. Sweet as honey, full of crunchy yummy seeds, deep red colour inside while purply yellow in the outside, just perfect. Many more followed over the next three or four weeks, ripenning one, two or even five at a time, every one of them enjoyed to one hundred percent. I played with the idea of creating something from them but have abandoned it at the end as this fruit is simply so perfect as it is, I had no desire to waste any of it in some recipe disaster ;-)
As I write there are still small green figs on the branches and I hope we will have a second harvest time in late September, which is the time we went to Malta all those years ago. I am the greedy one!
And so for me, it is time for a new dream, I think... A fig tree orchard, perhaps? But maybe I shall be more ambicious this time, as with the Living Magically program beginning this week I have to learn to dream big and allow magic into my life, here and now.
What are you dreaming about? And it does not have to be food related!