8 Jan 2011


Everyone will sit under their own vine
and under their own fig tree,
and no one will make them afraid,
for the LORD Almighty has spoken.

Micah 4:4 NIV
I dare say it was Melbourne's immigrant Italian and Greek population that was responsible for the proliferation of fig trees in the gardens of our city's northern suburbs. We have two in our Melbourne garden, and a large one here in the country. They bear huge amounts of fruit, and seem to thrive on benign neglect, although I must say that a little extra water does result in bigger juicier figs.

Our biggest challenge is beating the musk parrots to the figs. The Italians cover each cluster of fruit in a paper bag, and their lovingly tended trees are a reminder to me of just how beautiful these trees can be if you do care for them. Still, even sharing with the birds, our three trees provide enough in their two crops each summer to keep our entire extended family in figs, and since that number includes a couple of real fig aficionados, that is saying something.

My favourite way to eat figs is warm from the tree. We eat them with soft goats cheese, and they are sublimely delicious.

Jemimah loves them grilled on the barbeque with brown sugar and butter. Oh, how wicked are these - especially with a piece of milk chocolate melted onto each half! We devour them with vanilla icecream or thick King Island vanilla yoghurt. Life doesn't get much better than this, sitting outside on a warm summer evening feasting on warm grilled figs and sipping on a chilled glass or two of Rutherglen muscat.

For friends who don't like the somewhat strange texture of raw figs, I always recommend they try them poached in syrup. We add a couple of tablespoons of Cointreau to ours to make them extra yummy, but vanilla works as well. These, topped with a dollop of sweetened yoghurt, are a family fave as well.

In case you've started thinking that A Peaceful Day is now a gardening blog, never fear. We start back with school on Monday. Jemimah and I will be heading to Melbourne for three weeks of intensive swimming lessons, and I won't be posting about my peaceful garden at all.

It's not all bad in Melbourne though - the figs and the nectarines will be ripe. Mmmmmmmm


  1. Nectarines, yes; figs, bleh! I give ours away. Don't 'spose you want some...?

  2. Now, those sound like some fig recipes I could like. I don't think I ever even tasted fresh fig until I came to Japan. In my house growing up the only thing I associated with figs were store-bought Fig Newton cookies that my dad loved to eat (blech!).

    I personally love your garden posts - especially since yours looks so lovely while ours is at rest!

  3. My fig tree is only a few years old and doesn't yet produce more figs than we eat raw from the tree but those recipes sound yummy. And as yet the birds haven't discovered them - unlike the cherries which were all eaten unripe even with netting! I like the gardening blogs - but then I'm not homeschooling anymore.

  4. Hi there! Thanks for visiting my blog. It's been awhile since I've been here to see you, but I'm going to try to visit more often. I love your gardening blogs, and summer.....aaahhhhhh. We are in the midst of winter here and I'm so tired of it already. I'm getting gardening books in the mail and am getting the itch to plant something. Can you believe, I've never had a fig! Ever. I'll have to see if they grow here in Indiana. And even though I'm not a huge tomato fan, I do think they mean summer. And it is the one plant I grow when I don't grow anything else! Such a huge variety and I do like salsas. Oh well....better get back to the unfinished projects I have to work on. Chat later. Cindy

  5. There is only one thing I will say about figs -yuck. Strongly disliked them as a child, still think they are horrible. But please enjoy your figs.

  6. I adore, adore, ADORE figs, and my greatest sorrow (okay, maybe not greatest, but you know what I mean) is that I do not have my own fig tree. And I'm with you, Jeanne -- quelle surprise! -- that they are best eaten right off the tree. I like them with goat cheese, too.

  7. Figs are one of my favourite fruits. Tomato is my favourite fruit-that-is-really-a-vegetable-to-me. Amazing our tastes are so similar!

    Do you like persimmons? I love them. When we were in China, dried persimmons became my favourite food of all time.


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