My weekend was filled with two of my favorite things. Pickled okra and fig preserves. Thanks to generous friends with gardens much larger than ours, I was overcome with fresh brown turkey figs. If there's one fruit I couldn't live without, it would be figs. We even bought a house once based mostly on the enormous fig tree at the end of the driveway. No wonder they are mentioned so much in the Bible; eating figs is the closest to Heaven many of us have been. I made a batch of preserves so I can enjoy them in the dead of winter. I cooked equal amounts (in weight) of halved and stemmed figs and granulated sugar. I cook my preserves for several hours before I begin the ritual of canning. While most people my age were out with a cocktail on Friday night, I was standing at the stove processing jars of liquid gold. No complaints here.
I also had a bag of fresh okra as large as a couple of watermelons. I saved some to fry for tonight and pickled the rest. I found the okra I pickled and canned last summer didn't last too terribly long on the shelf. It should be eaten within a few months to keep the pods from turning into sponges of vinegar. This time, I tried this recipe from myrecipes.com. It's spicy and goes straight in the fridge. I was eager to try a version that didn't need to be canned. The okra is fabulous and the recipe is now the one I'll use each time.
What's my next project? A huge batch of pepper jelly.