Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Missy's Homestead: Bad Tasting Fruit, Delicious Spread Does Not Make

Missy's Homestead:  Bad tasting fruit, delicious spread does not make.

I like to be perfect.  There is no such thing I know but honestly it is how I feel about most of the things I try to do in my life.  As you all might imagine wanting perfection in everything one one does can only lead to heartache at times.  Living in my little homestead world has given me plenty of chances to deal with this part of my personality.  I am starting to learn that it doesn't all come out exactly the way you planned and that you just have to learn from it and pick yourself up.  In face my most recent disappointment came in the form of some small little purple figs.  Homemade Jam: 

I have been talking about making Jam and curing olives, etc. etc. for awhile now.  I really wanted to do it this season.  However, fruit can be expensive in those quantities and so can jars.  Since I was working with a small budget I decided to try and make a small batch before I attempted a larger batch. Across the way from my little cottage is a Fig Tree that no one uses and on it there were many ripe figs free for the taking.  So one afternoon I went and picked a bunch of figs from the tree and went back home to make a very small batch of reduced and sugared fig spread. 

One of the stories that my mother often read to me as a child was about this little girl called mini muffin who, long children's story short, made muffins but didn't follow the recipe and was than shocked when the muffins tasted horrible.  The story was about following directions etc. etc.  Well you would think that after all that time I would know better than trying to make things work the way I want them instead of the natural way life goes.  Oh no...not me.  When I got home with the figs looked beautiful however when I tasted them they didn't have a ton of flavor.  I knew in my head that bad tasting fruit was not what was best for the recipe but I said oh this will be better once I add a bunch of sugar and cook those babies down.  It will taste great. 
I chopped up the figs and added lemon juice a bunch of sugar and reduced those figs down as per the recipe I had found on line.  Everything was going fine and in the end the finished producted looked great.  I tasted it and it was fine.  But not amazing.  Oh...it needs time to set and cool before it will be delicious I told myself.  Sadly as you can imagine after the spread was in the jar for a few days it did not taste any better.  It tasted pretty bad.  And can you believe I was actually disappointed?  How silly of me to assume that not starting with the best fruit for the spread I wanted to make would yield a product that was delicious.  As I thought more and more about it I was not surprised.  Of course there was no way that the fruit was going to get better if I just added all those other ingredients.  If I didn't start with the best fruit there was nothing that was going to change that.   My good intentions were there but obviously there is a reason why no one else wanted to use those figs.  There was something just not right.  Sometimes the best intentions lead to disappointment.  But I will not let that get me down.  The next Jam session will be different. 

More to come. And remember it is not a failure if something doesn't work out the way you intended if you take the time and learn something from your trials.  It is only a failure if you fail to learn the lessons.

Until next time.  Consume More, Buy Less, Always use the best figs.

Missy

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