Figs, figs the magical fruit…the more you eat them the more you….yeah that little ditty doesn’t work so well with the fig reference, but figs really are quite magical. If you’ve never eaten fresh figs, it’s a taste experience like you never expected. They DO NOT taste like Fig Newtons. The filling inside Newtons is fig, but they’re dried figs. When the figs are dried, they have a different flavor from their fresh brethren.
I experienced my first fresh figs last year. I was roaming around the farmer’s market and saw the funny looking fruits all neatly stacked in their boxes. The grower had Mission figs (they are blackish purple color and the sweeter of the figs) and Kadota figs (which are a bright green and not as sweet). I braved the unknown and bought a box of each. Craig initially passed on the opportunity to try this “new” fruit, but quickly grabbed one when he heard me moaning and saw my eyes roll back. (Okay, sometimes I can be a bit melodramatic.) Funny thing is, he got it. We eventually fought over the last little fig left in its box. We were hooked and I made my first fresh fig recipe.
Fast forward a year and I’m still hooked on fresh figs. At times, the quantity of them has gotten a bit out of hand in my house but somehow I find the strength to eat them all. Earlier this year, I grabbed some great Mission Figs and stuffed them with goat cheese, swaddled them in prosciutto and threw them on the grill – a truly decadent appetizer which pairs wonderfully with wine. Hmmm…is it a coincidence that according to the Roman’s, the God Bacchus introduced figs to man? You know Bacchus – the crazy Roman party God who’s the patron deity of wine making and bacchanalia (ba-kǝ-nāl-yǝ 1. any form of drunken revelry 2. orgy). I don’t think so.
Furthering the concept of partying and figs, or partying with figs, I made a batch of fig conserves. Since that’s not really a common word anymore you could call it fig jam, fig preserves (although I didn’t preserve them) or a fig confit. Any of these descriptors fit here. I was attending a brunch and wanted to bring something that would play nicely with everything that would be there, especially the mimosa’s. While some of the ingredients I used may sound odd, trust me when I say they all play very nicely with each other and combine to make something that is much grander than the individual parts. I brought it with a nice wedge of brie but we smeared it on the brie as well as some yummy Madelines, fruit and of course the champagne.
Since I only made 1 batch, and it was going to be eaten the next day, I didn’t preserve it, so what I made technically can’t be called fig preserves. But if you hit upon a motherload of figs you certainly could preserve this easy enough. I used Adriatic figs for this (they had these for a bargain basement price because they were super ripe and wouldn’t make it past that day – Adriatics are also a less sweet fig than the mission figs) but you could use any fresh figs you like or have access too.
Speaking of Bacchanalian endeavors…there was an article in today’s Wall Street Journal (yes, I am a well read individual) called The Friendliest Young Woman in the Room. The article talks about two former Wall Street types who started up a business of “shooter girls.” You know what I’m talking about..those cute girls who walk around all night selling shots contained in those phallic looking test tubes (which I think is hysterically funny when you watch the guys trying to be cool with this penis looking container sticking out of their mouths as they smile – thankfully they don’t think about it that much) for $3 – $5 dollars each that also happen to have some kind of sexual name attached to them (like buttery nipple or the blow job). Oh yeah, and the girls usually dressed very provocatively. (Ummm…I might know about this subject since I did that for almost a year and made some killer money. Oh, and I met my husband at that very same bar while I was working there – just don’t tell him I told you that. SHHHHHHHH!)
Now that you’ve got the back story on the article I can get into the advice part. Today’s post is for the guys out there and it is partly from the article and partly from my own personal experience. So while you ladies can continue reading, for the humor factor of course, you guys need to pull a chair up close to your monitor and pay attention. No, I won’t wear my school marm outfit and slap you on the knuckles with a ruler because you’d like that too much. This is serious business, so pay attention. THAT CUTE SHOT GIRL IS NOT GOING TO GO HOME WITH YOU! EVER! Just like that stripper that you were sure was soooo into you – not gonna happen.
These girls in New York bars may be a little more organized and have a list of practices that they get from their bosses, but shot girls in any bar in America already know these things. Suddenly I feel better about being from Cleveland, as I already knew these “Shot girl Bible rules” plus a few more that I won’t divulge here unless someone wants to pay me for this unique knowledge.
- Personality is key.
- Physical looks alone will only get someone so far.
- Be as friendly, personable, upbeat as possible.
- Customers will feed off your energy.
- Do not spend too much time with a patron or group of patrons.
- Never give up.
- Always be the friendliest girl in the room.
Here’s my advice to you guys and f’n pay attention for a change (sorry shot girls trying to make a buck nowadays – but let’s be frank here…they aren’t going to pay attention, so your income is safe. I’m doing this as a public service because I feel like I need to do so much of that per year.) THAT REALLY CUTE SHOT GIRL ISN’T GOING TO GO HOME WITH YOU. Yep, she might be the only girl you talk to that night but she’s not going to go home with you, take you into the bathroom for a quickie or anything else. She’s going to sell you 25 cents worth of booze, you’re going to pay her $3 – $5 for the (less than a) shot and then you’re going to give her a huge tip that’s commensurate with the size of her boobs, length of hair, her hotness or how nice she was to you. And yes, you are special to her (because she’ll be able to buy her _____ from the tip you gave her so she’ll be back later to see you…because you are “so special” to her.)
To sum this all up. Yep, she’s cute/hot. Yep, she talked to you. Yep, she ma de eye contact with you. She’s not interested in you. But you see that girl over there? The one in the pencil skirt, glasses and high heels? Yeah, the one that keeps glancing over at you. Don’t let the clothes fool you. There’s someone who wants to go home with you. That hot shot girl is just going to tell stories about you.
Makes 1 Pint
- 1 1/2 Pounds Fresh Figs (washed and stems trimmed)
- 1/2 Cup Walnuts (rough chopped)
- 1 Clementine (rough chopped including skin, remove any seeds)
- 1 Tablespoon Orange Blossom Honey (can use any other mild flavored honey)
- 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
- 1 Cup Sugar
Cut figs into a rough chop, skins and all. (Pare off any thick/hard spots)
In a small pot add figs, clementines, honey, lemon juice and sugar. Over medium heat cook contents of pot until they break down. (The time this takes depends on how ripe your figs are. The riper the figs, the less time this takes.)
Once you notice that the contents of the pot are beginning to look like preserves, add the chopped walnuts.
Continue stirring and cooking until the mixture reaches the consistency you are looking for. (When you leave the skin on the clementines, you will continue to see discernible pieces of fruit. Of course, the walnuts will remain intact.)
Remove from heat and cool.
Spoon into jar and cover, commence canning process or spoon into a serving dish.