Friday, February 25, 2011

Figgy Feasts & Chick Chasey

The figs are ripening and providing a lovely feast for the birds at the moment.  Figs are a bit tricky.  You can't pick them too early because they don't ripen off the tree.  You have to catch them when they're just right - changed colour and easily twisted from the branch.  Leave them too late and they'll mush attracting all the insects.  And they spoil very quickly once picked.  We let the birds eat the top figs on our tree, there's always still plenty left for us.

The chicks are also enjoying the figs and providing me with entertainment.  I know animal creatures really ought not to be human entertainment but I do love to watch a game of Chick-Chasey.  Every morning the chicks greet me in their coop with squawks and yelps as they literally climb all over each other in a fight for the door.  Funny how they know exactly where the door is in the morning but struggle to find their way back in when it rains.  Anyway, they fight for the door and make a chick line for the fig tree looking for any that have fallen overnight.  Then one will pick a bit up in her beak and do a funny chicken run in an attempt to find a private place to consume it with all the other chicks in tow.  Another will steal the fruit and the game continues.
Eldest Monkey Boy loves a fig but naturally Littlest Monkey Boy won't even try.  Unless it's in a jam which I'll have to do again this year.

The other day I attempted a special figgy treat for myself. My current all time favourite tapas-style recipe for visitors is peppered figs with haloumi cheese. The recipe comes from George Calombaris' Greek Cookery from the Hellenic Heart book.  Well it was my birthday this week and I was alone for lunch but decided I would treat myself anyway.  The recipe calls for baby dried figs.  I figured it'd be just as good with big fresh figs - maybe a bit sloppier so I'd leave out the water.  And it tasted pretty good. But it looked like green diarrhea.  So I've spared you the photograph.

Below is the recipe as written by George. I urge you all to try it - truly is the most delish thing ever.  He recommends serving it with grilled haloumi but I've only ever fried mine and it was my birthday.  So I've included how to fry haloumi if you feel the need for a few extra kilojoules.

Peppered Figs with Haloumi

For the Figs:
• 100g dried baby figs
• 1 tbsp Attiki honey (still delish with your usual)
• 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
• 1 tbsp black pepper, cracked
• 1 cinnamon quill
• 1 small bay leaf
• 3 cloves
• water to cover

Place figs, honey, balsamic vinegar, black pepper, cinnamon quill, bay leaf and cloves in a saucepan.  Add water and bring to the boil.
Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook gently until tender.  Preserve in a sterilised jar.

For the Haloumi:
Cut haloumi into slices about 1cm thick. You can soak them in water if you don't like them to be so salty but I reckon the saltiness is the best bit. Heat some olive oil in a non stick frypan.  Cook the haloumi on both sides until golden and crispy.

Serve the haloumi warm with the figs on top.


  1. Oooh, I love figs. I ordered a fig tree and can't wait until it arrives. I bet the chicks loved the fig treat. Your chickens are gorgeous.

  2. happy belated birthday Suzanne. Yummy lunch ,must try Those chicks are so cute.

  3. Happy Birthday.
    Your fig tree looks so healthy and productive. Ours has 3 or 4 figs (not ripe yet)and no leaves due to an infestation by some sort of creepy crawly. Figs are so nice and so expensive to buy.

  4. Love the sound of this recipe even though the visual description doesn't sound too appetising! My neighbours have figs so I will be begging some to try it out. I love Haloumi - the other day we ate it with sesame seeds and honey - very yummy.

  5. I know this is a fig post but I feel like hugging your silky. Can 1?

  6. We don't have a fig tree. But as fig is in the season now we got them from our local community fruit and veggie swap with our home-saved seeds. I like the fig colour in your pic. I like to feel how soft is your silky feather;-).

  7. Yum figs! Our back neighbour has a fig tree but there's only so many I can reach by leaning precariously over the fence, I envy yours in easy reach. :)

  8. Belated Birthday Wishes to you. How nice to have been able to treat yourself to a favourite dish on a special day, but I hope you had congenial company for Dinner to help you celebrate!
    I am also a fan of figs. I like them with blue cheese. Wish I had a fig tree in my garden, because the fruits cost a lot in the shops.

  9. Happy birthday Suzanne!! You are lucky to have a big old fig tree! Your silkie looks just like my CloudZen :)


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