Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Mom and the figs

Okay, Piscosours has a short entry about fresh figs, and that conjured up another image of my mother. She lived in a house on a hillside. The side of the house toward the back had a wall with fig bushes (trees) growing about 2 stories high. Now, Mom loved figs. She ate them fresh; she canned them; she made "strawberry preserves" from them using strawberry gelatin; she stewed them and ladled them over hot steaming biscuits.

But, my finest memory of her and figs is that one day she wanted to get all the figs off the bush before the birds got them. So, she got the boys at the cable company where she worked to bring around the cherry picker - you know, that lift thing that a person can stand and work on a platform. She climbed into that lift and worked her way around the fig tree - all the way to the top - picking off those wonderful figs that she loved.

Maybe I did inherit some "derring-do" from her, huh?


Cecilia said...

Sharecropper, my mouth is absolutely watering... she sounds like quite a woman.

Pax, C.

June Butler said...

Maybe I did inherit some "derring-do" from her, huh?

Sharecropper, indeed you did! That was feisty of her.

klady said...

They do sound good. The story reminds me a little of one of my children's great grandmother (their dad's dad's mother). Grandma and Grandpa built themselves a very small, modest brick home down the road from the original farm house, where they lived after they "retired" from active farming. The brick house had some apple trees nearby, and Grandma, who had been picking, preserving, canning and storing all kinds of things all her life, could not rest if she knew that a single apple was not picked and used before the frost came. So every year, we, as just one grandchild (and wife), used to get bags and bags full of apples delivered to us from my in-laws, who brought back carloads of them back up north every time they went down to visit. I've never been much of cook or baker (and definitely not a canner or preserver), but I used to make dozens and dozens of apple muffins to leave at church or play group or with neighbors.

Every year I'd has my husband if maybe we could persuade Grandma just to send a single bag so I wouldn't risk wasting or throwing some out. He'd just roll his eyes and say that it was much easier to just take them than to try to reason with Grandma.

Grandma also was the woman who used to put her foot hard on the gas while driving through unmarked intersections in the countryside, claiming that the faster she went through, the less time, and thus the less chance of a collision. Unfortunately she finally did get into an accident (which, fortunately, did not result in any serious injuries), and slowed down some after that. It just was always something to think of Blanche (Grandma), such a smart woman (and a former schoolteacher), who must have known darned well that her theory of speeding through intersections made no sense, who nevertheless stuck to it for so long, just as an expression of her own stubborn, independent nature (and maybe a love of driving at high speeds -- no wonder my husband was enamored with race cars and his dad, who turned out to be an insurance executive, nevertheless trained fighter pilots for WWII).

A certain amount of derring-do is a good thing to inherit -- maybe especially for a woman.

shallotpeel said...

Yes, but you'd never have done it in high heels! Boots maybe, sure, but high heels in a cherry picker?

Cynthia said...

What chutzpah and what a passion for figs!

My grandparents had pecan trees in their yard. And my grandfather's saying about how to say 'pecan': a peh-cahn is a nut; a pee-can is what you go to the bathroom in!