Tomorrow summer will end for me. I know that technically we still have over a month left but we all know that regardless of how beautiful it still is outside, once school starts, it’s really over.
One of my favorite things that we did this summer was to make our own fig preserves. We have sweet neighbors down the street who share their figs with us and for about two weeks we climb their trees and pick as many figs as we can. Then we bring them all home where we cook them down in lots of sugar and turn them into preserves.
Fig preserves are a big deal in my family. I don’t know if it's a southern thing or just my family but we don’t make strawberry or raspberry, we only make pear and fig.
My grandmother always made the fig preserves. She never chopped them into bits like you find in the grocery store. They were preserved whole in a thin golden syrup and they were divine!
Every summer, my cousin and I would go and stay for weeks in my grandparent’s house in northern Alabama and every night, before bed, my grandfather would always announce that it was time for a snack. We would all squeeze into their little kitchenette and wait while my grandfather set to work.
After a few minutes of opening cabinets, he would set out plates, Peter Pan peanut butter (creamy, of course!), a sleeve of saltines, and a jar of my grandmother’s fig preserves. The method was precise; he would smooth just enough of the peanut butter onto the cracker and then would very carefully place one single fig on top. I look back now and realize what simple, common ingredients they were but, served with a glass of cold milk, those common ingredients combined into the best thing I had ever tasted! And to this day, it's what I prefer. It reminds me of them, of those sweet times and of summer itself.
So, here’s to the end of summer and to all of our traditions that go along with it!
What traditions do you have that remind you of summer?