A few weekends back John and I went to the Clare Valley for the weekend. We stayed over night at Burra
at Paxton Square Cottages. We stay here every year. They are the first public housing built in South Australia. They were built for the early copper miners. The miners lived in dug-outs in the river and got washed out and drowned when ever it rained. Anyway, these cottages are great. There are walls build of stone a foot thick, lovely comfy beds, basic furniture, no TV or radio, and big open fires in the winter. Plus, a pub across the road! What more could we want.
In the back yard of the cottages is an ancient fig tree. We raided the tree! The fruit was just hanging off and falling to the ground. We gathered up a few plastic bags, and picked until we could carry no more.
When we got home on the Monday I made a great batch of fig jam. The recipe - from my dear departed mother in law.
1 lb of fruit
1 lb sugar
cut off the stems of the fruit, cut in half and cover with sugar overnight. Next day start to cook, boiling until the jam starts to set. Can't tell you the temperature - I just know what it looks like. It gets sticky on the wooden spoon, and gets crinkles in it when you put on a plate.
I had 7 kilo of fruit, which gave me about 20 jars. Enough to last the family for a year
this is the fruit covered in sugar, melting.
All cooked - see how nice and shiney it is. This is a good indicator it is ready.
Some of the 20 jars - I had to do them in 2 batches. Too much for one pot!
The other nice thing about autumn is the Bella Donna lillies. You see them growing were nothing else is alive. By the side of the roads, and in my dry little patch by the front gate. Each year I think they are dead, then these arrow heads appear - and there they are! They are also called Easter Lillies as they appear around Easter time in this part of the world.