Not only do I admire the inventor of the Ginger Figgle, but I appreciate all things fig. Michelle and I were walking Cooper last evening and as we approached our street I noticed that our neighbor has a beautiful fig tree in their front yard. Not only do they have a fig tree, but it happens to have figs almost ready to pick. Now I’m excited, but also surprised. I am surprised because the day before Chef Greg (my brother) said its a little late for figs when I inquired about why I can’t find a fresh fig at the HEB. I had given up on this awesome looking dish that Michelle found for us to make on the grill. It was fresh figs, goat cheese, and prosciutto grilled on a oak plank for a smokey yummy sweet spicy creamy happiness. Greg, the chef, had pooped all over my grilled fig parade.
But there are the figs. In my neighbors yard. All this time and I never noticed them before. I’ve walked by this house easily 200 times in this last year. Never not one time did I ever see a fig tree in their front yard. I’m so excited.
I don’t really know these folks. I’ve waived from the street. One evening me and Cooper said hello as they were pruning a different tree. The woman of the house loved Cooper. He is a lady killer after all. I’ve talked to the man of the house when he was in the driveway working on his bright red BMW. I asked what happened to the gorgeous silver Sting Ray that used to be in his driveway. He sold it. Got the BMW instead.
So there you have it. Sexy sport cars sucked all the attention out of me. It took a renewed love affair with figs to finally see their fig tree with figs ripening (sorry brother, I think everything is late this year).
Now I have to go down there to my neighbors house and hope to catch the man working on his car. I then have to devise a way to move the conversation to figs from BMW’s. It would be easier to take Michelle with me. She will storm the front door to directly ask them if we can have some figs instead of just letting them drop on the grass for the yard crew to clean up next week. Sadly, it looks like the final resting place for many of these figs will be a Hefty 40 gallon lawn bag unless I rescue them.
The whole fig thing started a few months ago. Back in March I believe it was. Events that took place in March ultimately led me to the Ginger Figgle and the great fig find down the street.
So back in March, we started a project, with Cooper's help, to take out two flower beds and sod them over. We then made a new and bigger flower bed along the fence. As of July the new sod looks grassy and the new flower bed looks flowery. Only problem is that the Loquat tree AKA Japanese Plum didn’t like the raised bed or its new neighbors. It slowly croaked. It wasn’t pretty. Michelle and I watched as this poor tree died a slow miserable death. Finally in early June I cut what was left down which this left this blank spot in the far back right corner of our yard. What to do, what to do. After several evening discussions Michelle and I decided that a fig tree would be cool.
Michelle went back home to Panama City Fl for a extended vacation. Lots of friends and family to see. She made one sales call so I could pay for the 10 day trip. She had a lovely time and one day while visiting her grandmother she learned that they had made some cuttings of the Dudley Fig Tree. The Dudley Fig Tree is famous in Panama City, FL. It's fed 4 generations of Dudley's. Seems the main tree was feeling sickly after many generations so they took some cuttings and by god they rooted.
About a week after Michelle returned from her month long vacation she received a UPS package with two Dudley fig cuttings. They found their way into a pot under our oak tree that guards the pool and I will be a son of a bitch if they aren’t sprouting out new growth. Soon there will be Dudley Fig Trees in two places in the house on Woodbriar.
With figs on the brain while scanning my newest issue of Food and Wine the Ginger Figgle jumped off the page at me. This was on the heels of an episode of Top Chef Masters where they chef’s had to match a dish with a Stoli Cocktail. The Ginger Figgle caught my eye. Funny episode too if you hadn't seen it.
So what began as a backyard improvement project months ago has brought me to the Ginger Figgle. Now I'm ready to grill some fresh ones while sipping on this marvelous martini. Just go to find some fresh figs.
The Ginger Figgle Martini:
The Line Up
2 - 3 thin slices fresh ginger
5oz good vodka
2 bar spoons of fig jam
1oz freshly squeeze orange juice
The Fixin Part
Place ice and some water in 2 martini glasses to let them chill
Muddle ginger and fig jam in a cocktail shaker
Fill shaker with ice
Cover and give it a healthy shake for about a minute
Pour ice water out of chilled glasses
Strain shaker while pouring
Garnish with wedge of Orange
If you have a fresh fig, place a wedge in with the drink