Figs and knives


FIGS HEREABOUTS have been quite pricey of late, but that has not caused a price increase in this fig bread that I like to buy warm from a basket on the smaller downtown plaza. About $1.25 or 16 pesos.

There are two versions, the integral and the other one, called nata. I always get the integral because it’s a bit better on the healthy scale. I buy it, bag it, and walk to a sidewalk coffee shop on the big plaza, sit, slice and eat some. I never eat it all because it’s too much. But I’ve been known to share.

I slice it with that knife, which I tote in my pocket. I’ve carried that knife in my right pocket for many years. It is very sturdy and has but one blade, which is all you need. I bought the knife in a street market for about three bucks, and it’s served me very well. It has a snazzy, wood handle. Well made and heavy.

When we bought the property where the Hacienda now sits, back in 2002, there was a fig tree in residence. Alas, we had to remove it a couple of years later to construct a carport for the second car, the little Chevy, which we sold last year to buy the new Nissan March.

But that has nothing to do with either figs or knives, just to let you know what happened to the fig tree. A few months ago, my child bride came home with a tiny fig plant in a little pot. It’s now in a planter in the yard, growing sweetly. One day it will be a tree planted in the ground, full of figs.

So I sit at the sidewalk table with warm fig bread that I’ve cut with my snazzy knife, and I admire the brown-skinned beauties passing by, and I think, Jeez, I wish I had done this when I was far younger.

18 thoughts on “Figs and knives

  1. Life is great — even here in Mexico City. I am tempted to move over here for a bit. Then I read your post on the message board that your wife is selling apple pie at her stand. My thoughts then turn to the mountains. Wherever I land, though, it is going to be a good life.


  2. I’ve never heard “nata” to be bread. More like curdled milk, a creamy spread for bread.

    I had a fig tree here in a pot for about three years. I brought it in before the winter frost and put it back out in late spring. That five foot tree gave a lot of fruit in the summer months. I don’t really like figs but the tree had pretty green leaves.


    1. Andean: Nata, in this instance, is simply an ingredient, some sort of dairy thing, as you indicate. As for figs, I’m not a big fan either, but my wife makes fig cupcakes, and they’re great. That’s how I like figs.

      She’s downstairs making them at this very moment. Saturday afternoon approaches! Pastry sale on the plaza. Fly on down, and make it snappy!


      1. Fortunately, knives are still legal in Mexico. In England it is illegal to: sell a knife of any kind (including cutlery and kitchen knives) to anyone under 18, carry a knife in public without good reason — unless it’s a knife with a folding blade 3 inches long (7.62 cm) or less, carry, buy or sell any type of banned knife, use any knife in a threatening way (even a legal knife, such as a Swiss Army knife).

        The maximum penalty for an adult carrying a knife is 4 years in prison and a fine of £5,000.


        1. Andrés: I did not know any of that, but it is not a surprise. England may be even more intrusive in the citizens’ lives than the United States has become.

          You forced me downstairs to measure my shiv. The blade is precisely three inches long, so I’m home free even in England as long as I do not threaten anyone. But given the horrendous level of Mohammedan immigration that the Brits have encouraged in recent years under the dismal umbrella of multiculturalism, I likely would have to do some threatening were I in London.

          Better that I stay here — and out of mischief.


    1. Debi: I was unaware of this fig characteristic. However, instead of planting it close, I will plant it far, out near the gate. They’ll have to get their gossip from the street, but since many folks pass on foot, they will enjoy it more out there anyway. And my wife and I can maintain our privacy. Thanks for the heads-up.


  3. My mother used to serve hot stewed figs about once a month. They are a great natural remedy for constipation. Fig Newtons were once one of my favorite cookies until they started adding High Fructose Corn Syrup instead of sugar.

    For centuries, fig leafs were used by artists to cover-up human genitalia in paintings and sculpture as a form of censorship.


    1. Andrés: There was a big fig bush at my grandmother’s house, and we never lacked for figs in those days. Granny made fig preserves. I’ve never been a fig fan, but they can be okay depending on how they are served. All my life, I have loathed Fig Newtons, however. A grim cookie that one.

      As for covering up our private parts in paintings, I think magnolia leaves would have covered up even more. They are big leaves.

      Didn’t know that about helping constipation. I have almost never been constipated in my life. FYI.


  4. Sitting on the plaza with warm fig bread and coffee watching the brown-skinned beauties. Tough life!


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