For many, perhaps the closest we come to a fig is in the shape of a fig Newton, an iconic biscuit that has been around since 1892. Just because we have limited experience of something doesn’t mean we can’t get to know it and see if we like it. Who knows – maybe we stumbled upon something.

I love fresh figs. If you are one of the lucky few to have a fig tree (more like a bush in this area) then they are probably just ripening. Count yourself lucky. These sweet, flavorful bags full of delicacies are a garden gift from the gods. I’m not one of the lucky few, but I was pleased to find fresh figs on sale last week and couldn’t help but buy a large pack. Knowing that I would have to make good use of it over the next few days, I planned my menus around it.

Not only are figs sweet and versatile, they’re also high in fiber, potassium, and calcium. You may think that the whole fig is the fruit, but a fig is actually an inverted flower and the seeds in it are the fruit. Figs were one of the first sweeteners for baking in the Mediterranean and Middle East 11,000 years ago and are still used today as a healthy way to satisfy those with a sweet tooth.

When I got my figs home, the first thing I did was wash them and pat them dry. I kept them in a ventilated container with a paper towel. Although I only cooked for myself and my husband, I made a starter of stuffed figs with prosciutto and Asiago cheese.

The rest is enjoyed in salads, roasted with a dash of balsamic vinegar and nuts, and as freshly baked fig and walnut muffins.

The adventure of preparing some unfamiliar but wonderful fig dishes has led me to try other new endeavors in my life. I’ve never considered myself tech savvy and certainly am not into the latest social media scene, but I kind of downloaded TikTok and, among other things, saw more cooking content than I ever thought possible.

It only took me a year to scroll, watch, and think, “I could do this,” before finally deciding to make one myself. I admit, I still have a very long learning path to go, but what the heck.

The videos make it look so simple, but let me just say – it isn’t. Between the right camera angle and cooking with my phone, not to mention the overwhelming technical possibilities, it was a humbling experience.

I will keep trying and hopefully get better. I could even get my husband to work as a cameraman.

Every time we try something new – be it working with a new ingredient like figs or putting ourselves on TikTok, it’s important to be patient, keep trying and maybe someone will like and share it.

Kathy Nicarry, former cook at Bernheim’s Isaac’s Cafe, combines her passion for cooking with a love of nature. She can be reached at [email protected].

Kathy Nicarry, former cook at Bernheim’s Isaac’s Cafe, combines her passion for cooking with a love of nature. She can be reached at [email protected].