My Mini Fig Pies
Many many years ago, my father took me to my grandmother’s, his mother, to spend the day as usual. He with his brothers would go every Saturday to help their father work around their property. There were chicken coops to clean, grass to cut, trees to trim, and miscellaneous chores to keep their home and acreage pristine. (That did not include killing the chickens for Sunday dinner since that was for my grandmother to do on Sunday morning.)
Of course, I spent my day inside with my grandmother getting the meal prepped for the Sunday family dinner and get-together. My favorite part was watching her make all the desserts. I was only six years old when this started and was not much help to her, but I did stay out of her way even though I thought I was helping.
She was such a delightful and caring nonna. I loved being there even though she could not speak a word of English. Her hand gestures with her soft dialectal Italian were enough for me to understand everything she was saying and doing.
We buzzed around her kitchen, chopping, cutting, rolling out dough, stuffing, bagging, and doing whatever was necessary for Sunday. To tell the truth, she did most of the buzzing and I did most of the food sampling. I was a very plump six-year-old!
When it was time for her to bake the pies, that was when my excitement started. She would make the dough, make all the fillings, and work diligently to have all the pies made to perfection. Now, my job was to take the leftover pasta frolla (sweet pastry dough) and make My Mini Fig Pies.
She would set me up in the kitchen corner with my dough, rolling pin, cookie-cutter, flour, and fig jam. I was now in my glory. I would roll out the dough 1/4 inch thick like she suggested and cut out my little circles.
I was so excited putting the small circles on the cookie sheet and then adding the fig jam to each of the discs. They only took about 15 minutes to bake, and wow, I had my very own desserts to serve on Sunday!
She made my mini pies look incredibly special; we sprinkled them with powdered sugar, and she put a beautiful white doily on the silver tray. When the family all came for Sunday dinner, nonna made it a fun time for me and let me serve my impressive Mini Fig Pies to the whole family at dessert time.
As the years passed, I kept going with my dad to nonna’s until the time came when nonna went to heaven. I am now eighty-one and still remember those incredible Saturdays and Sundays and even make My Mini Fig Pies now with my granddaughter!