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Fruit Falls Far From The Tree

A plastic tray of Fig Newtons

A plastic tray of Fig Newtons (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I always have Fig Newtons in the pantry. When I was little, my grandmother used to give them to me when I went downstairs to visit her apartment. I’m almost fifty years old now. I always have Fig Newtons in the pantry.

Throwing Newtons

One day, while my son was home from college, I was having a little snack. I threw a Newton at him, because I think that spontaneous goofiness is a good thing. He caught it, because he knows I’m prone to throwing things.

As he ate the cookie he said “it’s kind of funny how these things don’t taste like figs.”

Like a lot of things my son says, this was a revelation to me. I thought the cookie was a fair representation of what a fig tastes like. Apparently, I have no idea what I am talking about on this matter. If you’d have asked me, I would have told you that figs taste like the inside of those cookies.

I stand corrected.

My son believes that fresh figs are better than what is in the cookie. Of course his opinion in the matter carries considerably more weight than mine. Unlike me, he has eaten an actual fig, sans cookie.

Forbidden Fruit

My grandfather had a fig tree. The fig tree lived in the little concrete courtyard of the apartment house we lived in, way back when.

The tree did not have an ordinary life. My grandfather planted it inside the shell of an old washing machine. He put wheels on the washing machine so the tree could be moved around the courtyard to where the sun was best. Lovingly cared for and protected, the tree produced forbidden fruit.

No one but my grandfather ever ate the fruit that tree bore. No one. He picked the fruit, put it out to ripen and ate it. All of it, every year. My grandmother ate Fig Newtons. I was in my teens the last time I saw the tree. There were fresh figs on the table. I sat with grandma and had a Newton.

Fruit Can Fall Far From The Tree

Fig Tree

The fruit doesn’t. Except sometimes.

A tree started growing next to my parents’ house. It bore fruit all through my son’s childhood. Figs. My dad planted it. He grew it from a cutting of the forbidden fruit tree.

My dad’s fig tree thrived, even though it was not planted inside any sort of appliance. When my son visited my parents he ate the fruit from that tree. He knows what a fig is like.

They say that fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree. I think that is probably true for figs and for most people. My dad isn’t most people, nor is he a fig. He is definitely not his father. I think he fell from the tree in a brisk wind and sailed like a kite.

Thank you Wind.

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66 Comments on “Fruit Falls Far From The Tree”

  1. What a nice message of hope…and figs of course! I had a fig newton as a child that was very stale so have not cared for them since. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    One of your best, Oma. Really delightful reading. I love figs and I love Fig Newtons but I have no fig tree nearby.

  3. t says:

    it never once dawned on me that a Fig Newton would taste anything different than a Fig, un-Newtoned. Thanks for the new piece of knowledge and a lovely post!

  4. madtante says:

    I always get dates and figs confused. There’s a joke there but I’m not making it. I like Fig Newtons but don’t like the “other” flavors. I’m sure they’re “fine” but I want my Newtons figgy.

  5. Lenore Diane says:

    I agree with Snoring Dog, and this will go down as one of my all time favorites.

    In my childhood home, we had a fig tree growing in our backyard. I remember the milky liquid that would seep from the stem of the fig when plucked.

    My Dad kept a shot gun by the window in his bedroom, which overlooked the fig tree. If the squirrels were being particularly greedy with the figs, my Dad opened the bedroom window and fired the gun.

    Hmmm… perhaps it was BB gun, and perhaps it only happened once. I don’t recall my Mom being thrilled with my Dad shooting it. Nonetheless, the fig tree and the fruit it bared was enjoyed by everyone.

    Thank you for this.

    P.S. I love this… “He is definitely not his father. I think he fell from the tree in a brisk wind and sailed like a kite.”

  6. Brooke says:

    I am a lover of both figs and Fig Newtons. My DAd keeps Fig Newtons in his candy jar. As a child, I hated them but have grown to love them over the years. I had never tasted a fig until a last year. A friend has a potted tree that is carried inside and outside all year long so that it will continue to bear fruit. And I have that fruit is delicious. But not Fig Newton delicious. Can we even compare the two?

    • omawarisan says:

      Oh you’ve got to tell the friend about the washing machine. It was on those caster wheels that go in whatever direction. That tree was mobile.

      There’s that much difference, huh?

  7. I love Fig Netwons. But if real figs don’t taste like Fig Newtons, I’m never going to eat a real fig. Never.

  8. Blogdramedy says:

    I keep my fruit and my cookie eating separate. Fruit in a cookie is just wrong. But then, I don’t like my peas touching my carrots. I get quite cross when that happens.

  9. Maxim says:

    Figs are a fruit?? What the hell, brain shock.

  10. We found him Captain!! says:

    Oma,
    We sold fig newtons in our candy store in Hoboken when I was growing up. I loved eating them. On a daily basis i would consume a full boxes of them. They worked like EX-LAX on me. As a result, I spent my formative years in the sitting position in the outhouse. I have a permanent indentation on my butt in the shape of a toilet seat, but Boy! Do I love those fig newtons dunked in a cold glass of milk.

    I agree that fig newtons don’t taste like a fresh fig,that’s because figs used for the newtons are partially dried before baking. The baking completes the changed taste which “our guy” rightfully refers to.

    P.S. I have a new fig tree coming up near my fish pond. I’m looking for a used washing machine tub to put it in.

  11. We found him Captain!! says:

    I really liked this story. You captured the true picture of what it takes to grow a tree in concrete and how to share. Nice work!

  12. Laura says:

    Thanks for a great story about fathers and sons. And figs.

  13. Christy says:

    Ahhh Oma, very deep post,
    I love it. Its good to see your reflective side as well.

  14. Katybeth says:

    My dad refuses to travel without Fig Newtons. I do not like them but he never complains about my nacho flavored doritos so I suffer his Fig Newtons…however not his Mountain Dew. When we moved into the house Joe grew up in, we had a fig tree/plant in the back yard. Joe’s dad was the only one who ever ate a fig off it after Joe’s mom died.
    This is a lovely story…I bet figs will be always stay a part of your son’s figture.

  15. Val says:

    By the look of them, Fig Newtons are what we in the UK call ‘fig rolls’ (though why ‘rolls’ as they aren’t, they’re cookies, aka biscuits). I love those… and can eat them, unlike figs. I like the flavour of figs but can’t tolerate all the seeds. And yep, I suppose they do taste different.

    I love the idea of a mobile tree! ๐Ÿ™‚

  16. Kim Pugliano says:

    MY FAVORITE COOKIE IN THE WORLD. A trait inherited from my dad. So there’s fruit not falling far from the tree.

  17. pattypunker says:

    i’m always telling myself it’s ok to eat cookies as long they’re fig newtons or oatmeal raisins cuz they’re full of fruit and fiber. DENIED, once again.

  18. sekanblogger says:

    When people ask me if a certain food is โ€œgoodโ€, I always reply; โ€œYes, if you like it!”

  19. Pie says:

    I love Fig Newtons, but here in Blighty we call them Fig Rolls. I can only eat two before I start to feel sick because they’re so sweet, but I like them nevertheless. Another lovely post, Oma. Well done.

  20. Debbie says:

    My grandmother made REAL fig cookies and they were the best — wish I had a tin-ful right now! Funny how you grow up with stuff, then when the people pass on and the stuff is no longer available, you miss it so much more. Thanks for calling it to mind!

  21. Jane says:

    I’m not gonna cry . . .

  22. linlah says:

    Either way, Fig Newton or real fig, figs make your soar.

  23. angrygaijin says:

    Lol. Wow. I never thought I’d be so engaged by a story about figs, lol.

    My grandma often had pound cake. I don’t often keep pound cake in the house, but I’malways reminded of her when I get my hands on some (and it’s actually pound cake and not that lemon loaf look a-like).

  24. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    I’m such a lover of Fig Newtons, I came back to make another comment:

    Chocolate covered Fig Newtons … c’mon what a tasty idea!!!

  25. planetross says:

    You can’t argue that a “fig newton cookie” tastes like a cookie though.
    I’m sure the “Kebler Elves” don’t like my mother’s chocolate chip cookies for some reason too!

  26. Lafemmeroar says:

    What a delightful story. As I was reading I imagined your words in motion … loved the analogy.
    I think Isaac Newton would wonder on the mechanics of how a fig can turns into a “Fig Newton.”

  27. Todd says:

    Nice story, Oma. Very sweet. Now, what part of the fig is the newton?

  28. Amy says:

    What a sweet story. I love Fig Newtons, but I don’t know if I’ve ever eaten a raw fig. I’ve only ever had them cooked in things. Now I want to try a raw fig. I feel like I’m missing out on something.

  29. KathiD says:

    Figs seem like such a hoity toity fruit. Whereas Fig Newtons are plebian, approachable. Edible.

  30. omawarisan says:

    I ate two figs this weekend. They are pretty good and very different than what is in the cookie.

    I’ve got to say, I am still a Newtonian.

  31. […] For Dad, I’m going to send you back to a story of four generations, two fig trees and a washing machine. […]

  32. We Found Him Captain! says:

    Thanks again for this story. I appreciate the real message. You are an excellent Dad, a definite improvement over your own. I wish the wind had blown me further away from the tree…..Happy Father’s Day!!!! Thanks for this great message!

  33. We Found Him Captain! says:

    Grandma G. told me in 1950 that the car accident that nearly crushed Pop to death in Dec. 1937 DID crush his spirit. He was a changed man after that episode. While I was too young to know the former “Pop” (only 10 months old) I grew up with the new one. The reality is I loved him anyway and I really miss him after all these and THOSE years.

    The Captain……..

    • My father (NotElvis)’s Pop passed away a few months before NotElvis was born. He, too, was raised by the new Pop.

      Happy Father’s Day to you both. From this side of the screen, it appears you’ve raised (reared) fine sons.

  34. Your son is one smart [Fig Newton] cookie! I’ve had figs off the tree, and they are delicious! Great post, Oma! Hope you have a happy Father’s Day!

  35. robincoyle says:

    Happy Father’s Day Blurt.


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