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Posted July 5, 2009

A Newton Kinda Girl

Who knew that grocery shopping could turn into a horror story? I know. Sounds crazy. But it's nonfiction I promise. Keep reading.

O.K. I have this great friend. She knows where all of the wonderful shopping places are. Even when it comes to groceries. Of course, at our age, we're really into food. Chocolate preferably, but occasionally we will digest a fruit if it's in the form of wine and administered for a worthy occasion.

She took me to the Village Market in Colledgedale, TN where they have shelf upon shelf of all kinds of exotic flours and spices good for one's health. She tricked me into going there by telling me they had great homemade ice cream in the deli section. They didn't. But that's another story. What did catch my eye was "Black Mission Figs" which automatically reminded me of the Jesus story and the amount of Fig Newton's I'd eaten in my lifetime.

With me, it's like a Rorschach test. Show me a black blob, I'll show you a crow sliding down a bob-sled run toasting a wedding couple using Waterford.

Then I discovered there were also white figs. The Fig Newton centers I'd always eaten looked like they could have been half-way on the light-dark color range when it came to the fig part. Hard to recall. I'm trying not to eat sweets.

And then I observed that the figs were like people. Some were tall, some squatty, some plump, some shriveled, and some slightly different in color. Really, it was the cookie part of the fig I Iiked best, probably made with heart-destructing flour and the worst part - health-wise - and the best part - yummy wise - of the Fig Newton.

O.K. I'm a "Newton" kind of girl rather than a "Fig" kind of girl. The little fig seeds get stuck between my molars.

However, I wondered which figs Jesus always talked about. Not once had I ever eaten a real live genuine whole entire fig, white or black. I know that's a lot of adjectives. But, it's relevant to what I'm about to say. Please hear me out.

When I arrived home and looked up the Bible verses, I found more stories in the Bible about figs other than the one about Adam and Eve sewing fig leaves together to cover their nekkidness. (That's the King James Southern translation of the Bible.)

You'd forgotten it was a fig leaf didn't you! You just thought it was a leaf, probably banana.

Now this is turning into a crash course in Home Economics 101! I can hear Adam now, "Hurry up Eve! Stitch faster! I hear God coming!"

I had a whole closet full of clothes running a range of sizes so that verse didn't especially pertain to me unless I gained a few pounds during the week and even then I had lots of shawls with paper clips for holding manuscripts together and I could "make do." But the verse that impressed me the most was this one:

Lk 13:6 - Then he told this parable:"'A man had a fig tree, planted in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it, but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, 'For three years now I've been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven't found any, Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?'"

"'Sir,' the man replied, 'leave it alone for one more year, and I'll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.'"

It made me start thinking. "Have I produced any fruit? What if I've been using up soil for the past three years? Do I have only one more year left before I'm cut down? Does it matter if I'm a white fig or a black fig? Does it matter if I'm squatty and thick in the middle with knobby knees or tall and bony - kinda green around the gills?"

Yikes! Just throw on some more manure sister!

Note: The edible fig is one of the first plants cultivated by humans. Subfossil figs dating to about 9400-9200 BC were found in the early Neolithic village Gilgal in the Jordan Valley, north of Jericho. Figs were around before barley, legumes and wheat. Figs are one of the highest plant sources of calcium and fiber. They have a laxative effect and contain antioxidants. They are rich in manganese, potassium, calcium, fiber, copper, magnesium, and vitamin K.

The importance of Vitamin K: Some religions require male circumcision. Circumcision is usually performed on the 8th day of life. On the 8th day of life, newborn levels of vitamin K peak. This is why God had the Israelites to circumcise on the 8th day.

Vitamin K helps the blood to clot, which is especially important when subjecting a new son to a surgery. It is well advised to administer vitamin K to prevent bleeding complications from the surgery if circumcision is chosen before the 8th day.

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