Monday, July 30, 2007

Apricot Season!

Mom called to say the apricots on her tree were ready, and to hurry up before all the birds got them. The girls and I arrived on the scene within hours. Our bags were already packed and waiting in the car with pectin, sugar, jars & lids. We had been anticipating apricots for weeks!







My helpers and I filled up two buckets, and there was still plenty for my uncle Larry & aunt Nancy, who were on their way to pick some also.

















Mom & Bill played with the girls (& took photos!) while I made a batch of apricot jelly.

















It was a little awkward in mom's kitchen, and lucky for me, aunt Nancy arrived just in time
to help with the batch of jelly.
She shared some tips she's learned from a lifetime of preserving nature's bounty. For years, she fed a family of 12 almost entirely on what they produced or bartered. She really knows her stuff, and it was a pleasure to have this opportunity.





We used the recipe inside the pectin box, and it yielded 11 pint-sized jars. I gave a jar to Mom & Nancy.










When we got home, I made
another batch of apricot jelly, only this time I added a can of crushed pineapple, juice and all, as suggested by Mom & Nancy. This batch yielded 10 pint-size jars.

If you'd like more ideas and info on apricots, see this post at The Vegan Diet.




Our apricots produced 2 batches jelly, and a full dehydrator.

I was looking forward to the dried apricots, but was disappointed that most had mold on the underside. Did I wait too long before drying the fruit? Was I supposed to do something to the fruit first? Anyway, it's buggin' me because I want to dry some peaches next week, but don't want to waste anymore. Dehydrating tips anybody?

26 comments:

Mikaela said...

Oh. My. Goodness. I don't like saying this... but I am *jealous*!

Tanya Kristine said...

Now how frickin homey is all taht?? and how adorable are all 3 of you? very, that's how!

knicksgrl0917 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Vegan_Noodle said...

Wow, what fun! First cherries, then lavendar, now apricots. Picking fruit right off the tree is so much fun. The apricot jam with pineapples sounds delicious. Sorry no dehydrator tips, I've never used one but am certainly curious to hear what advice others have to offer.

laura jesser said...

Wow! Those apricots look so fresh and gorgeous.

Veg-a-Nut said...

I am so sorry about your dehydrator troubles. Your dehydrator looks like mine. Here are the directions for drying apricots for mine.

Dry in halves and turn inside out or cut into quarters. Pretreat to help retain color without penetrating skin of fruit, which I never do. Drying time 2-3 days with vents wide open. Dryness test - Pliabl... Hope this helps. If you have questions on other fruit I will be glad to give you the instructions from my manual.

I have to say the jelly looks grand. The addition of pineapple juice sounds wonderful. You are so lucky to live where you have these opportunities. My granddad used to have an apricot and plum tree. As a teenager I used to make jams and jellies with him. He has since moved on to a bigger and better place. I miss him, but have the memories.

VeggieGirl said...

one of the simplest pleasures in life is enjoying a nice, juicy apricot, picked straight off the tree. I always enjoy the recipes you create with such fresh ingredients!

vko said...

So amazing- lucky lucky lucky lucky!
Those apricots on the trees look gorgeous- ahh but a dream for me in the city!

Dreena said...

Nice! You are lucky to be able to pick fresh apricots, and I'm sure the girls loved 'helping'!

My mom made a signature rhubarb jam for years, and she also added crushed pineapple. She had another secret ingredient that people always asked her to reveal. It was jello! Yeah, that scary gelatin stuff!! But the strawberry flavor added something special to her jam, much like the crushed pineapple does.

You'll be able to enjoy that taste of summer all year long now... yum!

Theresa said...

I don't really like apricots, but I think it's so cool that you made your own jam! I saw a recipe for orange marmalade in the newspaper last week, and thought about trying, but it looks like a lot of work! Lucky for you that you had some wonderful helpers!

maybepigscanfly said...

I don't think I've ever seen so many apricots! What fun you must have had with the girls. You sure are lucky to be able to pick so many fun things (apricots, cherries, lavender...).

I wish I could help with the dehydrating problems, but to be honest I wouldn't have even been able to identify that big contraption.

turquoise cro said...

i'm J-lous too! Here I sit eating my Clover Valley Apricots from the Dollar Store!!! LOL and I'm reading they are a product of Turkey!!! LOL Gobble, Gobble

tippitappi said...

In Italy we dry apricots under the sun but we always open them in half first, take the stone out and place them with the inside up, to prevent from molding....

bazu said...

Oh, I love your way with summer produce! Your daughters are learning so much about the pleasure of watching things grow, picking them, eating them, preserving them, yummy!

Apricot jelly is one of my all-time favorites. No, it's actually my favorite. unfortunately, I don't know why the mold happened to the dehydrated ones- that sucks!

KleoPatra said...

Nice tree, ma! Very cool family event there, Vicki. Your helpers are just too cute. i wuv them! You look so cool and casual up on that ladder. Hee hee.

All those apricots are incredible. What a bunch of beauties there. Apricot jelly... how terrific are those?!

The only fruit i dehdrate is done on accident when i leave stuff out of my fridge for far too long. :o) So i wish i could help, but that's all i can say about fruit dehydration. Don't do what i do! :o)

i do hope you have better success with the peaches!! Bet you will!

See you soon. YAY!

aTxVegn said...

I LOVE fresh apricots and your jelly looks wonderful! I wish apricot season lasted longer. I'll be sure and visit Jackie's blog.

Vivacious Vegan said...

Apricot jam is my very favorite jam ever. I've also had it with pineapple and can confirm it's quite delicious. You won't be disappointed. I'm sorry to hear about the mold. That looks like a lot of apricots and work.

Joy said...

I love apricots and can't even imagine how amazing they must taste fresh from the tree!

springsandwells said...

oh!!!
I love love love love love apricots!! How glorious for all of you to go picking together. It looks like you made a ton of jam. How awesome.

what a drag on your moldy dried apricots. did you figure it out in time to dry your peaches?

I hope that all is well with you all - I miss you and wish we weren't so far apart! By the way, let's email soon about our secret plan.

:) Amey

Carrie™ said...

I'm amazed at how loaded with apricots those branches are! Apricot jelly - what a treat!! I've never dehydated anything on purpose before. I had some cookies left in a bag too long that turned hard as rocks, but I don't think that counts as dehydrating, so I'm no help.

Kumudha said...

I just adore that apricot tree, which I'm seeing for the first time...

Wonderful post!

urban vegan said...

You are so lucky to have access to your mom's apricot tree. Looks like a fun day and you certainly put them to good use.

Peggy the Veggie said...

Just looking at all those delicious, juicy apricots has made me hungry! :)

Cherie said...

Oh, no, they got moldy? That's a disappointment. Maybe you could have turned them? Or it was too warm?

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