Saturday, June 25, 2011

Apricots and Peaches Everywhere!!

Well its that glorious time of year again, when the beautiful flowering fruit trees have put on their crop of fruit and the warmth of the sun has ripened it all at ONCE!! Ahhh. I love the thought of going out and picking a ripe apricot or peach from the tree on a hot day and enjoying it but it doesn't happen like that. It takes ladders and every bowl in my house to carry in the ripening and falling fruit. I try to pick the ripest first and spread the wealth over at least a week.

Sometimes it happens, sometimes not.

Normally I spend the early summer dreaming and pining over canning and preserving books I have collected over the years for some new, exciting recipes. This year I didn't do that. Then Marta called me to tell me she was canning strawberry margarita jam! Oh, I got all excited. Finally after canning by myself for so many years I have a few friends that have begun to can!! Its so exciting, exchanging recipes, canned goods etc. Dawn also then posted she had canned Ginger Lemon marmalade. Wow!! more goodies.

Well I better get busy here.

This year, like last, my apricot tree has had a disease. Don't panic, it isn't contagious, but it does affect the production of fruit. We lost the whole crop last year but this year Randy did get the tree sprayed once. It probably needed to be sprayed three times but being organic gardners it really pains us to treat things we are going to eat with anything. But the idea is to spray before the tree is setting blossoms and then the disease will be treated. Anyway (long,boring details), we got apricots, but they were small but plenty of them and they tasted good. So I picked the day before fathers day and set them out for the party goers the following day. After everyone had eaten their fill I still had plenty left over. Not wanting to tackle jam during our heat wave I got a great idea, Apricot BRANDY!! So simple but so much fun. I got on the internet, poured through all my books and found a recipe that seemed good. After I put the apricots in the liquor I had to put them into a brown paper bag in the closet, to keep it cool and dark. It has the feeling of being a closet drinker during prohibition days I must say! It felt weird to show Marta the concoction cooking away in the pantry! LOL Marta and I were dreaming over a chapter of decorated jam jars, already planning how we will prepare the Christmas gifts for my everyone!
Here is the process and I even took the time to journal it in my sketchbook!
Preparing the liquors, sugars

In go the apricots

One jar down, one to go

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