Apricot heaven

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Jars of apricots lined up in the pantry

It’s the time of year when stone fruit is falling off trees in backyards all over the state (when it’s not being eaten by birds that is). I have had some delicious nectarines this year, and peaches too. My brother had some boxes of apricots left unsold in the shop at Auburn, so when I was up last weekend dad and I cut up a box of them and stewed 15 jars, then I brought the other box home and made jam, chutney and apricot curd. It was a bit like a factory, and reminded me of my childhood.
Back then we had a big apricot tree in the front yard that bore fantastic fruit for many years. Our grandparents who lived across the road also had a tree, so there was lots of fruit and many ways to deal with it all, and nothing would be wasted (a capital crime at the time it seems. Even the windfalls would be carefully examined for any unbruised portion, chopped and put in a pot). We would stew apricots, preserve them in jars, make fruit leather, make jam and dry them. The same kind of thing would happen for peaches and nectarines and plums and tomatoes as well (home made tomato sauce was all we ever had, never bought sauce). When the cooking of all this produce was in full flight, dad would come home from work and say “It smells like the Henry Jones’ IXL factory here” (IXL was a brand of tinned fruit which HJ established).

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After stewing apricots in Auburn, the empty pots waiting to be cleaned…


For drying, dad constructed a big box thing with trays, maybe 6 big trays, and we would sit out the back on hot evenings halving the fruit and putting them in rows on the trays, which would then slide into the box on racks. The box would then be closed and there they would stay for a few days drying with sulphur burning to aid the process somehow. There were other ways to dry them too and we did those as well.
Anyway, I am obviously channelling the old days in my kitchen and at Auburn, and it will be fantastic to enjoy the delicious tastes of summer over the coming months.

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Stewed apricots

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The colours of apricots – jam, chutney, curd and jam again

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6 Responses to Apricot heaven

  1. Kylie D says:

    Yum! Love the colour variety and you sure got as much as possible out of the pots!

  2. Hi Kylie,
    Yes the colours are lovely aren’t they. And we almost didn’t need to wash the pots we scraped them so well!! It’s lovely to hear from you…
    Cheers and thanks
    Elizabeth

  3. mazzaus says:

    Delicious! I have been bottling plums and nectarines are on tonight’s queue 🙂

  4. Pam says:

    Yum I used to make apricots jam and love it i used to get the seed and open it and put the kernel in the jam and that makes it even better did you do that and I have to come over and have scorns with jam and cream that would be so cool

  5. Pam you must have known I was missing you!!! How lovely to hear from you! I don’t do the apricot kernels, but maybe I will next time in honour of you. It would be a real treat to have you here for scones, jam and cream. I hope all is well with you and the gang – it is about time we had another story from you for the blog. Any chance???????
    What a treat to hear from you…
    Love
    Elizabeth

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