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).
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.