Hot summer days always brings back memories of my mother canning apricots, concord grape jelly, pickles, or whole tomatoes in sauce.
I remember the aroma of purple grape jelly simmering on the stove filling the house with a perfect fruity smell. Mom had a large wooden spoon to stir the mixture. She would also tie the jelly straining bag to the spoon allowing the jelly mixture to slowly drip out.
What’s Growing in the Garden?
In Southern California it is easy to grow a variety of produce. We had a mini orchard of orange trees, plums, peaches, a deep purple Mission fig tree, apples, and of course that apricot tree.
The purple Mission figs were almost too sweet to eat. You, also, had to be careful around the fig tree since the fruit wasps also liked them. A lot of times, the figs just rotted on the tree or fell on the ground since there were so many.
We also had a couple of avocado trees but they were rather temperamental to grow. They were unable to tolerate any frost or cold weather. I never remember harvesting a single avocado.
One year we had a huge vegetable garden and my mother tried her hand at making sweet and sour pickles. She also grew a dill herb plant and tossed in sprigs of dill to flavor the pickles.
There was an outdoor storage shed attached to the car port where she placed all her home canned goods.
I remember my aunt coming for a visit and taking home a couple bottles of those apricots. She thought they were that good.
To Can Orchard Fresh Apricots
To can the apricot fruit, she would wash them first in a huge industrial sieve. She then proceeded to sliced them in two and removed the pit. The apricots were in a heavy sugar syrup. They were then put into sterilized canning jars and processed.
As I kid, I remember having some of the delicious apricots over vanilla ice cream. It was a real treat.
Ending Comments on Canning Apricots
Unless you have a apricot tree, or know of a very good farmer’s market, they are very hard to find and expensive. There is only the short summer season where the fruit is at their peak.
So, unfortunately, I will not be doing any canning but I have fond memories of those delicious yellow apricots.