Tuesday, August 10, 2010
My friend Amy always brings me apricots from her tree, and then I share pears. This year she brought me just a few (and a jar of jam, how sweet!) because she had a poor crop. I had been looking forward to putting up apricots, so when she came by last Saturday, I finally got up the nerve to go hit up a stranger for some 'cots. I made sure Nathan was willing to help pick and walked over to a house a block away. When a man answered the door, I told him I'd noticed his apricots were overripe and I wondered if I could have some if he had excess. I offered pears or bread in trade. He agreed to let us pick in about 30 minutes.
Well, then it started pouring. I prayed that the rain would stop so we could take advantage of this free fruit. It didn't stop and Nathan was grumbling, but I told him, "Have some faith in my faith!" He grabbed his umbrella and we went out to the car. By the time we pulled up in front of the house a block away, it was only sprinkling. We did get rained on some while picking but it wasn't too bad.
Turns out this man doesn't even like apricots, but there are two trees in his yard. He had an amazing garden so we had a good little chat about gardening while we picked. We cleaned up the mess of fallen apricots and got over a lug of good apricots, plus an invitation to come pick next year! Nathan was a trooper considering he doesn't like jam, doesn't like being outside, and doesn't like being rained on. I'm so grateful for free fruit!
We spent an hour picking and then came home where I spent an hour getting the 'cots pitted and put on to cook down. I filled my two biggest pots and one crockpot (remember the other one still had broth cooking down) and let them simmer overnight. Sunday morning, I threw them in the fridge.
After work on Monday, I pulled out the pots and added honey, lemon juice, cinnamon, and cloves. So good!
I got 21 pints of jam or butter or whatever you call it (+1 that didn't seal). It's not super thick but it cooked down decently. I really hope my future children like jam, or else I'm going to be eating an awful lot of jam by myself.