salvaging the harvest

T-minus one week and counting suckas.  This baby is coming.  Time to write.

Coming off our family sickness I made the call to stay home Tuesday and rest.  My body needed it and I wanted to keep an eye on Sharaun after she’d lost so much fluid during her bout the day prior, make sure she re-hydrated appropriately.  Around noon Keaton got a little restless, having tired of reading and coloring and me not wanting to feed her any more TV shows to pass the time.  And, since I was feeling a mite better myself, I decided we’d tackle some father-daughter project to both keep her occupied and get her out of Sharaun’s hair so she could rest and recuperate.

I decided we’d turn the apricot harvest into jam.  See, the apricots were a disappointment to me.  The tree produced a ton for its small size, I was happy with that, the fruit was good-sized and ripened well, and the birds didn’t destroy the crop as in years past (I think they had their fill on plums, which is fine – since there were at least a hundred of those things I had some to spare for the birds).  But the fruit itself just wasn’t that good.  The flavor was lacking and the texture was mushy and just unappealing.  A pretty big disappointment for a tree I planted with hopes of a yummy yearly harvest.  So I had this bowl of apricots that I was 1) extremely proud of and 2) bitterly disappointed in (I wonder if this is how my folks felt when their straight-As whiz-kid teenager overdosed on psychedelics… just a random thought), and I figured I’d try to salvage the harvest.

When I made this decision I didn’t have any jars, any canning pot, and tools, and equipment, nor any idea how to make jam.  But heck, how hard could it be?  But we actually had some pectin in the pantry (I have no idea what for) and it had instructions for making any type of jam or jelly a body could ever imagine.  Looks like all I’d need would be an insane amount of sugar, some canning jars and a big pot to cook them in.  Right then… Keaton and I set off to the store in search of jars and made a phone call to a friend to see if we could borrow her canning pot and jar-holding crimper things.  An hour or so later we returned home together all ready to make our first foray into the world of preserving (sometimes they call this “canning,” even tho there are no cans, right?).

A few hours later we had eight jars of what turned out to be some pretty dang delicious apricot jam.  Keaton helped by pitting the fruit, measuring out the sugar, and even stirring the hot fruit slurry.  We had a great time and I like the apricot jam a heck of a lot better than I did the apricots themselves.


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3 Replies to “salvaging the harvest”

  1. I’m thoroughly impressed. Making jam always sounded good in theory, but all those cooking shows make it look hard. Congrats on the success of your first batch!

  2. We do Jam and apple sauce all the time! We also have a canning kettle and all the tools. Jars are CHEAP at Winco, I’d recommend getting the future ones there.
    Let us know if you want to do Applesauce with us late in October/November with our Apple Hill run. It’s amazing.

  3. Nice work Dave! I tried making apple preserves last year – which turned out great – but I had 24 jars to eat! This year we have a huge garden so I’ll be preserving away in about a month or so… would love to get my hands on some Vermont strawberries to make some jam before they are out of season! Maybe your tree will grow better fruit next year?

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