Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Apricots and memories

Its that time of year again in California when the fruit of summer is ripe and abundant. In our yard we have a treasured Blenheim Apricot tree, weeping Santa Rosa Plum tree, Asian Plum tree, Peach tree, 5-fruit tree (grafted with plum, apricot, peach, ...I can't remember the others), Meyer Lemon tree, strawberries, blueberries, other assorted berry bushes, and grape vines. Lots of fruit!!! My favorites are the Blenheim Apricot, Santa Rosa Plum, Meyer Lemon, and berries. Additionally we have quite a crop of tomatoes and other vegetables.

It has been fun watching our fruit arrive especially on the Blenheim Apricot tree because I have a perfect view of it from my kitchen window. The anticipation that I felt while waiting for the fruit to turn orange - sort of felt like waiting for the holidays to arrive. Then the ripe fruit arrived (apricots and plums) in abundance and my husband and I kept very busy enjoying it and preserving it by canning, and making jams and cobblers.

The apricots bring back fond memories of my growing-up, where my childhood home had a Blenheim Apricot tree in the backyard. The tree was left over from the orchard that existed before our neighborhood was developed. I remember years and years of picking apricots in the summer and helping my Mom with canning, jams, and making cobblers and pies. At the time I didn't appreciate all the apricots and the work associated with them, but I am sure glad now that Mom taught me how to process all of the apricots. I've always loved my Mom's apricot cobblers and pies! I also remember picking up the rotten apricots that fell on the lawn and patio - icky clean-up. You had to pick them up because you didn't want the apricot pits to get in the lawn mower! I sure learned that it was much better to pick the apricots off the tree before they fell.

The Santa Clara Valley used to be full of Apricot orchards and other fruit orchards. In fact the valley earned the nickname the "Valley of Heart's Delight". Very few of the orchards remain as the valley has been taken over with businesses (including high-tech) and residential areas. I feel lucky to have my own Blenheim Apricot tree in my backyard!!

Are you enjoying the fruit of summer?

P.S. I've been away from my blog for a long time, but I hope to start posting images more frequently.