I think we are officially done with apricots for the year. I have one pitcher of puréed apricots left to run through the convection oven for fruit leather and one box left that needs to be picked up by a friend, but we are mostly done! saying we had a lot of apricots would be an understatement by far. We have lived here for 10 years now and we have a apricot jam thanks to our abundantly fruiting tree in the front yard. They are not here for long but they can be overwhelming. They must be constantly picked up lest we have rotting fruit in the front yard and especially if you intend to keep the lawn properly mowed. Of course they ripen around some of the hottest days of the summer, when it's really fun (insert sarcasm) to can them in a home with no central AC and they must be taken care of quickly as they must be one of the most perishable fruits I can think of. Obviously I've got apricots on the brain and the overwhelming task that they can be better you know one thing that isn't overwhelming? All of the apricot related memories we have made over the last ten years.
This last Sunday, Caleb's mom and I knocked out the last 11 batches jam-yes, that's right, 11. We made 4 batches on the 4th before heading to Caleb's parents to BBQ for the holiday-yep, 15 batches total. That's a lot of jam! While we were busy with the jam, there was plenty of time to talk and remember past years apricot and canning adventures. I always enjoy Marla's stories of how her mom would can and do things back in the day and it's always fun to retell the newer memories I have made myself as a mom. The first year when had no idea what we were in for with these apricots. My best friend Maria and I stayed up past 3 in the morning making jam one time. We ran out of jars around 11 and headed to the store, which was a nice break. Even with the added jars we hardly made a dent in the apricots, they were still coming off the tree and we were running out of boxes to put them in. I'm so grateful for the resources of our grandmothers.
I remember Maria calling her grandmother to ask if we really needed that much sugar. We take for granted all too often enough ability to call and ask the older mothers around us. Maria's grandmothers are both gone now and I know how she misses them, their cooking and their seasoned advice. I'm grateful to have met them and been impacted by their lives as well, women like that are such a treasure. I'm grateful to have been given grandparents through marriage and that my children have such wonderful grandparents to learn from. I weren't for grandmotherly advice our first batches of jam could have been a disaster. Instead it was sweeter for the memories.
Another favorite memory is always when the tree is at it's fullest with fruit. It is amazing how much can come from one tree! The branches are so heavy laden that they are often resting on the ground. It is a wonder how loaded they can be, how much they can bend and not break. The kids love to climb up the tree and hide under it's shade. It is rather large for an apricot tree and has the most wonderful canopy of shade underneath it's branches. Caleb will often shake the tree to shorten the length of time we have to clean the fruit off the lawn day after day. How fun that is to watch! At times we have laid a tarp on the driveway and held it up to make a wall to collect the fruit and keep it from rolling into the street. So much fruit!
The apricot tree is right outside our master bedroom window we often have open on hot summer nights. I love hearing the breeze rustling through the tree leaves it's almost like the sound of waves on the beach in the distance. Oftentimes, we can hear apricots falling at random with a whoosh through the leaves and a distinct plop and roll when they hit the ground. It always makes us chuckle and try to imitate the sound as we drift off to sleep. It's a lot of work but all in all it has been fun making jam and memories together, with this apricot tree.
Hi, I'm Sharon
...and these are my adventures as a mom, as a musician, and as a writer using my creative abilities to navigate this life. It is my hope that in some way my life is an encouragement to you. Come join me as I strive to embrace contentment and gratitude amidst this busy, exhausting and wonderful life.