Friday, August 31, 2012

apricots, finally done

Okay, here's a rundown on all the apricot stuff:
  • first apricots: June 30
  • first driveway cleaning: July 1
  • second driveway cleaning: July 10
  • last apricots/driveway cleaning: August 12
  • countless apricots to Stacy over the course of the summer
    processed mostly into 5+ gallons of super-concentrated apricot purée, currently in the Walter Burke Catering freezer
  • five grocery bags picked in 20 minutes by Patrice: July 14
    estimated 30 pounds, processed into, according to Patrice:
    6 half pints of sugarless jam; 4 frozen pies to bake on a cold winter's day (pie pie me oh my); several pints of thick, delicious apricot syrup for dipping chocolate cookies and pouring over ice cream, or using to sweeten lesser fruit pies, or just swigging out a few tablespoonfuls when no one can see; bags and bags (4 gallon bags) of fresh apricots pitted, cleaned and quick frozen for future adventures; more jam with cherries added; bowls and handfuls for fresh eating and cereal; 4 more pints of sugarless jam with agave
  • one grocery bag to Steven and Janet: July 16
  • one grocery bag to Nicole and John: August 10
  • 4 grocery bags for our own use
    processed into 1 apricot tart, some fruit leather, some refrigerator preserves, 4 gallons of frozen purée, 4 cups blanched frozen halves, 6.5 pints of canned preserves

Patrice wrote a sweet note thanking us:
The Meehans' neighborhood apricot tree. Sweet orange morsels ... Apricots are my food, my special fruit that is part of my identity. I am a California July baby and remember climbing the fence into an ownerless apricot orchard to pick apricots every summer. We kids cleaned 'em and cut 'em open and Mom laid them out around the swimming pool to dry. We had shelves full of dried apricots until the next season. In late July, the whole neighborhood smelled sweet with the overabundance of fruit on the ground. What's not to like? Round and orange with a ruby blush. Mmmmm — the fragrant, tasty essence of summer. I have a floor-to-ceiling chalk board in my kitchen and kept a count from the pits ... ha ha! It looked like an orange smooshy hurricane hit the kitchen that day. Considered hosing out the kitchen floor but thought better of it. Wish I had taken pictures. Thanks for sharing the abundance.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

weekend update

Tomatoes have been coming in like crazy! I returned a platter to our next-door neighbor today with eight! Robesons on it. And earlier this week we brought five Robesons and a buncha Sungolds as a hostess gift for another neighbor who was throwing a party.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

tomato snack

Tomatoes with a little balsamic vinegar, olive oil, basil, Parmesan, and some salami.

Saturday, August 11, 2012


Yum! BLTs with the Robesons.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

apricot preserves

Two grocery bags of apricots = 11 half pints of preserves

My eight quart stockpot was only big enough to fit half at a time. Woof!

I picked, cleaned and cooked down the apricots last Sunday. Then everything sat in the fridge until this weekend. Brought the preserves back to a boil in the stainless steel dutch oven (in 2 batches), then processed them in the big stockpot.

Since I don't have any real canning equipment, I improvised with foil at the bottom of the stockpot (instead of a rack) and rubber band-wrapped tongs (instead of a jar lifter). Ghetto fabulous!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

pasta with tomatoes, basil, and smoked mozzarella

A favorite with fresh tomatoes. Super easy and delish!

While water is boiling/pasta is cooking, cut up tomatoes. Toss with salt to taste in serving dish. You want the salt to render out some tomato juice, so let that sit for a bit. Meanwhile, cut up mozzarella and basil. Add to tomatoes, along with some olive oil. Stir. When pasta is done, drain and dump into tomato mixture. Stir some more. Good warm or room temp.