on thursday a friend of mine and i drove to harcourt, 121 kms from melbourne, to pick up 5 kgs of organic apricots that i'd ordered from mt alexander's fruit garden..now that might seem a long way to go for a few apricots but i just love a country drive especially when it involves buying produce..even when i go with no buying plan i nearly always manage to find something for sale either at a road side stall or at a farm or house..for instance in the past i've bought strawberries, free range eggs, potatoes, tomatoes, apples, honey and flowers just to name a few..the other day i saw horse poo for sale by the side of the road at $0.50/bag but i resisted buying any because i didn't want to risk contaminating the 10 kgs of organic flour i was planning on buying from red beard bakery in trentham on the way home..i usually manage to find something free too..depending on the season it might be apples, chestnuts, banana passionfruit, blackberries or pinecones..
i ended up buying 10 kgs of apricots instead of just the 5 kgs because i couldn't resist and i got carried away..some people are like that with handbags..not me..i don't even own one..i also bought two different varieties..rival and goldrich..now they weren't cheap at $5/kilo for seconds but i didn't even consider the cost..i just felt grateful and happy to be able to buy such beautiful organic fruit straight from the grower..
it was 33 deg c yesterday and just in case i wasn't hot enough in my unairconditioned house, with the rival variety, i made 5 jars of apricot jam and i bottled eight jars of apricots using my fowler's vacola..i took the box of goldrich apricots out of the fridge this morning and stared at them blankly..in the end i began the process of making three and a half kilos of them into glace apricots and with the remainder i made another 6 jars of jam..i've made plenty of apricot jam before but this time i used stephanie alexander's apricot jam recipe from a cook's companion and the jam is just how i like it with a nice balance of sweet and tart..i'd never bottled apricots before and nor had i ever attempted making glace apricots..i can't tell you how either of them turned out though because i haven't tried the bottled apricots yet, although they look fine, and the glace apricots won't be ready for another 10 days..
|organic rival apricots|
|glace goldrich apricots in process|
|rival bottled apricots|
|rival apricot jam|
|semolina kaiser roll, unsalted myrtleford butter and goldrich apricot jam|
have you been doing any preserving recently? if so, what have you been making? and i hope you're having an enjoyable weekend..x