Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sally Wright Pioneer Woman!

I don't know what it is about making jams, preserves, pickles that gives me such a feeling of real satisfaction. Taking that gorgeous fruit or vegetable and making something that looks jewel like in a jar is always a thrill for me. Don't get me wrong , I'm a confirmed urbanite, but "putting food by" makes me feel like the original pioneer woman. My husband's specialty is pickles, but my favorites are fruit preserves and chutneys. Every winter I make my favorite Meyer Lemon Marmalade and Indian Lemon chutney from our own backyard tree and every summer I do apricot jam.
Apricot season in southern California is May through early July. Last year waiting and hunting for the blessed Blenheim variety (supposedly the best for jam making) I missed out entirely. My local farmers market guy kept promising, but by the season's end I had missed the boat. So this weekend we got out there and found lovely small Pattersons and some huge unnamed things the size of medium apples.

Pitted, cut up and layered with loads of sugar (according to British cook Delia Smith's recipe at ) the fruit happily marinated overnight. This morning I put the pan on the fire to cook and got out the jars and tools.

I always get Glen to take a hammer to the pits to extract the lovely ivory kernels which I blanch and add at the end for even more flavor. the kettle boils furiously for about 20 minutes and suddenly there is this gorgeous unctuous orangey/gold concoction.

A little time for settling the foam , a little mess of ladling into jars , and about 20 minutes to process and seal the jars and there are 10 glistening jars. Some home printed labels complete the process.

Amazingly satisfying!

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