Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Apricots Apricots Every Where

The place we are leasing for pasture for our cows has an old abandoned house in front of it with tons of fruit trees...  So, early this spring I called Mr. Owner and asked if he was going to do anything with the trees, if he wasn't would he mind if I did?  He, being an old bachelor, was not going to do anything with it and please do whatever you want with them.  So Mr. H. and I went out and killed all the bag worms growing on them and decided it was too late in the year for spraying and pruning so we sat back and waited to see what the harvest would be.  Below is the first tree that is ripe, a big beautiful apricot tree!
 Loaded!  I worked for about 2.5 hours picking....
 I did eat a few as I went to make sure they were good :)
 67 pounds!!!!!!!!
Then it was home to process and below are the results.....
 Dehydrated.... The first batch I did not use any kind of sweetener, now I know why store bought dried apricots are loaded with sugar!  These dudes were TART!  The second batch I did a honey water mix and soaked them, they are much easier to eat!
Apricots in a sugar syrup for pies, apricot syrup for waffles, and apricot jam for toast and biscuits!
 Sugar syrup

And the apricot syrup on waffles.  Deeelish!

Things I learned along the way....
1) if you eat too many apricots they will make your teeth very sensitive
2) you can make apricot jam without pectin, we'll see if it really sets up in a couple weeks like it's suppose to
3) EVERYONE wants to reap the benefits of your hard labor.  "Apricots are my favorite fruit", "If you give me some apricots I'll make jam with my kids", "If you make me an apricot pie I'll give you a hug and come get it" and on and on and on.  hahaha, Back off, this is my reward for my hard work, go find your own tree!  Well, I did do the nice thing and shared some but not many!  ;-)
4) I really enjoy canning and being productive!

Sunday, June 7, 2015


For the last 3 weeks I've cooked Wednesday night supper for the youth at the church we use to go to....  This is something I did for 2 years (feeding anywhere from 75 to 175 kids) until we decided to go to a different church...  Well a few weeks ago I got called out of retirement for a short 3 weeks.  A little different than before, instead of going to the church and cooking for 3 to 4 hours with a group of great volunteers, I decided I would cook it all at my house and just delivery it, that saved me time because I could do things around the house while things cooked.  Something I didn't think about was all those great volunteers always did the dishes!  Yikes!  Anyway, the point is as I was cooking various meals I was thinking and praying for those volunteers I had worked with in the past.  The first to come to mind was an amazing lady named Angie, I thought of here while I was making rice krispie treats, which she ended up making every time they were on the menu!  She's is a great encourager and so fun to be around. You will always be laughing if she's around!  Then there's Vickie and her willing heart to serve, she was the first to show up the very first time I cooked, I had in my head that I would be working alone but thankfully, I was wrong. Vickie was a master salad maker, which we served almost every week!  Then Susie, she is such a positive lady and loves serving, she was our do whatever needed done lady.  I didn't get to work with Zack a lot but occasionally he'd pop in before his bus route and lend a hand.  I thought of him because of the "ranch bread", which is French bread cut in half, buttered, and sprinkling with ranch seasoning.  Zach was a fan and helped cut and eat often.  Oh, can't forget Spiva, he was the dessert helper, and when I say helper, he helped eat it, as much as he could get by with! Last but in no way least is Jacquie!  Jacquie was my.  " handler ", she could "handle" anything thrown at her from dishes to filling in when I couldn't be there and she was also my grocery shopping partner.  I could have done it without all of these wonderful people (and many others!)but it wouldn't been as easy or near as fun and I would have developed lasting friendships!