When I was a kid my mom use to take my brother and I to a friend’s farm to pick apricots. We grew up in the Central Valley of California. It’s overpopulated now (if you ask me), but back then there were still lots of farms around. These friends lived on the “west side”.
It was kind of fun, although it was work. But the rewards were sweet. We would go home with lug boxes full of apricots.
My mom told us stories about when she and her siblings (I almost said litter mates :P) would pick fruit when they were kids too. And my grandmother before her; worked in the fruit packing sheds.
So when we got home the work continued. We’d wash the fruit and then mom showed us how to cut and pit the apricots and lay them out on drying trays; old wooden drying trays that had obviously seen a lot of fruit over the years. She always told us how the really ripe ones were the best for drying; the slabs they called them. She was right. You just couldn’t beat that sweet, chewy goodness.
Dad would drag home an empty refrigerator box and set it up in the backyard. They would stack the trays when we were finished filling them with the juicy, overripe fruit. Then he would fill a can of sulfur, light it and closed the box up. I know, probably not the “proper” way to dry fruit now-a-days, but that was how we did it.
After the sulfuring process was done, dad would drag those trays up on top of our roof to finish drying. Mind you we lived in town, in a nice neighborhood. 😉 We had one of those old funky roofs with tar and white rocks, and not to steep; perfect for drying those cots.
We enjoyed the finished product throughout the year. They were even tastier knowing that we were part of the process.
Those are fond memories of my childhood. I’m weird though. I never liked fresh apricots, but I absolutely loved the dried ones, or apricots made into jam.
But there is one kind of fresh apricots I do love.
A fresh lug box of these apricots gets me every time! <3
Some of you anxiously waiting for apricots, should know that we got five of the more masculine variety; and only one of the very rare feminine variety of apricots.