July 16, 2012
So now we’re at the end of apricot season, some 150 pounds later from one tree; (or three trees, pruned as one). This weekend my husband, Ken and I tackled the remainder.
I had determined that with the largesse, I wanted to make my Mom’s apricot jam. We all loved it and she was so generous to share the dozens of jars she made each year.
Mom’s recipe doesn’t use pectin. With equal amounts of fruit and sugar, the flavor is intensely apricot but the yield is less. With pectin, the ratio of sugar to fruit is 1.5 to 1 so there is less fruit flavor, but more jam. I like Mom’s choice.
Pectin provides a sure product, but Mom taught me how to tell when the jam is ready, when it has cooked sufficiently, in her recipe without pectin.
Today, in her Pyrex custard cup, a small amount of jam went into the refrigerator. I remember her showing me when it was just right. Then came the first taste of the jam. When I sampled the jam today, a flood of memories washed over me; all evoked by the taste of apricot jam.
Two batches and only eight jars of apricot jam but I can’t wait to share with my sisters.
My Mom’s recipe in her handwriting, the board on which my grandmother set her hot jars of jam and the feather stitch dish towels Grandma made for me forty years ago.
I keep my mother and grandmother’s memory alive in my kitchen. Continuing to gather fruit, use some of their tools and recipes is deeply satisfying. I look for opportunities to make connections to the next generation, thankful for this family heritage.