It’s apricot season and I’m reminded of why they’re so amazing.
One. They never taste as good as they do right now. Time for picking and eating. And soon it will be time for the inevitable, hurry-up quick baking and canning or at least forced gleaning to friends and family. But for now I can enjoy them one at a time.
Spring into summer always feels like a bit of a race. Everything needs to happen at once, especially in the garden. I make my list, check 5 things off and then add 10 more. I can’t help but laugh because it’s self-imposed. I like to tell myself the garden made me do it — or the plants.
Like apricots. They seem to spring up out of no where, weeks after the show of flowers. Dull and fuzzy at first and then there are one or two popping off branches and my feathered competition getting busy, making it clear they’re ready for eating.
Two. Picking them. It’s far better than buying them at the market, especially if you can get to them when they’re still firm. My favorite is to pull them apart at the seam and eat one half then the other, but only after I give it a good long smell (Gram taught me that). Eating apricots or any fresh picked fruit is the best.
Three. Memories. Funny to think of eating an apricot as a bookmark for a memory, but I’m convinced this is the way it is for all of us. With food, fragrances, flowers, etc. They’re vehicles for memories. My grandmother showing me how to eat them. I can hear her voice and see things as if I were still counter top height and light enough to sit on her lap — being teased me in Italian.
Then comes the smell of apricot bars baking and the sound of jam bubbling and jars clinking together on the stove. It’s always the same. And now it’s my turn to make tarts and jam. Grow fruit, flowers and veggies and pass it along. The teasing too, it’s the only Italian I remember.
Grow what you love and pass it on.