Every year for Mother's Day, I get a case of apricots to make what has come to be known as, "Mother's Day Apricot Jam." Some years, it is a bit earlier, or later, but most years, I spend Mother's Day weekend peeling, crushing, and cooking apricots-I wouldn't want it any other way!
This year, the produce manager gave me an incredible deal on a case (he pretty much sold it to me for what it cost him) and I promised him some dried/candied apricots from the case. I've been making the most of the food dehydrator, and in addition to the jelly candies and roll-ups, I'll probably experiment with some other recipes as well.
This year, Danny is hell-bent on coming home with a Best of Division ribbon from the fair, so I may supervise, but let him make the Mother's Day Jam for one of his fair submissions. He's managed one really terrific quick bread recipe that I'm confident would get a blue ribbon...but he *really* wants that Best of Division ribbon. To increase that likelihood, he's entering things in several divisions (preserving, baking, crafts, gardening). He wants to do both County, and Sate Fair as well. I should be thankful he isn't raising cattle for 4-H (yet).
I'm of the belief that jam should be kept as simple as possible to let the quality of the fruit shine. My jam recipe is made without pectin, but uses sugar, apricots, and water. I'm fine with experimenting with marmalade, but jam somehow...well, I don't know. I'm open to suggestions if anyone knows a sure-fire-Best-of Division winning recipe for apricot jam.
The garden is plodding along, though it is still too cool to put out any plants. My peppers are flowering in the windowsill, and the lavender is taking over my dining room. And no, I'm not trying lavender in my apricot jam.