If you have read Andi's Ramblings or It Just Dawned On Me---You know that our family has been blessed with abundant apricots. Unfortunately, I do not have batteries for my camera and they are dead. I am not as fanatic over cameras and pictures as my daughters are. Shame on me. It might be that I grew up in a time when we didn't take pictures just to be taking them. I guess I just never got addicted to it. Anyhow just ask my daughter, Andi, as she can tell you that a roll of film of her eighth birthday party was finally developed when she was 20 years old. Not as clear as it could have been, but none the less we got the pictures, and proof of who broke the lamp.
Back to the reason for this addition to Perils of the Sandcreek Ranch. We did and still do have a wonderful crop of apricots. It makes me sad how many have gone to waste. I know that my grandmothers would be so ashamed of me for the waste. They each would go out each morning and gather all of the "windfall" fruit and either make it for lunch, make jams and jellies or can the fruit itself. Nothing went to waste. I have made jams, pies, froze apricots, gave buckets of the fruit away and begged others to come and get it. It seems that this is a bumper crop year for everyone. I heard one friend say that she was just putting them into peoples cars at church. Made me think of the squash season. You know everyone locks their car doors for fear of being blessed by everyone who raises them.
This morning, I went with the Rancher to check cattle on the west end of SandCreek and decided to check on the plums. I have NEVER seen so many plums. The bushes are loaded and hanging over the banks of the creek. We had two buckets and filled them with ripe fruit. There are areas that are still green, some just turning and an abundance of ripe ones. God has blessed us. I told the Rancher that we had to gather all that we could as it was the best crop we have ever had. Is this a sign that we will not be having any for several years? I always freeze several gallons for the years we don't have any. Making too much jelly at a time is not good.
Sandhill Plums make the best jams and jellies. I can hardly wait. I remember my grandmother telling of packing a lunch and the family taking the wagon and making a day of picking sandhill plums. They were the only fruit available in the early days. Grandma also made a wonderful Plum pudding and cobbler. She didn't always take the seeds out though and we had to be careful when eating it.
If you haven't had a hot piece of toast topped with homemade sandhill plum jam, you don't know what you are missing. Grab a bucket and head for the country. The thickets along the roadsides are loaded (if they haven't all been picked). Gather the kids and grandkids and make a fun time of it.