Monday, July 18, 2005


The week of work hell was far behind me when I got home Friday. I was exhausted. The good news was that our first large order for Victoria's Secret was shipping. The cost to get to this point, however, was pretty high. The next order should be easier in some ways, but we have to get even more product out of the door and we are lacking in supplies and manpower. When I got home on Friday, though, that was a problem looming over the following work week.

I woke from my nap on the sofa Friday just in time for the arrival of Shawn's mother. A family function on Saturday brought her up to stay with us Friday night. It's always nice to have a visit from Debbie. Shawn brought a pizza home for dinner and trailed her mom by about 30 minutes.

After breakfast on Saturday, Shawn and Debbie went off to the family function: a wedding anniversary for Debbie's brother, Derry. I chose not to go to this party. Large family functions are not my thing. They are definitely a part of Shawn's family experience.

While Shawn and Debbie headed north, my plans took me east across the mountains to Peshastin (just past Leavenworth). I made my first trip of the year to the Hauff family farms. Helen Hauff is a sweet woman who, for reasons only she would know, has decided that she likes Shawn and I. My goal for this trip was to buy some apricots from Helen. There were apricots, but she didn't have any cases displayed and no pricing for one. Had I come too late, I wondered? I sure hope not. Shawn's run around telling everyone that they are going to get apricot jam for Xmas this year. Plus, I had recently made an apricot tart with the jam I made last year and baked it in a hazelnut crust flavored with a touch of orange. Shawn was crazy about this dessert and I had enough jam to make one more, so I wanted more apricots to make more jam so we could enjoy this throughout the rest of this year.

Before I got to the counter, I noticed that Helen had cherries. Every fruit stand in the state has them this time of year. Helen had Bings and Rainiers from Wenatchee. She was only charging a dollar per pound. I snagged several pounds of them.

When I got to the counter, I asked Helen about the apricots. "Yes, dear, I've got them. They came in fresh this morning. They're out in the cooler. I haven't even had time yet to put up a sign. Since you're buying all of this, I'll give you the same price for everything: a dollar per pound." Sold. I took 2 cases of apricots, plus another bag of apricots, a bag each of Rainier and Bing cherries, and a 10 pound bag of Walla Walla onions. Sure, I was nearly $70 lighter, but it was going to be so good.

Traffic was terrible in the mountains. I got caught behind several slow vehicles. They were easily passable when we reached passing lanes, but it made for a long trip home. It was 4 PM when I settled into the house. No time to work on the apricots. I made the tart, though, in case Debbie and Shawn wanted some when they came home. As it turned out, they didn't get in until after 10.

We had breakfast Sunday in Snohomish. Debbie left and went to visit her brothers. Shawn and I went home. Shawn played in the yard and garden while I set about dealing with the apricots. I nearly filled our 13 quart stock pot, then added sugar to it to macerate the apricots. I still hadn't used up a case by this point. Next, I sliced up some apricots and put them on the food dehydrator. OK. One case was gone. I still have another case to work with. The good news is that I've been canning long enough now that I have plenty of jars to work with. I ran to Fred Meyer's and got some lids - a small expense. I also grabbed some dairy items to make ice cream with.

It was a hot day in Monroe - mid 80s - and Shawn had the idea to make ice cream. She hadn't done it yet and she was worried about the process. We used a Martha Stewart recipe for vanilla ice cream, but then added a bit of Frangelico and a little Grand Marnier. While Shawn and Debbie, who returned to us in the early evening, worked on dinner, I ran the ice cream maker. I also caramelized onions and made mujadarrah (lentils, rice, caramelized onions). It was a terrific meal and a good time.

I'm home today - planning my assault on the remaining apricots. It's supposed to be another warm day, though not as warm as yesterday. I like canning and cooking a lot. It's relaxing for me. Globe peaches will be in next month and that will necessitate another trip to visit Helen Hauff. We also need to stop and pick blueberries this year for freezing. Yum.


Scott said...

Let me know when you're getting the peaches my friend. I made some peach wine which I really liked several years ago, and I'd like to try it with good peaches. The ones I used before didn't have much of a peachy flavor.

B.D. said...

I'll definitely do that, Scott. It'll most likely be sometime in the middle of August. I've used the Red Havens for canning in the past and they are tasty, but last year I used Globe Peaches. The globes had better flavor and also kept their shape better in the canning process.