Here is what I ended up with from the 10 pounds of raspberries we picked last weekend:
- three quarts of frozen berries
- seven half-pints of jam
- three pints of jam
- several delicious handfuls along the way
I kept going on Saturday. I canned for hours and was so exhausted, miserable and whiny. It was in the low nineties so it actually felt cooler, but still, I had four burners going for eight hours.
I took a break late morning and went to a garage sale advertising plus sized clothing and free apricots. I left my large bucket in the car because I didn’t want to see too anxious, although I think my intentions were pretty transparent. I mindlessly scanned the junk for sale and then sweetly asked, “Do you still have apricots?” The nice man handed me a bag and told me to go to town. The tree carried hundreds of pounds of sweet orange fruit.
I grabbed a very unstable ladder (this always gets a pregnant woman a lot of unnecessary attention) and hiked up to the sweet spot. I began filling my wal-mart bag with fruit, my heart nearly leaping out of my chest and sweat forming tiny rivers down my legs as I strained to reach the best stash. I felt like I was racing the guy on the other side of the tree. He already had eight full bags. He was picking carelessly letting the best fruit drop twelve feet to a bruised murder.
I left with my two bags and a grin. I blanched, halved, pitted and peeled to make canned fruit in water so bug can eat them. But everything became mushy so I ended up making pureed apricots instead. Yes it is true that I am making baby food. Hey, it’s like lemons…when life gives you ill-equipped apricot halves, you make a puree. The color is amazing–it reminds me of the sunsets in Montana during fire season which is now. I still have more to make tonight.
Smoky Missoula sky below. Looking north up the Rattlesnake after a hike yesterday (left) and Mount Sentinel from the mall parking lot (right. I did indeed go to the mall yesterday and I got my new favorite shirt.)
I just made a bunch of babyfood today at my sister’s house. She’s got a 10 month old. And I would like to offer this bit of unsolicited advice. Don’t give the baby any fruit for quite awhile.
Our friends (and I) have found that once babies try the sweet stuff, they aren’t as interested in the vegetables. My sister has been feeding her son green beans, spinach, zucchini, broccoli, asparagus, quinoa, brown rice, etc and today I did a big batch of black beans. They are giving him small amounts of sweet potato and as long as he still will eat his grains and veges, he can keep having them. Everything is fresh and organic. She cooks it, purees it and freezes it in ice cube trays. Then she pops them out into tupperware and into the freezer. It is so easy.
I loved feeding my daughter homemade babyfood when she was little, such a great way to start them eating healthy!
Oh yah, and I am drooling over the apricots.