Today is a happy day. I am taking much joy from some very simple things. This morning at the Farmer's Market a nice man gave me a bag of soggy apricots. So now, as I write, I can hear that lovely little breadmaker making me up some apricot jam.
The other day I was musing about how lovely it is to have neighbours and work colleauges with fruit trees and jam making skills. I was gifted jars of freshly made apricot and fig jam for feeding Caroline's doggies for a week, and the biggest hippy gave me some of his WONDERFUL marmelade made with special oranges from Mildura. Each year he makes the trek to Mildura with his beloved to spend Christmas with her family. One of the side benifits of this trek is that he can source the perfect marmelade oranges - and I am quite a fan of perfect marmelade! In exchange, the biggest hippy relishes the duck eggs I frequently gift to him. That the next day, they return to the office in the form of luscious cakes for our morning tea is neither here nor there....
And what better way to indulge in these wonderful jams than to have finally cracked the "how to have fabulous bread when you don't eat wheat" conundrum. The little machine makes sublime wholemeal spelt bread, enriched with olive oil and whey flour, linseeds and sunflower seeds.
My Nanna made jam. As well as a long list of other elegantly frugal delights. I have never bothered because I don't see the point of buying fruit to make jam, and as yet, I don't have the orchard of my dreams. I did make cumquat jam once, but while pretty, cumquats are not my favourite fruit, and they certainly don't make a superior marmelade. The apricots are from a grower near orange. They are a different variety to apricots generally grown aroung ONC*, obvioulsy later - with a very different flavour.
And I feel very close to my Nanna standing at the sink cutting off rotten bits, seeding and chopping. I also feel a bit naughty siting here blogging while the super bread maker stirs the jam - when she would have had to stand at the stove stiring for an hour. I am also cheating by simulataniously sterilising the jam jars in the dishwasher - SHAMLESS. But I don't care! Chances are when we move to a farm next year, there will be no dish washer - and I will have to do it the old fashioned way - or buy a baby bottle steriliser......
And there is not much cuter than a bakers dozen fluffy white chickens squabling over a seriously rotten apricot - silkies are MADE for pottering under orchards - they love soft fruits more than any other chook breed I know. I look forward to that day when the flock can beetle around under an orchard.
* Our Nation's Capital