The first 5-gallon bucket of apricots has been processed. I chose to halve and pit them and then pack them in quart jars.
The packing into quart jars took awhile. Then I made a thin syrup–3 cups water to 1 cup sugar– and poured it over the apricots in each of the seventeen jars. The canning lids were added and rings were tightened. The first seven quarts were placed in the canner to begin boiling for a 30-minute water bath.
With hard work, the first canner was completed before DD went to work. I came back home after dropping her off and packed eight more quarts. Each of these were boiled in sets of seven quarts. Unfortunately, I lost one quart out of the seventeen because during the boiling process, the bottom of the quart jar came apart (yes, it’s a Ball® glass jar). All the apricot halves floated to the top. Because it was boiling hot, I didn’t stop it and fish everything out until the 30 minutes were up for that canner load. So, we only have sixteen quarts out of that bucket.
There are two more buckets full of apricots and they will have to be canned before the end of the week as they are ripening quickly. DS wants some apricot butter out of some of them so we’ll see. All I know is there are lots and lots of apricots and I ran out of jar lids today. I will have to get more tomorrow before I process the next bucket load.
In other news, the garden was watered and weeded this morning. We picked another cucumber, a few green beans, and one okra pod. There are lots of okra pods coming along so maybe by the end of the week we will be able to enjoy are first harvest of okra for this year.
I am thankful that the okra is coming off earlier than last year. We also have squash growing, both zucchini and yellow; cabbage heads forming; broccoli progressing; more blossoms on the potatoes; and tomatoes on more than one plant. Our garden is kicking into “high gear”. DS also showed me the black turtle bean plants that are coming up. Those won’t require so much care, but I’m glad they are up.
Last, but certainly not least, all of the apricot pits from the first bucket were put in a trench in the garden where the garlic used to grow and covered with dirt. I don’t know if any of them will come up but it would be nice to have an apricot tree!
Now, I’m off to work on the granny square blanket and read a bit. I won’t be up very late as I’m tired, tomorrow is laundry day, and there is a good chance that I will have to process another bucket of apricots. They will sure be good this winter, eh?