So you have a apricot tree or know someone with a box or two extra of these divine little fruits. Here's a pectin free jam I make with apricots and a lot of other fruits. My favorite way to make this jam is in a kitchen full of friends and a pitcher of iced tea or coffee. It gets hot in there and there is always at least one goof up but we have a great time. I love this recipe for it's ease so beginners, just dive in. The worst thing that is going to happen is that it won't set up (thicken), so what. You'll just have a mess of apricot syrup to give out and you don't have to tell anyone that's an accident. If it still feels daunting, send me an email so I can help. So go on, gather some friends and get to it!
The Set Up
It's just an ice try right? Simple little thing that most of us leave on the shelf somewhere behind the plastic bowls in a messy cabinet. I've got three actually making ice right now because I just paid three dollars for a bag of it at the store. It just seems odd to spend money on frozen water. So what else can we do with these things? I use them to use up leftover scraps of herbs, citrus and some vegetables that I just can't use up when they are fresh.
* When I have to zest and orange or lemon for a recipe I zest the whole thing and then juice it. I put spread the zest into equal squares of the tray and then pour the juice over. Freeze it, put it in a ziplock bag with a label for up to five months.
* When I cook with mushrooms, onions, shallots or garlic I take what is left over after cooking them down and just press it into the squares. You freeze it, ziplock it and label it. there are good for about two months I find.
* Yeast dough for dinner rolls. Make a big batch of dough and let it rise once. Instead of letting it rise again, punch down the dough and press a ball in each square of the tray. Freeze it, ziplock it and label it. These are good for about four months. Simply take them out about noon the day you want to use them, place them in whatever pan you would normally let them do a final rise in and let them rise. Bake as usual. This works great and your family will be so happy that you took the time to make them homemade dinner rolls.
* Leftover simmering sauces? Same thing for them. Cool, tray it, freeze, ziplock and label. These only last about two months but are great for those days when you just need a quick meal.
* Ever have too many eggs? Crack them all into a big measuring cup, scramble them up for every two cups of eggs put in a 1/2 teaspoon of stabilize the yolk. You can then pour into each section of the tray or freeze them in large batches in a plastic bowl. Same as before, freeze, ziplock, label and enjoy for up to six months.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. Start adding up what you aren't throwing out and enjoy the money you save as well as the time you will get back by having something to just grab out of the freezer.
I was brought up with a heavy influence from my grandma Jewel who was from Shubuta, Mississippi. She was the picture of a poor southerner with a big heart and a love of the kitchen and her garden. I have grown into the same sort of woman. I am like a lot of southern rooted women, I live in an unsouthern community. I have found that there are lots of us out there that bring the South to wherever we live.