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Posts Tagged ‘Apricots’

Apricots from Schnepf FarmsI didn’t know it when I was little but my grandmother and grandfather used to have a farm and garden in Indiana.  They raised chickens and grew most of their own food.   ( Later my mother would tell me of the summer she spent breaking the necks of the chickens they raised and boiling them to remove the feathers.  Or my Uncle’s method of chopping the heads off.. I’ve been told they really do run around for a little while after the event.  But I digress.)

When they moved to Mesa, Arizona they had to abandon the practice to a certain extent because of the harsh climate of the valley.  But they had two small, perfect little apricot trees growing in the backyard until I was twelve.  I became aware of them at about age 6.  Most of the year they were bare and the limbs too thin and weak to climb.  For climbing I preferred the grapefruit tree which is also now gone.  Then in the spring would come the leaves…. and then the blossoms.  And finally the fruit.  My grandfather was gentle but stern in his warnings to wait until they were ripe to eat them.  Can you imagine being a small child looking at the tiny little fragrant globes of orange and being told to wait?? 

So I would on the swing-set and think of other things until the day arrived when he would take me out into the backyard and fill my little awaiting hands with the plump, juicy fruit.  I was a messy child to begin with.  But I was an absolute sticky midget after I ate apricot after apricot standing in front of the trees… the juice dripping from my mouth onto my chin and then shirt.

This would go on for a few weeks until we’d either eaten them all or the neighboring birds had.  How I hated the birds those few weeks.  And then I would forget all about them until the next spring.  As I got older and began to shop for myself I would look forward to apricot season in the stores.. I didn’t know anyone with a tree anymore.  But they would always disappoint. 

This year I have been satiated.  For Mother’s Day my family took my mother to Schnepf Farms, in Queen Creek and we picked peaches and apricots in the hot sunshine.  I was a little sad at first because all of the tree ripened fruit had been picked.  But we took a chance and grabbed a little box of the hard fruits to take home to ripen.  And ripen they have.  The smell coming from the box is intoxicating, and brought back the memory of those two lone fruit trees rustling in the occasional breeze.  And of the old cliche… Good things come to those who wait.

 

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