The year of the bummer crop, was the beginning of something amazing for me.
Apricots filled the countryside from North to south and everywhere in between, they were literally bending the branches of the trees in the old town square. That year everyone had a bucket or two in their truck or car, just in case you got a hankering for a fresh apricot, or an entire bucket to bring home and can with.
I decided to make the most of this amazing crop, I was going to put up some Apricot Jam, Apricot Salsa, and dried Apricots.
Boy did I ever. I must have found every jar I had in storage, bought all the lids and rings from the town stores and endlessly filled those buckets.
All I really remember is the endless days of chopping, cooking, creating and canning, day after day for a whole week!
Boy did we enjoy this bounty, we ate the chunky sweet, fresh jam on toast, or muffins, pancakes to bagels.
We devoured the Apricot Salsa with chips, or pita, cooked with it, poured it on tacos, or burritos, or just ate it by the spoonful! The salsa had a perfect blend of sweetness to heat from the peppers, and it was chopped to perfection.
Recently I came across my last jar of salsa, tucked nice and safe in the back of the pantry, I quickly ran to cupboard grabbed the bag of chips a jar, and sat down at the table to enjoy. I closed my eyes and all the smells, sights, sounds and memories of that summer 2 years ago came rushing in, filling my heart with so much happiness and joy.
This past canning year, I was able to find apricots at the farmers markets, for all my canning needs.
I just got to say I think it tastes even better from the apricots I picked myself, lol, and yes I still have a bucket in the trunk of the SUV, you know just in case
Fresh Apricot Salsa
Prepare the jars
Start your boiling water canner.
Sterilize the jars, lids and rings for 1 mins in the boiling hot water bath.
Take the jar, rings and lids out and set them aside on a dry clean cookie sheet.
Prepare and Chop Ingredients
Wash all vegetables and fruit.
Slice spicy peppers lengthwise and take out seeds.
Chop remaining ingredients by hand .
Peel apricots, take out seeds and chop.
Cook the salsa
Add all the chopped ingredients to a large stock pot.
Stirring to combine everything together.
On medium heat, cook until vegetables are softened, about 20 minutes. Stir to prevent any sticking to the bottom.
Once everything is hot and bubbly, turn down the heat
Fill Jars and Process
Ladle hot salsa into, hot clean pint jars, leaving 1/2 inch headroom. Wipe rims, secure lids and process pints for 20 and quarts for 35-40 minutes.
Your processing time depends on your altitude.
At 1,001 to 3,000 feet (305 to 914 meters) above sea level: increase processing time by 5 minutes.
At 3,001 to 6,000 feet (914 to 1,829 meters) above sea level: increase processing time by 10 minutes.