Now we don’t have an ordinary sandpile. When we planned our backyard, the landscaper miscalculated the amount of sand we needed and didn’t realize it until we had four times too much sand sitting on our driveway! Unfortunately they wouldn’t haul away the extra sand so we were stuck building a retaining wall and making a ginormous sandpile in our backyard. My sweetie says the wall is 35’ x 35’ with 8 inches of sand at one end sloping to 24 inches deep at the other. All told we have 1200 square feet of sand! It takes up a huge area of the backyard and we have a shed and playground equipment on top of it. It also borders our garden which is a pain in the butt because the garden likes to throw weeds over the retaining wall and then I have to weed the sandpile as well as the garden.
|Google Maps satellite image. All the trees along the left fence are also ours.|
Anyway, back to planting that silly apricot tree. I really didn’t want the tree by the sandpile. If by some miracle it did grow, it would drop apricots and leaves all over the place. Just what we needed, sand that is mushy with more than plain water! But I didn’t win. My sweetie laughed and said it would never get that big, apricots just don’t do well in the Salt Lake Valley…but he was wrong. It’s huge! In a good year we get 5 or 6 five-gallon buckets of apricots and that doesn’t count the ones that fall off the tree into the sandpile where they germinate and shoot up tiny little apricot trees that I have to dig up every year. It’s a good thing my mom taught me how to make jam because you can only throw so many at the neighbor’s dog. (Just kidding, Michelle, I don’t throw any at your dogs.)
So today I’m going to give you two recipes (because my little recipe tab looks so sad with just one recipe on it). The first one is for Apricot Jam, but if you don’t have access to apricots (or paper-cots as Curly calls them) you can buy apricot preserves to make the second recipe which is Apricot Chicken. I love this recipe because it is so easy and tasty! Give them a try and let me know what you think.
5 cups prepared fruit
½ cup lemon juice
1 box pectin
8 cups sugar
¼ tsp butter or margarine
Pit unpeeled apricots. Finely chop or grind fruit.
Measure exactly 5 cups prepared fruit into a large saucepan. Stir in lemon juice. Stir pectin into prepared fruit in pan. Add butter to reduce foaming.
Bring mixture to full rolling boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in sugar. Return to full rolling boil and boil exactly 4 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Skim off foam.
Ladle into prepared jars, filling to within 1/8 inch of tops. Wipe jar rims and threads. Cover with 2-piece lids. Water bath for 10 minutes.
Cook chicken breasts in frypan on medium heat until done (approximately 10 minutes).
Spoon apricot jam in generous amounts on each breast. Let it drizzle down into the frypan.
Reduce heat and cook for about 5 minutes until jam is turned to liquid.
Serve over cooked rice. Make sure you drizzle some of the cooked jam into your rice. Leftovers are excellent cut into a green salad!