Eyrieux Valley apricot season

It’s that almost falling asleep feeling. You are comfy, lying quietly, focusing on your breathing. And just having a small check at the end of the day. Did I shut the front door? Think so. All hoses off? Definitely. No watering was done today. Computer off in office? Possibly. And then you get the whiff.

What is that gorgeous smell?

Coming through the entire house and a firmly shut bedroom door. Did I? Did I forget?

Yep. I forgot.

I left the not perfectly ripe apricots from the tray out on the kitchen counter. Plum forgot to shove them in the fridge.

I have been toiling for a day now working through the second batch of apricots from the market. Two eight kilo trays in two weeks.

What was I thinking?

Well, greed frankly. Utter greed for these amazing fruit. And they escaped the hard frost most growers had in the Eyrieux Valley (sea level! or Rhone river level – ours are a month off being ripe).

It’s the lure of the ‘confiture apricots’ which gets me on Stephane’s stall just outside the Boulangerie. Which is code for utterly ripe, possibly going over and needs attending to at once.

And you just know that if Stephane doesn’t sell the dozen trays he brought up from the valley they will go onto his wasp-tastic compost heap.

So there is this:

And this:

And best of all this:

Apricot and mint sorbet. Although as I type I am steeping some scented pelargonium leaves in the light syrup for the next batch.

I love these little jars for serving them. Mainly because I can’t find any of the disposable plastic espresso cups I have been using in the past. I thought I was going to be A Good Egg and buy the clever bamboo pots they had in the entertain a crowd space in the cookware section of the supermarket. I bought them. Brought them home. And just before I poured my frozen but runny sorbet concoction into them before the last freeze – I checked.

They don’t hold water. Ran straight out the bottom.

Now I do have a crate of these 104ml jars for the next batch of jam. So instead I grabbed them and gave them a quick sterilise. Luckily my portions which I whizz in the blender is only 700 mls of syrup and fruit so that just makes nine small jars. Into the freezer they go. and then once frozen solid you can take them out of the flat trays and lids on and bury them anywhere you have a gap in the deep freeze.

And believe me, the hardest part about making sorbets where you put the whole blender bowl in the freezer for an hour, take out and blend again, repeat. Is you have to make space to store it in the belly of the deep freeze.

Makes for a tidying job in the middle of the hot day and a shining halo of happiness.

Almost as good as taking the jars out, grabbing the smallest teaspoons you own and sitting by the pool with your neighbours trying to spot the added aromatic plant in among the frozen apricots.