Yesterday I made 6 jars of apricot and vanilla bean jam.
Now until yesterday, I have never eaten an apricot that I liked. They were always mealey or tasteless and blah. I do enjoy apricot desserts and jam; both of which we always looked for in France. The apricots I bought for making my jam actually smelled like peaches and were the most beautiful shade of orange. I wish I had taken a picture of them before cooking. Why the vanilla bean? The last time we were in France we were lucky enough to eat someone's homemade apricot jam, and it drove us crazy for three hours trying to figure out what that extra flavour was. After much looking through and trying to translate French cookbooks, we found a recipe that called for a hit of vanilla. While I was cooking down the fruit yesterday I added a whole vanilla bean to try and infuse the flavour. I think it worked; the jam smells like apricots with just a hint of vanilla, but you would really have think about it to identify it if you didn't know it was there. Of course, the little black dots of vanilla seeds are kind of a giveaway...
I have also been able to do some stitching outside while the kids play in the kiddie pool. Someone here is having a birthday on Monday, and I have been stitching their card.
Since I started cross stitching almost six years ago I have been making cards for my kids on each of their birthdays. I am proud to say that My Favorite Boy will now have six of them come Monday.
Yes, life is good in my Crafty World on these lazy summer days.