When I spent summer school breaks in a Southern City Near the Sea my grandma used to post parcels with her praised apricot preserves (stuffed with blanched and roasted kernels; yes, every fruit separate and translucently golden) to her cousins and their children. Not for a special occasion, just because she was in the process of yearly summer “conservation” campaign and habitually made twice the amount her big immediate family needed for winter. She would write the names of all her living relations and their addresses on a lined sheet of paper (and ask relatives whose address she knew for the addresses of those she didn’t), in her awkward spidery handwriting of a woman whose education was ended in kheder – a 4-year Yiddish school. She taught herself Russian and Ukrainian, and her grammar was “on the ear”, as she said – it was phonetic-based. Then she’d cross the names off the list as grandpa hammered together plywood boxes and she tightly packed them with the seasonal goodies, to be brought to post office.
I’m way down on scale to her 100% perfection, somewhere around 5% – I have no illusions…For instance, the recipe I’m about to show you she’d have dismissed as “lazy” – and rightly so. She would not be deterred by the heat and would go whole nine yards – cracking apricot pits, removing kernels, blanching then dry-roasting them, and million other operations for proper Абрикосовое Варенье с Косточками.
We’ll see if the final product comes even close to her prized confiture.
Dissolve sugar in half volume of water, bring to a slow boil.
Insert blanched dry roasted almond slices into each apricot
Carefully transfer stuffed apricots into the syrop, turn off the heat. Let them sink.
Leave overnight on top of the stove, protected from insects.
I’ll tell you what to do next tomorrow!