What Puts the "Ape" in Apricot?


This tiny fruit with the BIG attitude is a nutritional powerhouse of vitamins A and C, iron, potassium ... and so on, and so forth.

But is that really the reason why so many of us love them? Of course not.
I mean, celery also contains a powerhouse of nutrients, but when was the last time you saw anybody jump up and down for joy over a celery stick?

Which reminds me ... I want the name of the freak-show who created "Ants on a Log?" How can such a title possibly appeal to most kids' finicky appetites?

"Oh children, those of you who want "Ants on a Log," raise your hand!"

"Oh yeth ma'am. And may I have that with a side of Wood-Rotting Fungi, pleath?"

Forgive me for going off on a tangent, yet again. But, did you know that dreaming of apricots may bring you misfortune and sorrow? And that dreaming of eating apricots signifies calamitous influences?
Did you also know that you should never believe everything you read?

Eschew their silly interpretation, and start savoring apricot after juicy apricot while they're in season, which incidentally, is from May through August.
Have you already had your fill of fresh apricots and still have some leftover? Then why not extend their life, and consider transforming them into a deliciously-golden apricot compote?

For this recipe you could use dried apricots, but take advantage of the abundance of fresh apricots at your local market, and make enough to carry you through the cold winter months. You could also share them with family and friends. Kidding! Let'em get their own. ;-)

Spread this compote on your breakfast toast, pancakes, ice cream, crepes, or stand over the kitchen sink, grab a spoon and dig in. Who's to know? This meeting is adjourned.

Apricot Compote

4 cups pitted apricots
1 cup sugar
juice of ½ lemon

Combine apricots, sugar and lemon juice in a bowl and macerate overnight. Transfer the mixture to a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer the apricots until soft, about 5 minutes.
Strain the apricots, returning the liquid to the pan. Reserve the apricots. Simmer the liquid until it is reduced to a syrup. Then add the apricots. Allow the compote to cool before serving. Adapted from Craft of Cooking, by Tom Colicchio.

For longer storage, pour compote into sterilized jars and process the jars in a boiling-water bath according to the manufacturer's directions, generally about 10 minutes. Refrigerate after opening.