Join Me Along the Way to Creating a Cookbook

For the Love of Apricots” is a work-in-progress, the fruit of my heritage in Saratoga, California where I had the good fortune to grow up under the remnants of a French prune orchard. Back then, in the 1960s, Saratoga was a village set between forested mountains and fertile farmland, along the hilly fringe of the Santa Clara Valley. There were orchards in all directions — apricots, prunes, cherries, peaches, almonds and walnuts. Today, only one commercial orchard remains in Saratoga, which I rediscovered in midlife.

In the test kitchen
In the test kitchen

Visiting this local orchard became a habit while caring for my aging father. It was delightful to walk together through the orchard rows, feeling the soil, enjoying the views, chatting with the owners and buying their apricots, cherries and other produce. Our walks brought memories of our Saratoga property close again. Those visits with dad helped me recognize that I love apricots for many reasons: their unique beauty, flavor and the sheer joy of eating them, as well as for their deep connection to our agricultural heritage. Today, Saratoga is part of Silicon Valley but not too long ago, it was known as the Valley of Hearts Delight.

Planning our Saratoga high school reunion a few years ago rekindled old friendships with a local photographer and a research specialist, both with a deep appreciation for our shared past. My son’s recent wedding brought a talented food photographer into our family. A neighbor who generously provided graphic arts support for me over the years shared a family cookbook she created and encouraged me to think of doing my own. At a time in life for reflection and appreciation of all that has formed and enriched us, and with an awareness that it could all pass away, I began to collect apricot recipes.

These forces have helped set me on this Apricot journey and I hope you will join me too! I promise it will be delicious, beautiful and lots of fun. And one day, there will be a handsome, useful cookbook: “For the Love of Apricots“.

Lisa


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6 comments on “Join Me Along the Way to Creating a Cookbook”:

  1. Lisa,
    You have selected the perfect picture for the top of your blog. Apricots are special. We await your book.

    Apple blossom time in upstate New York is one of my strongest growing up memories. Not only did I have the visual beauty of an orchard in full bloom, but I loved climbing the trees themselves, enveloped by the sound of bees and the smell of spring-time everywhere. Sometimes, I would simply sit on a branch and just take it all in.

  2. Hi Lisa. I really enjoyed reading your blog. Thanks so much for sharing that with me.
    Back about 50 + years ago when my family moved to Saratoga, we bought a little house on this little dirt road called Wild Oak Way. We were one of three homes on this quiet dead-end street. Our front yard was a dirt field and across the street? A rather large prune orchard (which would have run between Farwell Avenue and Douglass Lane and points beyond). I remember my Dad hitting golf balls from our front yard into the orchard and we would run around and collect them for him.
    Today, Wild Oak Way is a double-wide paved road and our house is one of 7 homes that line the west side of the street. And across the street? Multi-million dollar homes and new roads. Not a prune tree in sight.
    I have this really great recipe made with quinoa and apricots, if you’re looking for new ones.
    Regards, Sue

  3. thanks for including me in this, Lisa… well done!

    As for me, I used to have to park my old station wagon under the apricot tree next to our driveway, and they would fall and rot on the car and all around it… so, unfortunately, that smell has stuck with me all these years! So I guess your blog and cookbook might bring the little buggers a bit of redemption…

    Hope you’re well…

    best

    Chap

  4. I love your soft voice, Lisa. So you! I read the later entry first so I see how you’re able to communicate a lot of information, some of it sad – the loss of the farms and farmlands – but gently. Love you and love apricots!

  5. Great new blog, Lisa. Congratulations!
    I love the photos and look forward to reading more as your cookbook comes to life..

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