I’m timing my next visit to Saratoga to when the apricot trees are in blossom. My friends there are keeping an eye out and next weekend looks very promising!
Over the President’s Day weekend, I visited my daughter in Claremont, making the long drive down and back along I-5 from the Bay Area. I was thrilled by the Almond blossom display along the length of the drive through the Central Valley! Some lovely branches made it home with me and look and smell delightful on my dining table.
If you’re lucky enough to purchase budding fruit branches or find orchard trimmings as I did, you can simply put them in a vase and patiently await their opening or you can encourage the immature blooms by “forcing” them. One approach is to soak and store the branches in a cool, dark place for a few weeks, as described in more detail here.
Also on my calendar is the 2016 Saratoga Blossom Festival, a reinvented annual celebration held at the Saratoga Heritage Orchard, this year on March 19 from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. The Blossom Festival originated in 1900, was attended by people from all over the Santa Clara Valley and continued through WWII. This will be my first visit!
I mentioned in the first post that this two-year journey has been supported by my “Apricot Team” of dear friends and family. As I have collected recipes for the cookbook, nearing 100 at this time, the recipe testing and food photography has mostly occurred in Seattle where my son Jack and daughter-in-law Jessica live. Jessica is a professional photographer well established in Seattle’s fascinating food photography scene and has provided a wonderful space at the House Studios for our work along with her expert art direction and photography. Jack provides logistical, musical, and dishwashing support. Our 6th photo shoot is planned for February 27-28 and we will post some tasty images and recipes so please check back then.