Blossom Time

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!

Almond blossom display on I-5
Almond blossoms on display on I-5

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.


Apricot cutting blossoms
Apricot cutting blossoms

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!


apricot orchard blossoms
Apricot Orchard Blossoms

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.

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3 comments on “Blossom Time”:

  1. Congratulations on your blog, Lisa! I am truly looking forward to following your journey. I have tasted some of your wonderful apricot treats over the years and know you know apricots.
    Your writing is beautiful and so are the photos. Can’t wait to read more!

  2. How great Lisa. Apricots are my favorite fruit. We used to dry them (with sulfur), and for a time in Sunnyvale we lived in a lone subdivision surrounded by never-ending apricot orchards (1963) that we would hike endlessly in.

    BTW, if you were involved making those apricot treats at the SHS reunion (at the Novakovich orchard), they were magnificent!


  3. Hi Lisa, We met on the Southwest flight last Thursday. I enjoyed reading your blog & look forward to watching your book’s progress!
    Best, Alexis Newman Friedman

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