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      This Independence Day will be especially festive for the Redwood Empire Farmers’ Market, which is moving back to its original location on the east side of the Santa Rosa Veteran’s Memorial Hall  after residing on the west side for the past six weeks.   The market will run from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Wednesdays and 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. 

   To celebrate the Fourth,  the market will be unfurling free treats for customers, discounts for veterans and the usual feel-good vibe of  live music.  At 10 a.m., there will be a patriotic  parade through the market of  kids on trikes, bikes and wagons.  

    O’Malley’s Mobile Knife Sharpening will  sharpen your knives for just $4, which is a nice bargain. After using  dull knives for way too long,   I got my knives sharpened there on Mother’s Day and now,  I can slice and dice through  all that produce in no time.

    Speaking of produce, the window for fresh apricots and cherries is closing soon, but there are plenty of Santa Rosa plums around and the whiff of summer nectarines and peaches is in the air. Now is the time to put up some fresh fruit for sweet treats to come. Here’s an easy, freezer  recipe from Kay Baumhefner of Come Home to Cooking in Petaluma.   

 Casual Recipe for Putting up Apricots (and other Fruit)

You’ll need:

Ripe apricots (or  cherries, peaches, nectarines, berries, apples or pears)

Granulated sugar

Strained lemon juice 

Note:  For each 4 cups fruit, use cup sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Optional:

Sweet spices, such as cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger and clove

Grand Marnier, brandy or rum (use 1 tablespoon per 4 cups fruit)

  1. Stir   the lemon juice (plus optional spices and spirits) into the sugar until it dissolves.
  2. Cut the apricots in half and fold into the sugar mixture to evenly coat.
  3. Transfer to freezer bags, pressing out any pockets of air before sealing.
  4. Press flat and stack in the freezer.
  5. Defrost at room temperature or an hour or more until soft (or overnight in the fridge) before using.
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