August Abundance

I think that August might be the peak month for produce shopping at the local market. I could be wrong but I think mid-August might provide the widest array and biggest cross-section of fruits and vegetables. Apples and pears start to come in while  you still have all the summer berries blueberries, strawberries, blackberries (my favorite) and even the tail end of raspberries can be found in August. You get plums, nectarines, apricots and of course who can forget peaches.

August is classically the month of peaches here in the interior and if you happen to be fortunate enough to live in the Okanagan valley you know the delicious abundance of peach season. For $40 I can purchase more peaches than I can process. I fill my cupboards with canned peaches,  my freezer with frozen peach slices for smoothies and we eat peaches every day for three juicy weeks.

august-vegetables-3_21059133But lest we forget that we are still in prime vegetable season and while spinach is in short supply in these hot days a vegetable grower worth their salt will still have greens for you. Beautiful, luxurious heads of lettuce in wide varieties. Tomatoes, peppers & cucumbers of all shapes and sizes are found along side plentiful patty pans and delicate little potatoes.

And who could forget the summer squash that stole all the glory zucchini. I personally love zucchini season and it’s mostly because I love relish. What else goes in relish? Onions, white, red, green they all are available in August as well as the season’s first summer garlic. Herbs of every variety and what else is a signature of August? Corn. That ever so seasonal probably contaminated with GMO but you don’t care because it’s so tasty sweet corn.

You name it and you can probably find it at market in August so go crazy.
Roast vegetables. Roast LOTS of vegetables because before you know it they will be gone.

All those Apricots

loaded apricot treeIf you live in Kamloops like I do chances are come the end July or early August you don’t ever want to see another apricot as long as you live. There are even people in this town who think the trees should be banned. I happen to enjoy their abundance for one very key reason….fruit leather. My kids inhale fruit leather in the fall like it is candy, which it kind of is. Apricots make my job with fruit leather easy.

If you are using apricots for fruit leather it is very important to choose the tastiest fruit. Apricots that are even starting to rot have a flavor that comes through when it is dried and your kids won’t go near it. Another thing we do on alternating years is dehydrate whole apricots or rather half apricots. My son (who is a very picky eater) loves these in his lunch or as an after school snack.

Dehydrating Apricots

  1. First, prepare your fresh apricots by washing them, cut them in half, and remove the pits.
  2. Arrange the apricots on your dehydrator trays, making sure they don’t overlap. If you are using an Excalibur dehydrator, you may wish to leave out alternating trays if you find that your apricot halves are too cramped in-between the trays. I find the Nesco dehydrator better suited for dehydrating apricots due to the spacing between their trays.
  3. Turn on your food dehydrator and set the temperature between 125°F and 135°F
    (or per your food dehydrator’s instructions).
  • Apricots are pliable when dried.
  • Drying time: between 8-16 hours.

From Easy Food Dehydrating

And just for my sister I’ll post a link to an Apricot Spread recipe. She loves the stuff, my family tends towards berry spreads but yours might love this one as much as my sisters family does.