Archive for Apricots

Bears, Bees, Baseball and Knitting

Blog Baseball Bears and Knitting 003I like minor league baseball better than the majors.  Oh, I loved going to see the Dodgers play when I lived in California.  I especially enjoyed the team during the time Orel Hershiser was pitching.  But seeing the Salt Lake City Bees play is much more fun.  The stadium isn’t fourteen stories high and you don’t need to walk three miles from the back edge of the parking lot to the stadium.  Actually, you can park a few blocks away on the city streets if you want and not pay for parking.  We sat in the lower level and could actually see the faces of the players without binoculars.  Beyond the baseball field, the Wasatch Mountains rose up to a beautiful sky.  We ate free peanuts and dollar hotdogs and the kids got to meet Bumble, the Bees’ mascot.  After the game there was the best fireworks show I have seen in awhile.  And the evening ended with the kids getting to run the bases and get a set of the team’s baseball cards.  Oh, did I mention that the Bees won, 10 to 5.  Sorry, Nashville.

Wednesday night was the 4th annual Stitch ‘n Pitch.  The Salt Lake Knitting Guild presented over 200 teddy bears and other stuffed animals, all dressed in fun knit or crocheted outfits to the Cottonwood Police Department.  These were made by members of the guild and are given by the police to children in crisis situations.

The majority of these were made over the course of one weekend Knit-In.  The Unraveled Sheep yard shop, where I go to knit with friends, got together with Three Wishes Fiber Arts shop and challenged each other to knit the most outfits during the weekend.  The shops also had members drop off outfitted bears during the weekend.  We all had a great time sharing stories and coming up with new outfits.  Unraveled Sheep won the bragging rights this year with over a hundred dressed animals lining the shelves and bookcases. 

Someday, I will finish the many knitting projects in my closet.  For now, when I think of the great time I had knitting into the wee hours with friends, I smile.  This year or next, each of those animals may bring a smile to a child in need.

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Apricot Pineapple Bread and Muffins

8.11.09 033 

We have had a couple days in the low 70’s.  For the Salt Lake Valley, that feels more like fall than summer.  Great baking weather.  I have been changing recipes to work with my stewed apricots instead of the dried apricots most recipes use.  I love apricot and pineapple together so they were a natural for this recipe.  These muffins are not too sweet.  They taste great alone or with a dab of butter and some honey.  The recipe makes a dozen muffins and one loaf.   Jeff has been eating up my baked good as quickly as I make them, so, as he was devouring the muffins, I wrapped the loaf and got it into the freezer quickly.  My goal is to have the freezer full of goodies ready to pull out when we entertain.

Stewed Apricots

Wash and pit fresh apricots. Put a small amount of water in your pot, about one-quarter inch deep. The apricots will quickly make their own juice. The water is to keep them from scorching at the beginning. Cover the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a steady simmer and cook for thirty minutes or longer until they are soft. If you are doing a large amount, like I did, you can let them cool and then pack measured amounts into quart freezer bags. I made up one cup and two cup bags which I labeled. Cool them sufficiently in the refrigerator and then freeze.

Apricot Pineapple Bread and Muffins

This makes a large amount of batter. Use an extra large mixing bowl, or cut the recipe in half.

1 cup stewed apricots 

2 cups drained crushed pineapple

1 cup oil

2 tsp. vanilla

4 eggs, beaten

1 ½ cups sugar

4 cups flour (white or whole wheat)

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

½ tsp. salt

3 tsp. cinnamon

½ tsp. ginger

1. Grease one loaf pan and a muffin pan or two loaf pans.

2. Mix together apricots, pineapple, vanilla and oil in an extra large bowl. Add the beaten eggs and sugar and mix well.

3. Combine the dry ingredients together in a separate bowl. Add to the apricot mixture and stir just enough to get all the dry ingredients moist.

4. Fill the muffin tins and loaf pan. Bake at 350º.  Muffins take about 35 -38 minutes.  Bread takes about 70.  They are done when tester comes out clean. 

You might try dried prunes that you stew in place of the apricots.

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