Over the August long weekend, I fortunately got a chance to stay at K’s gorgeous lake-view family cabin in the Okanagan Valley, BC. Initially I was a bit hesitant on going on this girls’ trip because an air quality advisory warning was issued by the Environment Canada after the blazing wildfire broke out in..well…the Okanagan. When I told Mama Choi I was to leave for the OK for a week, her immediate responses were:
“But that’s where the forest fire is!”
“Smoke is gonna be REAL bad there”
“It’s gonna be worse than the Lower Mainland! Why would you go?”
“What if the forest fire spread to where you guys are ?”
And she was partially right. The air condition was pretty visibly dreadful. So dreadful to the point that through the entire 4 hour drive to the valley, L and I increasingly became more and more concerned by the foggy orange highway and the potent smell of the smoke (she was pretty entertained by the glowing red sun though). And to make the matters worse, there were reports of more wildfires breaking out at the towns near us. I’m fairly positive this was the first time in my life hearing that BC’s air quality was worse than Beijing and Los Angeles.
But it really wasn’t that bad. Once we were on the boat water skiing, paddle boarding and um yeah taking turns *swimming* in the lake, we really couldn’t care less about the air quality anymore. Plus, when you are tranquilly floating on that crystal clear lake or dipping yourself in a nice hot jacuzzi with a beautiful sunset and lake-view right in front of you, all while sipping on a glass of fragrant cold white wine just purchased from one of the countless fine wineries near by, air advisory warning is the last thing that will cross your mind.
Needless to say, the trip went by a lot quicker than we thought and it was finally time for my second favourite activity – checking out local produce! (because checking out wineries was my #1 priority and favorite activity)
K suggested me and L to drive to Keremeos, which was about 30 min drive away from where we were staying, to pick up local produce. Apricot season had just ended and peach season hasn’t quite started yet but those two were the local produce I was aiming for. Since L and I ended up leaving the cabin quite later than we thought, we decided to just drop by any fruit stand we can spot on the way that would be open and tah-dah! There it was, Bear Frausch’s Farm Market. Both apricots and peaches were going for only $12 for 20lb (or $8.99 for 10lb) so we grabbed a box each and decided to split it. $0.60 per pound for fresh local produce? I’m in. Apricots and peaches go for approx $1.99/lb in Lower Mainland. S bought a box of apricots for $15 for 10lb box in Summerland so it seems that Keremeos sells produce for cheaper.
I really should have refrigerated them right away but then my lazy ass didn’t want to rearrange the fridge. Within the next few days, some of the apricots were just way too ripe and mushy (some even had bits of rotten ends so I had to cut parts off) but still hella delicious! I firmly believe that the best way to enjoy any fresh fruit is eating them raw but there was no way I could finish shoving all these over-ripen apricots within the next few days. L and I talked about making apricot jam anyways so why not? All it takes is two ingredients: mushy over-ripen apricots and sugar. So L, I’d like to dedicate this recipe for you.