We drove up the Horotane Valley (by the end of Port Hills Rd) to get these luscious tree-ripened apricots. They were $5 a kilo, and far superior to those offered in the supermarket. The apricot shop will be open until the end of January, and they also have tomatoes and cucumbers.
When I was a child there was an enormous apricot tree in our back garden and we feasted on these every January. My mother gave away boxes of them, filled dozens of preserving jars, and made apricot jam. One year, when my brother was doing his compulsory military training, learning to fly Tiger Moths at Taieri Aerodrome, my mother, not wanting him to miss the annual harvest, sent a crate of apricots down by rail. My brother later told me that while they were appreciated they were completely unnecessary as he was enjoying five course dinners in the officers’ mess.
“These Horotane apricots
remind me of my childhood – lots.”