One Bad Apricot

My adventures with apricots began last week when I noticed trees around town heavy laden with the fruit. I posted a few requests on Facebook for permission to pick apricots off people’s trees. My local friends responded and I started picking!

The first batch that I came home with were very carefully harvested,
although I did almost bite into a tiny caterpillar. That was creepy! But I was in a hurry so I didn’t take pictures of them at the time when I baked some, froze some, and ate lots raw. Apricots can be very pretty fruit. And they smell so good. That is, until they cease being ripe and start to rot.

Today I started working on my second batch of apricots that were from another pesticide free tree. Which meant drug free, but not bug free. These were harvested by two very sweet children–one a former student of mine. But they picked them a few days before I got to them, and then it was a few more days until I actually got to them. Today fruit gnats (is that what they’re called?) started to gather around the plastic tote layered with golden over ripe fruit and I knew it was time.

That’s a lot if lead up to the quote that kept going through my mind at the time,

One bad apple spoils the whole bunch.

Who taught me that? Mom? Grandma? A proverbial teacher? Anyway it happens that a rotten apple (or apricot) will get moldy or just really juicy, and other fruit around it will also spoil, or rot. But the second meaning of this little line of wisdom is that one kid, or friend, or person, can spoil, or ruin the people around them.

I’ve never been sure how I feel about the idea. I had a few minutes to ruminate on it while sorting out apricots. I felt pretty wasteful as I threw out the half rotten ones, but I was in a hurry again, and I didn’t take the time to cut the good parts out if most of them.
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As you can see, there was a really bad one. As kids and teens we were warned of the influence of others. What do you think? Can one “bad” kid spoil the bunch? Do we just toss that kid out of the group or do we carefully cut out the rot and make the most use out if what’s left?

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Many of the apricots were salvageable. I cut out the bug spots, wiped off the juice from the rotten ones, sliced them, and froze them. I’ll use the frozen apricots in smoothies, and to snack on this summer.

I froze 9 plates of sliced and chopped apricots, covering each plateful with parchment paper before stacking on another plate.

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And I still have many fresh apricots for eating plain or adding to salad. I removed them from the rotten fruit and placed them in a shallower dish. Hopefully this will help keep them from spoiling a little longer.

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I’m curious as to what you think about rotten fruit and rotten kids. Comment below.

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