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Apricots are the golden apples

By Staff | Jul 31, 2009

Oh, delicious apricots! The Greeks hailed them as golden apples-a very appropriate poesy for an exceptional fruit. Apricot in Latin means “precious.” Apricots are precious, especially to those of us who live way up north where it can be tricky to find tree-ripened beauties. A perfectly ripened apricot is a thing of beauty – a combination of orange and yellow blended perfectly. When examined closely, you will find a rosy blush that Cover Girl would adore!

From my experience, ripe apricots will yield slightly to the touch. Often here we find firm, unripe apricots which will ripen at room temperature and then should be refrigerated and used within a couple of days. For years, I have enjoyed apricots with their wonderful color, sweetness, and the divine fact that they are low in calories (18 per average apricot). They are also high in vitamins A and C, plus iron. What is not to love about these natural beauties?

When I married Jan 21 years ago, I did not promise her wealth, I did not promise her an easy road, but I can say that I promised to occasionally bring her breakfast in bed! Her flaxen blue eyes smiled at this. So just the other day I served her breakfast in bed. It is a daunting task, but one all admiring husbands should give into once in a while.

Now, if you are thinking I slaved for an hour or more over breakfast, you’re dead wrong. I go for quickness and nutrition. In the Repnow household, this means a breakfast smoothie. Jan can share with you how I have created some real winners, and many losers, while having fun with my blender and an array of ingredients. Miss Lydia is now also a judge, and when I served an apricot smoothie the other day I received hugs, kisses and thumbs up from both judges.

Years ago in Underwood I was introduced to Blenheim apricots, which are considered the Cadillac of apricots. They are grown in the Santa Clara Valley of California, and rarely do you find them in North Dakota. My mother’s cousins, who were twin girls, lived in California as adults. They had spent some of their earlier years in Mercer, North Dakota, near my mother’s home. On occasion the Olsen twins and their husbands returned to North Dakota for visits. These women were real beauties – tall, lean, with flowing manes of beautiful light blonde hair which were often swept up in a French roll They looked like Lana Turner.

In the summer of 1968 a dark emerald green 1966 Bonneville Brougham Pontiac pulled into our driveway. It was a rare day in the Repnow home as my parents had left all five of us boys at home with my oldest brother, Tom, in charge. We gathered in the front porch as we watched a beautiful, tall, blonde woman (one of the identical twins) emerge from this classic two-door car. As her caramel pumps touched the gravel of our driveway, she stood, and her tattersall ensemble with deep chocolate lines on a linen background was revealed. It was almost sinful to have a pastor’s wife look this beautiful. Once out of the car, she straightened her chic shift dress complete with matching heavy fringed shawl. She proceeded to gather from the car a wooden basket filled with Blenheim apricots, and she and her husband proceeded into our home.

This was our first time to meet one of the Olsen twins; we had heard our mother talk about them many times. True to my mother’s training, Tom headed straight to the kitchen and started making a nice meatball supper. We had a wonderful time visiting with these relatives. For dessert we dined on fresh Blenheim apricots, and I have never forgotten the taste. They shared with us that much of America’s apricot crop is grown in California. This still holds true today, as nearly 97 percent of America’s crop is grown there.

We also enjoyed the beauty of their Bonneville. I recall it was the first time I was able to sit in a car that had soft carpet, even on the lower door panels. The interior was luxurious with walnut veneer trim, and the front and rear seats featured center arm rests. These folks were really living! The exterior of the car featured stacked headlights and a louvered grille with a modified eagle point. The sleek body lines were impressive, along with the rear wheel cover. To complete this beauty, it was topped by a smart padded Cordova vinyl roof. As they left our driveway and we all waved goodbye, I knew we had experienced a touch of elegance from California.

Repnow is a Rugby


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