The Covered Dish - Apricot Nuggets

November 16, 2022

Time changes, uhg. Usually I write my column late on a Sunday evening. This week I didn’t make it. Nope I had to get up early in the morning to pen my column this week. For some reason the extra hour really did me in on Sunday. You would think it was spring forward instead of ‘fall’ back. Our dog even handled it better than I did!

As soon as the first week of November arrives I dig into my holiday preparations. Everything from candy making to lots of food prepping. Not to mention the decorating and gifting. My first gift is ready to deliver this week, can you believe that one! It’s a gift that needs to go out early in order to enjoy.

This recipe for apricot nuggets is one of my all-time favorites. As you will note in the directions there are a couple of various ingredients that can also be found in versions of the sweet treat.
Foods have the ability to evoke memories of all kinds. Preparing a dish for a friend or loved one, that’s their favorite can make a perfect day! As I selected this recipe I once again thought about my dad, Jerry, he loved these nuggets when mother made them. Each time I make one of mom’s recipes it returns him to her. It might bring on a tear, but it’s also a reminder of all those wonderful times.
Speaking of good memories, this week we are saddened by the loss of our neighbor and dear friend, Marilyn O’Neal, in Lewistown. Marilyn was a phenomenal cook. Every year it was like a contest between her garden and my parents’ garden. Who would have the best tomatoes, who would can the most of beans etc. Like my mother Marilyn was a cooking machine. She was staying at Country Aire in the latter portion of her life. As soon as I got to visit I asked her what sounded good to eat. (She had little to no appetite.) ‘Green Tomatoes’, she quickly responded. When I came back in 2 weeks I made sure I found those

green tomatoes and prepared her a plate. I’m not telling you this in a boastful way. It’s to reinforce what I said in the above paragraph. Her daughter, Courtney, is following in her steps and I hope to keep nurturing that relationship.

As you begin to study the Thanksgiving and Christmas menus and special treats, definitely look at the ‘loves’ of those around you. When the college students come home having one of their favorites will make their holiday. Same thing for senior adults, prepare a special dish that will bring back all the good times.
On that note I’m gathering my mother’s cookbooks this weekend and bringing them back to study. I have an idea, and I’m not sharing it with anyone just yet.
Dad is coming down through Thanksgiving and we are going to make our way through the collection. I’m sure we are going to be sharing lots of stories, which is a great way to heal.
The apricot nuggets will hold in an air tight container in the refrigerator, or could be frozen. If I froze them or refrigerated, I would consider re-rolling them in powdered sugar at serving time. (Some people don’t use pecan meal, they use powdered sugar.)

Need to get to work this morning. Enjoy the week, Simply Yours, The Covered Dish.

Apricot Nuggets

10 ounces ground/chopped apricots, (use food processor)

1 pound powdered sugar, (*4 1/4 cups unsifted)

6 tablespoons melted butter

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 tablespoons orange juice

1 cup finely chopped pecans

Pecan Meal

Mix orange juice, vanilla, and butter together, stir in powdered sugar, pecans and ground apricots. Make mixture into small balls about the size of a walnut. Roll each nugget in pecan meal. Place nuggets in air tight container with wax paper or parchment between layers. Yields: LOTS, make walnut size.
Options: There are lots of different recipes on the market for this type of candy. You will find things like coconut and rice krispies just to name a couple.
*Unsifted powdered sugar is 4 1/4 cups, however if the powdered sugar is sifted it will take 4 3/4 cups.