When I was a child, my mother was only given ten dollars a week to purchase groceries for our family of five. She bought bread and doughnuts from the Hostess “day-old” shop and stretched her budget as best she could. We drank generic soda before they even had a name for it and ate a great deal of simple, plain fare. But if my father wanted something special, why, he got it. And he happened to like dried apricots. So, occasionally, a bag of those circular delicacies appeared in our refrigerator. We kids were warned to steer clear of them at the risk of patriarchal wrath. I took my chances one time, though, and fell in love with the darned things. They were the best food I had ever tasted: sweet, chewy, and somehow supremely exotic. But whenever I repeated this domestic crime, I was careful to never take more than two apricots, so that they wouldn’t be missed. I would close my eyes and chew each one slowly, savoring its supreme flavor. For years, I forgot about apricots. Health-food advisers told me that the sulfur dioxide was a preservative to be steered clear of, and the natural ones just didn’t taste the same. Just the other day, an ad popped up online and successfully tempted me to order a pound of preserved California dried apricots. When the package arrived, I stared hard at it. Memories of those long-lost and carefully sneaked fruits came fresh into my mind. I opened the bag and stuffed three of them into my mouth. And boy, they were just as delicious as I remembered them.