Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I'm going away for the weekend. I'm starting to stress about the things I need to do towards the art exhibit I'm organizing at my church in less than a month. My machine's in the shop again and I'm wondering how and when I'll get the little pieces I'd planned to make for this exhibit made up with only my less than perfect older machine to work with. Of all the things I thought I had to do this week, dealing with plums was not one of them.

But nature waits for no one. I have three red plum trees which decided yesterday that their fruit was ready to pick. There's a limit to how much fruit one person needs to put up, so I just picked what I could easily reach from my regular ladder and let the landlady and maintenance gal know the rest was up for grabs. Of what I gathered, part is going into marmalade. Well that's what my mother called it. It's simply plums chopped in a food processor with equal amount of sugar added. This sits overnight and I will cook it and seal it in jars in the morning. The rest has gone into jars with a light syrup and been processed in a hot water bath. Fingers crossed that all lids seal.

I remember eating my mother's canned plums when I'd come home for a visit. I'd been raised up on the store-bought ones and loved them. But mom's were not pitted in advance. I really hated working around those pits as I ate. After pitting the plums for the marmalade, now I know why mom didn't bother with the canned ones. And guess what? Neither did I. One note - if you're not going to pit them, then they need to be punctured with a needle (I used a nut pick) so they don't explode during processing. Kind of like baking potatoes.

I'm not done with plums though. I have another tree loaded with little yellow plums. The branches are so thick with them that they look like huge clusters of grapes. These are wonderful eating plums and will probably be ready to start picking as soon as I get back. I'll definitely need help getting rid of those. Any favorite plum recipes out there?

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