Sunday, 7 August 2011

preserving progress...

Quick update on what is becoming known as 'the plum situation'...

So far I have made plum jam...

Plum chutney and plum sauce...

The chutney contains plums (obviously!), apples, sultanas, onions, garlic and spices plus the usual vinegar and sugar and the boys have declared it delicious - it was supposed to wait 3 months to 'mature' but that doesn't seem to have mattered!

The sauce was the easiest recipe in the world, found after googling plum recipes in slight desperation! I was going to post you the link but now can't find it! (How does that happen? You google the same thing and it has disappeared!) If I do find it I'll let you know, but basically it was bung everything in a preserving pan and cook til it looks like sauce...well, maybe there was a little more to it than that but really, not much. used 6lbs of plums in one stint, hurrah! It has some cayenne pepper and ginger in it so has a hint of a kick but with the sweetness of the plums and the sour of the vinegar - yummy! I think it'll be really nice with pork or chicken but the boys have been putting it on all sorts (in cheese sandwiches, with ham...) and say its good. I'm ridiculously pleased with having made something that looks like 'proper' sauce in a bottle!!! Silly, I know but quite satisfying!

We also have boozy plums in the cupboard, some in brandy that have to be strained and bottled in a  month then the liqueur bit saved for at least 3 months (in theory...). And some in rum with blanched almonds that we are supposed to leave alone for a whole year! We'll see how we get on there...

Plus...I've frozen at least 20lbs of plums, we've had stewed plums, plum crumble (plumble! as Lucy suggested :-)) and more fresh plums than I can think about! I've given away about 10lbs...

And they're still coming! R keeps bringing in pockets full every time he goes out in the garden. The trouble is, once they are in I can't bear to waste them. While they are still on the tree, I just think the birds and insects can have a treat but once they're indoors... I have snuck a few of the mankier ones back out and given them back to the birds, and I've even fed a few to next-doors chickens that we've been looking after for the last two weeks (hope its ok to feed chickens plums! they don't seem to mind!) but R seems to be on a mission to foil the annual wasp invasion! Usually they do this impressive trick where they bore into the plums and then  eat them from the inside out, leaving shrivelled empty skins hanging onthe tree. I don't really mind, lets face it there are plenty! And sometimes they are quite entertaining when they've gorged on some slightly fermented plums! But it does make that end of the garden a bit of a trap for the unwary and R can't abide it, surely there can't be too many left out there...

Normally, I enjoy the chance to spend a day pottering with preserving - I love jam and chutney making (and have been known to give chutney pressies at Christmas!) but just now I'm in the 'death throes' of my dissertation which I just have to finish in the next couple of weeks. So if I go a bit quiet in blog land that's why...I haven't gone out just to take photos in weeks! I so can't wait to get a bit of time back, but am trying to remember why I decided to do the degree and that the learning has been stimulating...(it has...but I'm ready to finish now, thanks!).

Back on the preserving front, I made a couple of little pots of jam with these...

These beauties were in next door's fruit cage and just about dropping off the plants. There weren't enough to make much with them but together they made two cute little pots of backcurrant and raspberry jam - one of which I will take round for the neighbours to come back to (with a jar of plum jam and plum chutney too..!). Forgot to take a photo of these but they prompted the response from son 1 that it looked like proper jam!!! Given that I have always made jam at home I thought that was funny - he meant it was almost as solid as the stuff in the shops!

In between essay writing today, also had a brief go at what may turn into the 'courgette/marrow situation'... Mismanagement on the allotment front, if you ask me (not my department!), as once again we have more of the blighters than we can eat and I really have not got time to faff about making chutney yet (it just takes an age to chop everything up). So today I found a quick-ish recipe for what I think I'm going to christen 'Glut Jam' - marrow and apricot! I haven't tried it yet but I think it might be a bit odd! It kind of looks OK and apricot jam-like but even with the juice of 4 lemons and a cooking apple it is so sweet it should carry a dental health warning... Might be one for filling cakes maybe...or giving to the neighbours?!!

Hope you are all enjoying summertime and welcome along to some lovely new followers, sorry I've been a bit slow to respond.

Til next time, then, when I hope we will be at the end of the plum saga!



  1. Well done on finding so many different plum recipes, I'm sure it all tastes lovely! We've only got one plum tree, and thankfully it's producing just enough fruit for us to keep up with. As soon as they're ripe they generally just get eaten straight away! Although it seems we have a rival for them, as the squirrel was spotted making off with one!

  2. I have lots of tiny green tomatoes and think I might have to do some chutney in september!

  3. Plumbago!! Goodness you have been busy and studying as well....well done! All that produce looks delicious :-)

  4. Now that's a lot of plums, and I know, a lot of work, but how nice to have all those goodies ready to be eaten!!

    Have a wonderful day Sandra!


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