It’s better if you had the tune of this in your head (think dun da da dun, da dada da dun!… if that makes it better). Whatever. It’s plums. That’s what I’ve got. 10 whopping pounds of plums. I’ve only really worked my way through half. My mom is a wonderful, giving and apparently co-dependent in the sense that when she comes over and sees my insane collection of jam and tells me “wow Steph, this is an addiction, you have to stop” proceeds to peel 10 pounds of peaches then drive back over hwy 17 the next day to give me 10 pounds of plums. I think this is an okay addiction to feed. Fruit can’t hurt that much. Can it?
So I have this giant batch of plums, so what do I do? I do have some half pint jars left from my last Ace Hardware run, and a few whole pint jars laying around. So number one on the list: Plums in Honey Syrup, inspired by Food in Jars. Inspired is the word mainly because I had to majorly adjust the recipe – she used 4 quart jars, I used 2 pint jars. So cut the recipe by 3/4 and still the water doesn’t work out quite right. I had to add water to the jars at the end because the honey and water mixture wasn’t quite right. But I pretty much mixed about 1/3 cup of honey for 1 cup of water (it required about twice this I realized), boiled it and poured it over pint jars stuffed with the smallest plums of the batch and with a stick of cinnamon in there to keep them company. The results? Awesome.
Next came plum jam. Obviously. So since plums aren’t my favorite fruit, I am realizing (amazing when you have the bounty but don’t really want to eat it… I don’t have that problem with the peaches) I added a crap load of sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and called it spiced plum jam. Also mostly from Food in Jars. It made 5 1/2-pints and I actually busted one open today at my Teacher’s Meeting this morning (with some beer grain muffins) and it is quite good!
Now, having gone through about 10 cups of this stuff, I still have a GIANT bowl of them. Okay…. spicy Asian style plum sauce? Can do! So I Googled a recipe and found one on Food.com. I adjusted it slightly, mostly omitting the corn starch and adding way more sugar (it was too spicy for my taste) and it resulted in a quite tasty sauce! I had enough to fill 4 pint jars plus some for my fridge and I gave away a small jar as well to one of my coworkers who had pretty much the same dinner as me last night – veggies with brown rice smothered in plum sauce. Mmmmm.
I still have tons of these things sitting in a giant metal bowl on my counter ripening. If anyone has any thoughts, come let me know. Unfortunately I don’t have a dehydrator (if anyone has one of those, let me know too!) or I’d make a bunch of prunes, and that would come in handy for dried tomatoes too. Like I said, plums aren’t my favorite of the stone fruits or I would probably have more ideas. I could make some booze infusion like my friend Heidi recommended, maybe I will try that. I did pretty good with limoncello. I just need some high-proof vodka or even maybe some brandy? Hm… food (hah) for thought.
On a final note, my ginger beer is AMAZING. Come over and drink some with me. It’s by far the best beer I’ve ever made. I am quite proud. It’s a very unique feeling to think “this is what I want it to taste like” and get some ingredients, put it all together and have it actually come out tasting like what you wanted. At work today we had an all staff meeting and due to the massive amount of new staff we did introductions and we had to say something interesting about ourselves. In addition to me being at The Bay School for 9 years (woah) my interesting thing was that “I make jam.” To my surprise people all around me kept adding things on “and beer” “and bread” “and pickles” etc. It felt pretty good to find out that I’m “known” for that. It brought a smile to my face.
Ok, goodnight and happy jamming/beering/breading/pickeling 🙂