Saturday, August 12, 2006


We took the plums off our tree today. Precariously perched on our roof, reaching over the tree to grasp fruit that was so ripe it was falling under the extra weight of a few raindrops. Having gathered as many from tree-to-hand-to-bowl as our reach would allow, I enlisted gravity for the final few handfuls. Shaking the tree and covering my head quickly as they bounced around me. Racing Ruby for the treats on the floor - I topped our basket up to 7 pounds.

4 pounds are sitting in a pan on my stove. Jam making is in my genes. My mother's family were fruit farmers, and my aunt, who lives on the farm, makes thrice her own body weight in sweet conserves every September.

I am a virgin jam maker. My jars are sterilised and waiting for the yellow lava cooling in the pan. I have no thermometer so I had to rely on my aunt's advice: you'll know when it's ready. I hope I live up to my heritage!


Blogger Daisy-Winifred said...

Ah the cold plate and the finger test always seems to work for me... teaspoon of 'jam' set on saucer and let to cool for a moment then swept with finger, skin formed, jam ready!
My blackberry map is definitely being filled in and already there are some that appear almost ready which is very strange as it's too early but think I will begin collecting small containers full and possibly making freezable bits and pieces before sugar and jars and me are ready for the fray:0)
I want to plant a damson tree in the garden here as they grow well in the climate and I think I have found a native low height one so in a few years i may well be picking my own fruit too.

13 August, 2006 08:11  
Blogger PurpleSparkleBright said...

Wo sounds yummy! I echo Daisy Winifred about jam-plate-wrinkle-test :) good luck!

13 August, 2006 15:15  
Blogger Brenda said...

Yum... wish I had some of those jam-making genes. I can see you cooking, remembering the women in your family, enjoying every moment!

13 August, 2006 19:42  
Blogger Stray said...

I did indeed do the plate-out-the-freezer ripple test ... and although I had no clue what precisely I was looking for, I decided it was ready, and it was - beautifully set in jars overnight, and I had some on a lovely slice of wholemeal seeded bread just now. Yum :)

I think everything is early this year D-W. My aunt said that they have some Plums called 'early blues' which are ready August rather than September, but more like final week of this month than this weekend, when my uncle discovered they were falling and picked the lot.

I've definitely seen some bramble blackberries ready in the less shaded parts of the woods and hedges here - I'm thinking of starting to carry a tub with me and shoving them in the freezer too!

Brenda, you're spot on - I felt very connected to my roots in a strange way ... I didn't really have much contact with my family growing up, and that side of the family aren't very long lived, so it's nice to experience these links where they emerge.

13 August, 2006 21:51  
Blogger MB said...

Oh, yum. Wish I could taste!

14 August, 2006 19:30  
Anonymous Hydrocodone said...

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02 November, 2007 07:13  

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