Saturday, September 12, 2009

Plum perfect

The past few days my life has been dominated by plums. The little tree in our back yard has outdone itself this year and produced, I swear, about 500 pounds of Italian plums. Last year we had only about six plums, but this year we are completely overwhelmed.

I do love to use and share produce so I've been trying to keep up with picking, giving away and preserving this year's crop. If you have a plum tree you'll know that once they're ripe they don't last very long so it's crucial to act fast. Yesterday my friend Joan and I picked three big boxes that she took away to share with friends.

Today Harry picked several more and so this afternoon I made two batches of plum jam and tonight two batches of chutney.

It's been a push, but what a treat to see those lovely purple jars lined up. They're good for giving away as little gifts and also for reminding us of the sunny fall days when we eat it in the winter.

And yes, there are still lots of bags of plums waiting to be given away or made into plum cake. I think I'll be busy tomorrow as well. Harvest time keeps us on our toes. Now I think I'll head off for a well-deserved sleep. What do you do for harvest time?


  1. Mmmmm - plum chutney - that's a new one for me, but of course one could make a chutney from almost anything. I use those kind of plums to make a plum clafouti and the succulent purple/pink juices are to die for.

    Enjoy your on-going harvest.

  2. hi joanna - could you e-mail me a jar of plum chutney?! you lucky lucky lady (and all who know you and are fortunate enough to get some of these treasures!!!) it's a strange thing how trees are so quiet one year and the next year are so covered with blossoms, or fruit isn't it?! lovely. have a sweet day!! steven

  3. It all sounds so good. I love those purple plums.
    All our fruit trees have been heavy producers this year. I think the cold winter spurred them into a frenzy of population since they felt so close to extinction.
    We're planning to plant a prune-plum tree this fall. It will probably be a few years before it's giving us that much.
    Our big harvest has been apples and yellow plums. The apples are peeled, sliced and frozen. I make apple jelly. The plums make jam and we freeze them too. Don't know how we'd manage without a freezer.
    It's not quite as eye-pleasing as those jars of pretty colors but it is a bit easier. Definitely cooler work.

  4. Hi Joanna

    Its a chutney time of year...
    I have never tried the plum chutney but it sounds great. I am waiting for mango season to make mango and ginger is delicious on fish or chicken...

    Happy days

  5. Hi Delwyn, yes it's that time of year and chutney is such a great condiment. I used to make pear chutney from the tree at our old house. Now it's changed to plum. I've adapted the recipe from Laurie Colwin's "More Home Cooking," one of the best books on food I know.

    Steven I wish I could email you a jar. Maybe next time you're in Vancouver you can make it over here and I'll give you one!

    Stephanie, the freezer sounds like a great idea--but we only have the one attached to our fridge and it's pretty full already.

    Bonnie, plum clafouti sounds like an excellent idea. I shall have to try it.


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