Friday, September 19, 2008

Wild Plums

Plums, plums and more plums! Last week I canned fourteen 12 ounce jars of plum jam. This week....

....On Monday I made six quarts of yellow plum juice which I canned on Tuesday before heading into town for errands and a hair appointment. I was quite pleased to get so much juice, I really wasn't expecting that. We don't have juicing equipment so I used Mummy's method*.

On Wednesday I canned 18 quarts of plum halves**! Wow, wee! One of my sisters came through in the beginning and helped me pit an entire quart, and then gave up on the project. Thankfully, Twiglet came through and helped me pit the next twelve quarts of plums.

Thursday I made more jam, but I only canned four 12 ounce jars and let the rest cool in bowls for enjoying now.

There are still a few more plums in the house and I'm thinking about a plum cobbler and a kuchen. I was going to do it today, but instead we went to the county fair! We perused all sort of entries, ran into a few friends and shared onion rings, funnel cake and Carmel popcorn! I think it will be fun to go back next year, hopefully a little earlier in the day - and maybe even try doing a few entries!

Well, there are still more plums on the wild trees around here and despite the fact that canning them made my hands look so brown and icky that one of my brothers even suggested I try gloves, I'm still game for putting some more up. My hands recover quick enough and the satisfaction the accomplishment gives you is really quite worth it.

And I do want to try making some yellow plum jam.

*Plum Juice

Cook ripe fruit until soft in a little bit of water to prevent scorching. Mash and cool. Strain/press through several thicknesses of cheese cloth. Heat juice to boiling, pour into clean jars and screw on sterilized lids and rings. Let cool and voila! I wanted the juice a tiny bit more clear and re-strained it through fresh layers of cheese cloth overnight and then processes it the next day. It's still not perfect, but it was much better. It's the first time I recollect making juice and I should look into it a bit more.

**Plums Halves

Wash free stone plums. Halve and pit, place in clean quart jars. For each quart of plums place about a tablespoon or more of honey on top of plums and pour boiling water until about one and a half inches from top. Make sure top rim of jar is clean, place sterilized lids and rings on jars, tighten. Place in pressure canner with about one inch of warm (not too hot) water. Place jars carefully in canner, bring water to boil and follow canner instructions to process fruit at fifteen pounds pressure for zero minutes. (Don't try this at home! Really, this is how I did it, but I don't guarantee the method. Should you choose to use this method, proceed at your own risk.:))

No comments: