this week, the long wait was finally over. standing in my kitchen is where i first heard the news.
i peeked out the window, my understanding dawning. little roly poly juicy morsels were all over the ground next door, and a van’s roof even further below was serving as the tree’s instrument. it played a merry little beat as it gleefully threw its fruit onto the top.
by the time i got out there with my fruit picker the next day, the plums were already a foot deep in spots, like the result of biblical rain.
there was still plenty to fill my pockets.
after quartering and pitting them, i cooked them down in a double boiler.
do you own an egg beater, the hand-held manual kind? i highly recommend having one. they do justa gooda job of puree-ing as a blender, and are so much more pleasant to use. not to mention easier to clean. the best part? many of the tart plum skins wrapped around the blades, so i was able to extract them without having to peel the plums first.
a cuppa sugar to every cuppa plums. last year i was all fancy and “healthy” by using sucanat and honey. that ended up being some expensive jam. and you know what? IT’S JAM. i don’t need everything in my life to be nutritionally correct. no oppressive liberalism in this house, no siree! wild plums don’t need fancy. (all this to say we are way too broke to buy anything but white sugar. but at least it was unbleached!)
let it simmer. and simmer. and simmer. and simmer. and then walk away for one minute and OH MY GOD IT’S BOILING OVER and simmer. and simmer. and simmer.
put the kettle on. on the same burner as the spilled jam. call your friend on the phone. get off abruptly when you notice that the bottom of the kettle IS ON FIRE. you can put a sugar fire out with water. unlike a grease fire. but grease fires are soooo two days ago. (don’t ask.)
and simmer. and simmer. and simmer.
while you are simmering, sterilize your canning jars.
bake biscuits. have friends over. don’t eat lunch. sample the jam. a lot. get really high on the sugar. fix that problem by eating more biscuits.
put the rest in your canning jars and get a little thrill each time you hear the POP of the lid, sealing.
sit back and admire your treasure.
and that, my dear friends, is how you make wild plum butter.
have a great weekend!