Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Plum Lovely

This has been a great year for our fruit orchard. And while the start of the season always seems to catch me off guard, (apples now rotting on the compost heap...) by now I'm getting the hang of it. The canning jars, lids, and rings take up temporary residence in one corner of the kitchen, the canning kettle gets jockeyed around the stove and counter tops for lack of available surface space upon which to store it, and we are now playing host to swarms of fruit flies. I swear, there were at least twenty of them on the bathroom mirror last night. The bathroom! There is no fruit in the bathroom! What are they doing in my bathroom?! This is the last of the plums, I cleared the tree today. Maybe the apples languish because I'm just not a great fan of plain apples, eaten out of hand. Sure, I've made some apple sauce, and frozen some for pies this fall and winter, but give me a plum and I'll let you play with my blocks (sorry, but that is a family joke for the benefit of my sisters.)(and it's not even dirty.) We haven't had a good crop of plums since the year Ben was born, seven years ago! So believe me when I tell you, there will be no plums wasted due to lack of interest. I've already put up about a gallon of plum preserves. I've also got a couple of half gallon bags in the freezer (plum cobbler? plum crisp? Oh, man. YUM!) And I took quart sized bags of fresh plums to give to my family last weekend at my father's 81st birthday celebration. Today I'm drying plums, as well as trying the recipe for 'Plum Sauce' from the Ball Blue Book - my go-to book for preserving the harvest (*ahem*) I'm thinking it will be kind of like chutney. I had a little taste of it as it simmered away - wow, YUM! Last month I was up to my elbows in pears. My little pear tree really outdid herself this year. Pears: another fruit that wins my affection. That little pear tree is my friend. So I was able to make a pear crisp to take along to Dad's party. I think I like it better than apple crisp, and, really, who can dispute the deliciousness of apple crisp? My go-to book for baking is the Better Homes and Gardens one. You know, the one with the red and white checkered cover? My mom cooked almost exclusively from that, and the Betty Crocker cookbook when I was little. You just can't go wrong with the classics. The rest of the garden is doing well too. The late apples are good for cider (need to pull the press out and clean it - note to self: do this BEFORE the fruit is falling off the trees next year!) The Zucchini and most of the tomatoes are producing nicely, with the exception of the 'Striped Roma' tomatoes which are remaining stubbornly green. An Ben and TH planted pumpkins this year! For Halloween! The remaining number of days to which I must calculate for Ben on a daily basis! This years costume possibilities: "Faceless Zombie," or "Headless Skeleton Mummy." Both of which apparently terrify Ben and are therefore worthy of consideration. I suggested "Vampire" since it seemed obvious that scary is in now that we are seven but was rebuffed with "*sigh* Oh, no Mom, they don't scare me." Well, the Plum Sauce is bottled and steaming away in the canner, there are still mounds of produce to deal with, and I still need to figure out what to make for dinner. You'd think with all this food that would be easy! Hmm, I'm thinking maybe something with juicy ripe tomatoes, and perhaps fresh plums...

4 comments:

Nowheymama said...

I would LOVE to have fruit trees. I do enjoy the pears from our neighbor's tree, though.

Make plum upside down cake! Mmmm....

Also, you have a cider press??? More info, please!

Misty said...

I am speechless with absolute hard core jealousy. Oh MAN, I wish I was you.

LOOK at all that. Pfft. I didn't even get one stinking tomato this year.

GAH.

Kathryn said...

Wow. You've been busy! But it all sounds so lovely and reminds me of my childhood. Don't you just love fall and all it brings?

So glad to have you back. :)

Mad said...

We had a huge crop of plums here on the other side of the coast too. I made plum preserves (from the Blue Ball book--my canning bible) and we made a few plum cakes to frezze.