Friday, September 19, 2008

Free Harvest

Diego and I made an early morning visit to the hallow and came home with this bountiful harvest of wild plumbs. It was magical really, the morning air had a new crispness to it suggesting the season ahead. I couldn't see the creek from where I was standing picking the fruit, but a coolness drifted up along with the sounds of the brooke. Ice cold water running down from the nearby mountains. How far had it traveled to greet us that morning? The rays of the sun warmed our backs as we each gathered our fruit, silently, each at our own tree, alone and yet together. Magical indeed.

It is amazing to me how these trees just grow along the creek wild, unpruned, untouched - except for the occasional bee or teenager walking home from school, looking for a snack. Within minutes, I had a bucket full of these purple beauties. Diego was over filling his bucket full of what we've named "the white plumbs." Have you ever seen these, and do you know what they are called? I guess I could search them out on the internet, but what's the fun in that? I like the mystery, and the social aspect of asking around. They are delicious and sweet. The purple plumbs went straight into the hot water for blanching, pealing and eventually made into Cinnamon Plumb jam. By the time I was done, my hands ached and my fingers were stained brown - those little suckers were slippery! I think the next time I'll just stick them in a juicer - but then there is still the problem with the seed. Any ideas? I also ended up having to "fix" the jam by cooking it a little longer and adding a little more sugar -ugh- and a little more pectin. I think the problem is the high altitude that we're at. I've really had to adjust for that since we've moved here. There was definately a learning curve on this one. Oh well, in the end I had a batch of jam and a Saturday morning well spent peeling, cutting and talking with my daughter.

While I had full intentions of making the white plumbs into a batch of jam, we just weren't up to reliving that process. Not to worry, they did not go to waste, they went straight to our bellies.

Have a wonderful weekend enjoying your bountiful harvest with the ones you love.

2 comments:

  1. I'm pretty sure that both the white and purple plums are an heirloom variety brought here by Utah pioneers called Potawatomi. I've made jam out of those growing along the Provo river the last couple of years. I only tried pitting them with a knife the first year. After that I started using a food mill to seperate the pits.

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  2. I highly recommend the food mill plan! Plums are so rewarding to eat, but not to de-pit:) Yay for plums! Our tree is still a baby, and I love to stand near it and dream of future bounty!

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