Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Plum good

The last of my wild plums went into jam jars today.

Wild plum jam is one of those things you need a big spatula for -- to scrape out every last bit of goodness from pans and bowls right into your mouth. This jam tastes ever so slightly sour, which is awesome with the sweetness.

And homemade jam is one of those things that just gets everywhere and makes everything sticky. Not so good in fly season, which seems to have burgeoned here today. Thus washing those piles of dishes and the countertops is a particular necessity. So is covering sterilized jars and then sticky filled jars with a dish towel while they sit out waiting for the next step.

As you look at my real-life photos of jars sealed with plastic wrap and labeled with masking tape, you'll note that I do not pretend to be one of those clever food blog photographers who know how to adjust lighting and place that shimmering blob of jam off-center just so for the perfect shot.

Nor do I see any need to print out cute clip-art labels to make my shelves or, in this case, freezer, more attractive. My homespun philosophy for just about anything here on the ranch is: use duck tape for general use and masking tape for kitchen use. I learned this from watching my rancher neighbor fix things. If it doesn't work after you hit it with a wrench (or even if it does), wrap it with duck tape.

He doesn't hang out in the kitchen, so I discovered the masking tape thing myself. The bit of tape you've used as a label will neatly peel off, making the jar ready for its next use.

Wild Plum Freezer Jam
Agricultural Extension Agency, Washington State University

3 cups wild plums (finely mashed or sieved*) -- about 3 pounds
6 cups sugar
1 box powdered pectin
1 cup water

Combine fruit and sugar. Let stand about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Put powdered pectin and water into a large pot and boil rapidly for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat.

Add the fruit and stir about 2 minutes.

Pour into jars; tighten lids.

Let stand at room temperature for 24 hours or until jelled.

Store in freezer or refrigerator.

Yield: 9 cups

* I pitted my plums and then whirled them in my Vitamix (a blender would work) until skins were in small shreds.

And in the end, the proof of anything you make in the kitchen is in the eating.



  1. Looks like you're plum set for the winter ;-)
    And, it looks delicious.

    I also like your wrench/duct tape/masking tape philosophy. Wish I could find something to make my printer work. Maybe I hit it with the wrench one too many times.


  2. Looks sooo good. People just do not understand all the free food out there. One just has to know where to look and what to do with it. Nothing is healthier than the fruits God provides. Smaller yes but nothing added to aid in it's growth.