Tag Archives: plums

Summer to September: Changes

Whilst many of my teaching colleagues will be returning to school, I have a few weeks before I do. This means that my attention is taken up with the plot, and recuperating before the new academic school year starts.

Some of the plot has been wonderfully abundant. Other parts less so. Whilst the tomatoes are five foot leafy triffids, there hasn’t been a great deal of fruit. What fruit I do have, is being placed upon a light and warm window sill to ripen. The raspberries were very hit and miss, and I think the same is to be said of Blackberries. I have harvested a few blackberries, but there doesn’t seem to be as much as previously seen.  This time last year, I had harvested a great deal of plums. Despite what the a picture above might suggest, that is a fraction of what last years bounty was. The above plums have been stoned and frozen for use in the autumn.

The squashes are quite abundant, and today I have been chopping courgettes and squashes that are most likely going to be turned into chutney.  You can see a baby butternut, a bit developmentally delayed; I think this primarily because of the erratic conditions this year.

Chillies have been very good in that lessons have been learned. I am very proud to have had a handful of orange habaneros. I have been desired such a crop for years! Whilst the plants are small, I cannot say that they haven’t been plentiful. These are after all, a very potent chilli. I had to wear gloves whilst chopping, as a preventative health and safey measure. The hungarian hot wax-the label is wrong- are fantastically productive, and the orange pumpkin chillies are a really nice surprise. They have ripened incredibly quickly. As eve the cayenne chillies are doing well as well.

As well as the plums, I have apples to play with. These were donated by a plot neighbour. Again, like the plums, these have been chopped and frozen to be used over the autumn.

Experiment: pum brandy

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I had searched for simple recipes for plum brandy. I settled on this one with some tweaks of my own. Using 70cl of basics brandy, a couple of pounds of purple plums have been steeped with dark brown sugar. I have added three star anais across the two containers along with two centimetres of fresh root ginger and cassia bark.

Think the first jar may be a bit skewed. There were a few layers of plums and only 20 cl-ish of brandy. I underestimated the juice from the plums. The recipes all suggest that the plums should be removed after three months. I’m hoping that they will disintegrate.

Plumbing new depths: plum and blackberry jam

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I am fortunate enough to have allotment neighbours who don’t mind sharing. In one neighbours case, pleading for things to be used. In this case, a tree laden with beautiful Cadbury purple plums. Ma and I asked permission and picked about five or six pounds. I only needed three.

Then there were blackberries which were also harvested from the edge of my own plot. These were all gathered up. Washed and the plums where stoned as it were. All piled into a pan with sugar and water. stewed down a mashed before lemon juiced was added and set to boil.

And boil. This didn’t get to setting point of 104 degrees; but the bottom of my pan did get very black I tell you. All very disheartening, this gloopy jam, poured into jam jars. One of which has so far set. I guess this can be used as gloopy jam; though ma did spread it onto toast. I also put some onto bananas and watermelons.

Might be saved yet!