Monday, August 06, 2007

Plum job

last year I canned some plums that were not quite ripe and the result was interestingly, unripe plums in sugar. Good for making tarts with but not that palatable. This year, we picked 25 lbs of plums at my friends house, red small plums and they have been preserved in a variety of ways :
bottled in 1 pint cans, with medium sugar syrup ( good to have with porridge in winter)
in 1 lb bags in the freezer ( they will need cooking overnight in Aga)
cut up in 1lb bags, and stoned, frozen for pie fillings.

25lbs of plums allow for 2 plum meals per week ( tart, porridge or stewed fruit).

Our own plum tree, which is a cooking variety Tsar will soon be providing a bumper crop too and will be turned into plum jam, plum jelly and plum chutney.

The thing about preserving is that you need to decide the quantity you are likely to consume, the quantity you can give away as gifts ( jams and jellies) and what amount can be given away or sold at the farmers market. There is no obligation to process all of it yourself. I plan 52 jars of jam and jelly per year ( 1 for each week).

If you are planning an orchard, look at succession of fruits so that you can eat them fresh without preservation. Plums are not guaranteed each year so its nice to have some stored away.

Looking forward to raspberries, apples and blackberries next.

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