We have a plum tree in our garden. It’s a cherry plum, planted by previous owners for its blossom and red leaves rather than its fruit. But the fruit is certainly edible. The plums are very small, and have relatively large stones, so they’re a bit annoying to eat, but they taste ok.
In the last few years I’ve used them mostly for making jam, which they are excellent for.
The tree is right outside my bedroom window, so it’s easy to see the plums growing and ripening. They don’t change colour – they’re purple right from the start – but you can tell when they’re ripe because they start dropping from the tree and the birds get very interested in them.
Babess has been asking when we can start picking them, so today I got her to help me with the harvest. She picked all the ones she could reach, and pointed out higher ones to me. I passed them down to her to put in our container. There were a few too high for me to reach, which we decided to leave for the birds to feast on, and there’s one I missed which is clearly visible from the bedroom window so it will taunt me for days to come.
But we filled our 2-litre container with 93 small plums.
Afterwards, I washed them and boiled them into pulp, then skimmed out the stones (which is why an accurate count is necessary). I also skimmed out the skins, which I blitzed in the food processor before returning them to the pulp. I didn’t have the time or energy for sterilising jars today, so I froze the pulp for a later jam-making date.
But first, carrying the fruit inside from the harvest, Babess stopped to pat the tree trunk.
“Thank you, tree!” she said. “Please give us some more next year. But… lower.”
© UpsideBackwards 2015.