Bring on those Wild Plums!

Ernie’s Mom is in the hospital.  She’s been in ICU since Thursday.  The most they seem able to find is a kidney infection.  It’s playing havoc with her BP and BS readings. 

Monday,  a co-worker invited us to his place to pick wild plums…if you’re not familiar with the taste of the wild plums…they’re WONDERFUL!  And small.  Mostly about the size of a marble with a little seed and a small amount of fruit.  

As a child,  I picked them off the neighbor’s fenceline.  The trees grew with wild abandon and poked through the boards and over the top dripping lovely wild plums in season.  I haven’t tasted a wild plum since I left that neighborhood at the age of 9.  

The co-worker has offered us trees of our own come Fall.  You can bet we’ll be there with buckets and shovels!

In the meantime,  Monday evening, we picked 2 bags of plums.   Ernie helped me get them cooked, juiced and pulped.   I left them til Thursday night as I couldn’t use my arm to do anything anyway.  I did get a steroid injection yesterday afternoon.  Can’t see any improvement today…maybe it takes a little more time.

This morning, Ernie got down my jars, washed them all.  Filled the water bath and put it on to heat.  He headed for Sweetwater and the hospital.   I slowly got down to business.

Looks like a slurry.   Actually cooked down quickly.  I had to add more juice to the pulp as it was way too thick.   I ended up with 5 pints and 2 half pint jars of Wild Plum Jam.  

After I cleaned up THAT mess,  I pulled out the jars of juice and made 4 pints and 1 half pint of Wild Plum Jelly.  Been years since I’m made jelly.  We prefer jam, but…couldn’t waste that juice!

You know what’s really magical to me…the slurry is so ugly and drab until the sugar is added.   At that point, it turns a lovely shade of wine red and if you’re making jelly from the juice, it turns translucent!  Now how does that happen??

Susan ~ Patchkat



10 responses to “Bring on those Wild Plums!

  1. Hmmmmmmmmm Hmmmmm. Looks delicious. I guess the only home made jelly I ever had was Choke Cherry Jelly when I was around 11. We were visiting my Aunt in Montana and they picked them somewhere and Mom made the jelly.

    Sure hope Ernie’s Mom recovers quickly. I’ll keep her in my prayers.

    • I’ve never experienced Choke Cherry Jelly. Sounds yummy.

      Thanks for the prayers

  2. Susan ~
    my grandmother had an orchard on her property, full of different fruit trees so needless to say, my childhood summer mornings were devoted to picking, washing, prepping & cooking fruit for preserves, jams and jellies. I think the family favorite was her fig jam with a slice of lemon on the bottom of each jar! When she did put up plums & plum jam she would save any juice left over to cut her sun tea. We would sit & have our ‘cocktails’ in the evenings after a long hot day in California’s Central Valley.
    Thanks for poking the memory.

    • The cocktails sound “loverly”…. Might have to try a little plum jam in my tea. I can relate to those childhood memories.

  3. This post reminded me of picking huckleberries. Smaller than blueberries but, oh boy, they really pack the flavor in those tiny berries. The only jam I’ve made this year has been from my currants. I pressure cook the currants, leaves and all and then strain the results. It’s fast and easy and then I make the jam – yum!

    • Don’t think I’ve ever had huckleberries either, nor jam made from currants. Like your way of cooking!

  4. Beautiful jam and jelly!

    Hope Ernie’s Mom and you are both feeling better soon. I love the wild, yellow plums. Oh man! I haven’t done any canning this year. I’ve got Mayhaw juice and Mulberries in the freezer to make jelly with. Just haven’t done it yet. I want to get a steam juicer before I tackle the mulberries. How do you juice your berries/plums?

    • Ernie’s Mom may be released this evening.

      Mulberries….I had the opportunity to pick them this year and didn’t. One tree has tiny tiny little bugs in the fruit…and I just didn’t want the extra protien in my jam!

      We threw the plums in a big pan with a tiny bit of water and let them cook. Then I lined a collander with cheese cloth and we dumped the plums in…let the juices drain. After each batch quit dripping, we moved the pulp to another bowl. I jarred the juices and refrigerated them till I was ready to do the jellies. Ernie worked the pestle in the collander for the pulp.

      Need to read up on steam juicers. Sounds like something useful to have.