autumn days

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Togetherness of Plum Jam

I love my friends.  I love the connections and joys of friendship.  I love helping a friend out by putting their abundant fruits to use.  My friend Pamela was unsure of what to do with the extra thousand pounds of fruit on her trees, so I called in my other friends to clean them up and spread the abundance among other friends.  I love the simple beauty in synchronizing an exchange between those with too much fruit and those who would like more fruit.  Now we have simple, beautiful plum jam.  Pears are waiting to ripen a bit more.  Apples are whispering to me about jelly.

Over a decade ago, a good friend taught me how to make jam.  Each year I try at least one new recipe.  I have canned berry jams, salsa, pickled watermelon rind, tomato sauce and paste with seasonings, pitted plums, sliced pears, apple sauce, and others I don't recall.  My specialty has been berry jams.  I love tossing berries into the blender, boiling the sweet pectin berry concoction, and moving easily from start to finish.  Adding lemon or lavender creates a twist of flavor.  I love simple.  I love simple with a twist.

My personal recipe:
  • Follow the directions on various pectin recipes.
  • Make it once by the recipe, and then EXPERIMENT!
  • Substitute honey for sugar.
  • Reduce sweetener.
  • Add in other flavors found in your herb cabinet: chamomile, lavender, etc.
  • Use whole pureed fruit (whole food) in place of juice for jellies.
  • When in doubt, puree it.
I love this season of fruit-filled abundance.  I love my daughter joining me to prepare fruits and jars.  I love the possibilities that await with our remaining fruits.  I love helping friends unload their unused delights by sharing them with others.  And then turning what remains into gifts for others.  Everyone wins in every way.  Simple, beautiful, deliciousness.

What are some of your favorite preserving projects and shortcuts?

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