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    I've gone plum crazy (like I do every year about this time)

    Yesterday I picked all of the Italian Prune~Plums off our sturdy old tree. They weren't really ripe, but I couldn't wait any longer. The squirrels have been binging on them, and if I didn't pick them last night, there wouldn't be any left for one of my favorite things, Plum~Vanilla Preserves.

    So I picked a half trugful of them. To my dismay, there were only about 4 pounds left on the entire tree. I couldn't believe it.

    What happened this year?

    I remember the year we bought the house. The plums were just starting to ripen. I stuck one in my pocket, and ate it a few minutes later in the car. Sort of an edible good luck token. I kept the pit. I still have it. Those hoarders on TV? They ain't got nuthin' on me.


    Together, we must have picked about 40 pounds of gorgeous dark purple plums the very first year. So it is, that I fell in love with the plum tree from Day One, but it looked even more beautiful when my husband strung it with clear twinkle lights. Those lights, which he set on a timer  -- to come on at dusk and go off at dawn every single day -- made the tree look magical all year 'round.

    Looking down from the deck, I loved seeing the plum blossoms in the springtime, all lit up at night with twinkle lights.

    Back to the plums: They weren't quite ripe, so I washed them:


    Drained them in the colander:


    Then put them in a box, to ripen, hopefully. In his wonderful book "How to Pick a Peach", author Russ Parsons says, to paraphrase, "unripe plums will ripen just fine at room temperature", and I believe him!


    In a few days, if all goes as planned, these Italian Prune-Plums will have ripened enough so that I am able to make my Plum~Vanilla Preserves...stay tuned.

    And watch out for squirrels with sticky paws.


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    Reader Comments (1)


    Your new website is wonderful! Congrats on the new business, I hope it goes well for you. Love the photographs as well. I've been doing canning/preserving for years and know how addicting it can be. Wish I was near Seattle to come and take one of your classes. It was great to meet you and Kim at the Blog camp in January, hope to meet up again sometime. Any chance of a few recipes now and then to whet our appetites? Have fun!


    August 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterClaire Cocurullo
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