If there’s one word that sums up my life right now, it’s ‘plums’. Harvesting plums, buckets of plums, sinks of bathing plums, chopping plums, trying to use and preserve ALL the plums. Well, the ones we haven’t given away. And sometimes in 30degC (86degF) weather too. I feel like I’m always talking about plums. Probably because I am.
“How are you?” “Inundated with plums.”
“What have you been up to?” “Plums.”
“Have you been away on holiday?” “No, I’ve been doing plums.”
“Could we have some plums?” “YES.”
The plums are almost at an end now, having had a great run this year. And that’s just from one Billington plum tree. The plums on our younger, smaller tree mysteriously disappeared. But I know a small child who’s proficient in disappearing plums. It’s a weird situation because there are lots of things we can do with the plums, but they have to be dealt with before they go bad. They don’t have a long shelf life. It’s use ’em or lose ’em. We get to the point where we face them grudgingly because it’s a lot of work, but after the plums have gone we do miss them and we’re very grateful to have things made with them to use during the year. So the plum craziness is all worth it in the end.
I had preserved two batches of chutney and one of plum butter. Plum butter is made slowly in the crock pot and can be made either with the plum stones cut out at the start or strained out later. I generally prefer the ‘later’ approach, which is especially convenient for using whole frozen plums.
I really needed to do another batch of chutney to give us a year’s supply. But time was against me and there were still so many plums. I had just picked another 20L bucketful of them. I decided to have a big chopping session to cut the flesh off the stones and freeze it. Fortunately, The Husband and The Little Fulla came on board and we triple-teamed those plums! We put 7kg of bagged plum flesh in the freezer. Ha! Preserving the plums for preserving later. I am going to try and make chutney from some of it at a more convenient time. I also have ideas about all sorts of baking and desserty things that I could do with it. Further plums will just have to be frozen whole. We’re almost there!