Monday, September 7, 2009

Plum tired

The end of a long weekend, the last hurrah of visitor activity at the park, the beginning of school and cooler weather. It hit 80 degrees today, so although the days are still warm the night temps are dipping into the low 50's. The leaves on the ash and cottonwood are just starting to turn yellow.

This afternoon, after all the park visitors had left, I quit work a little early and went in search of plums. I wasn't expecting to find many, since the plums have been ripe for a week or so and I figured the jelly guys would have already picked everything clean. I went to the usual spots, and my suspicions were confirmed: the plums were few and far between, and mostly out of reach. I dove into the brush searching for plums, and scratched (or got scratched) my way through a prickly patch onto the other side of a ridge line. I found a few plums that had escaped the easier pickings of the other side.

Then I happened to look a little further down the ridge, and spotted what looked remarkably like another, much larger plum patch. This one was off the road, off the trail, hiding behind a copse of sumac and boxelder trees. I grabbed by bags and set off.

As I approached the trees, I slowed down and muttered a low 'holy plums, batman.' Thousands of plums dangled from the branches, large perfect plums, dark and red and ripe. I had hit the plum mother lode.

This picture doesn't do it justice. Image this picture, times twenty. I spent an hour picking plums, and didn't reach 1/3 of them. I stopped when I reached three gallons.

I'll make plum jelly this time. The jam I made last year was pretty tart, so I'll increase the sugar amount in the recipe. Better yet, I'll use honey. Good thing I have the next two days off. I've got salsa to make, apples to dehydrate, potatoes to dig and goats to shear. Add plum jelly to that list. And I want to bake some bread. I just hope I can find the energy to do it all after a busy week at work. That's not asking too much, is it?


Erin said...

What a great score on the plums! All those things on your chore list, I don't know how you do it! I am already tired, and I don't even have my much-wanted chickens yet, lol! Although that is why I haven't yet made the plunge...I figure it would be safer to wait until hubby is on shore duty for a few years and can be relied upon to be here and build a proper coop, lol!

miSz tUna said...

Very plump plum indeed ;)

Anonymous said...

Dang! We missed Plums! James Loves a good plum or 5.


Jo said...

Erin -- One day of my two days off is almost over, and the only thing I've done on my list was make the jelly. Ha! Perhaps tomorrow will be more productive...

I have to say the chickens are the easiest homesteading responsibility I have right now. Just fill up their feeder and waterer every few days, collect the eggs, and clean out the coop twice a year. The biggest work is before you get them -- coop and fence building. But lots of people get by with a chicken tractor, that can be pulled around the yard. There's lots of designs online -- check it out!

Hi Hazwani! Actually the plums were pretty small. But very sweet!

Yes, Nate, you missed the plums. But Jamesie might not have liked these -- the flesh inside is sweet, but the skin is tart. Plus, I probably would have conned you in to helping me make the jelly. :)