take twenty pounds of pitted purple plums...
The big question in our local newspaper's Saturday gardening column Q&A was "Hey, what's with all the plums this year? I'm drowning in 'em!"
The answer from the experts is that the ideal spring weather had the plum trees blooming like crazy and producing hundreds of those little purple offspring. They're calling it the harvest of the century and I have first hand evidence of the phenomenon.
We have our own plum tree, but it's an early variety and has been rather sickly of late, so we didn't get much of a haul from there. My mother-in-law, however, has an ancient and very hardy tree in her allotment garden and can't keep up with the picking.
All those excess plums mean that we have been the on the receiving end of baskets, buckets and crates full of fruit over the past week or so. We've frozen several bags, the two vegetable crispers in our basement fridge are chock full and there's a huge box of the little devils outside on the terrace. I don't mind, really, but the question is what to do with all of them. I would make jam, but the mother-in-law has the monopoly on that and I wouldn't want to tip the delicate balance of in-law relations, you know?
Over the weekend I tried out a few recipes, some of which were new to me.
Here we have the ol' Zwetschgenknödel or plum dumplings. I also made these last year and there's a link to the recipe in this post if anyone wants it.
Next up was a kind of deep dish streusel cake. It was all right but I don't know that I'd make it again. I like this recipe from last year better, I think.
This is plum tea bread. Very tasty. Next time I'll use more plums.
And last but not least, a recipe called Plum Ketchup which is really more like a chutney or relish. It's spicy and delicious and, yes, I've been eating it with a spoon but it also goes wonderfully with chicken or pork or whatever you like. I'm going to make a whole bunch more.
So that's about five pounds of purple plums down and five zillion to go. Wish me luck!