Its harvest time in the Pacific Northwest. Yay, for fresh fruits and veggies straight from the farms, gardens and backyards. I personally only tend an herb garden, not by choice, but because of space and light in my yard. Over the years, I have tried time and again to create a garden with no luck. Although, I am looking forward to our new space in a year, where I’m planning my garden and homestead. This to shall happen, with time and patience, not that I have much of the patience.
That being said, I am blessed to have a few friends with an abundance of wonderful harvest to share. In return for their bounty, I return to them a preserve of their own harvest. Its a win win situation for all of us.
Yesterday, I had the opportunity to climb a friends Italian plum tree and get a few pounds of lovely plums. Of course I proceeded to go home to my kitchen and process these plums into a lovely plum jam. May I say, it is delicious, a bit tangy and sweet from the honey, sugar combination. Can’t wait to enjoy it atop of a sprouted grain toast with cream cheese.
Here’s the recipe I used. It was modified from a recipe in Foolproof Preserving from America’s Test Kitchen.
2 1/2 pounds plums (remove pit and chopped)
1 cup organic sugar
1 cup local honey
2 T lemon juice (bottled kind for safety)
1 T grated fresh ginger
Boil all ingredients together in a heavy bottom pot and cook until reaching at least 200 degree F. It becomes a think syrup like consistency.
What you do from here is your choice… You can bottle it in containers and refrigerate. This will keep for about 2 months in fridge. OR… you can process them into jars, as I did. These will last approximately a year on the shelf. If this is the route you want to go, please look up a proper canning procedure online or in a book. Its quite simple once you understand the process and makes sweet gifts on the holidays.
Here’s a link to one I found for canning you might like: Canning 101
I really enjoy seeing my shelves filled with pretty cans and know I have a labor of love to share with family and friends. Happy Canning!
Love to hear your stories about canning in the comments.