Day before yesterday, our neighbor rang the front bell. She was bringing us a big basketful of mirabelle plums from one of the trees in her yard. She was almost apologetic about giving them to us. «Dans certaines les oiseaux ont fait un trou, » she said, « et dans beaucoup d'autres tu vas trouver un petit ver. » — "Birds have pecked holes in some of them, and inside a lot of them you'll find a little worm." Or an insect larva of some kind, I'd say.
The plums are organic, in other words.
Yesterday morning, CHM and I sat at the work table in the kitchen for a couple of hours and trimmed an pitted all the plums. Mirabelles are little golden yellow plums, with just a tinge of red on them when they are getting very ripe. There indeed were holes in a lot of them (birds or wasps) and worms in a lot of them too (wasp larvae, I think).
We trimmed and cleaned them all up with great care, and we ended up with 2.8 kg of usable fruit — just over 6 lbs. I added some greengage plums (reines-claudes) from our own trees to bring the quantity up to about 4 kg, and then I poured 2.5 kg of sugar over them and stirred them around. They are macerating in that sugar, which has now liquefied, and I'll make jam out of them this afternoon.
Plums are my favorite fruit for confiture. Cherries are a close second.