05 August 2010

The jam jam

Through a combination of favorable circumstances and sheer willpower, I managed to avoid making any cherry jam this summer. But now the plums have come in. Blame the neighbors for my latest jam-making spree. Now I'm in a jam.

When M. brought us three kilograms of golden mirabelle plums, what was I to do? You can't just sit down and eat three kilograms of plums, can you? You can put them in the freezer, I guess, but they'll take up a lot of room that you'd rather use for tomatoes and eggplant. Jam is the only logical thing to do with them.

Thirteen Bonne Maman jars full of home-made plum jam,
plus one nearly full one that went directly into the fridge.

Never mind that there are several quarts of plum jam down in the pantry, from a batch that I made in 2007. There it sits. We don't eat much jam, it turns out. My resolution to make a lot of jelly-roll cakes last winter fell flat. Did I mention that I also have six or eight jars of Asian plum sauce, spiced with hot red pepper and ginger root, both down in the cellar and in the refrigerator? We can't seem to eat that up either.

Here is jam for the taking...

The neighbor's mirabelles, combined with about a kilo of our own reine-claude plums, made beautiful jam. It's thick and red, with big chunks of fruit in it. I'd certainly eat some this morning, except for the fact that we have completely run out of bread. The bread lady doesn't come by until after 10:00, and that'll be too late. We have errands to run.

I'm going to have to build a set of shelves
in the pantry, devoted just to jam.

There were fourteen jars of the new jam. I already gave one away — no, not to a passer-by, but to an old friend who stopped by yesterday afternoon. I'm not sure she wanted it. She mumbled something about making plum jam herself, because her trees are full too. But she took it. That's what counts.

Here's another plum idea: a clafoutis made with little red plums
given to us by other neighbors. It is delicious,
and you don't even have to pit the plums.

Who's next? Stop by when you can and get yours.


  1. I'll be there toute suite!!

  2. I give jam or pickle or whatever to everyone for Christmas presents. If they don't like it they can also pass it on!! Diane

  3. Ken, I'm an avid reader of yours and Walt's blogs...actually an addict...I must read your blog as my everyday morning fix.
    I've been lurking and meaning to say hi for some time now.
    I'm all the way in Barbados, but I'll take some of that great looking jam any day!!

  4. That jam sure looks good! I sure wish I could say "How about if I stop by this afternoon for a jar or two?". (I think that's too much punctuation all together but I'm not sure what to take out.)

    We'll have a fairly large back yard in California which is now pretty much empty. I plan to put in fruit trees including plums and cherries. If I get mature enough trees to plant, I should be making preserves, etc. in a couple of years.

  5. It's a wonder that you have
    purchased enough Bonne Maman
    to have accumulated all
    those jars.

  6. Sheila, In fact these now filled Bonne Maman jars are the ones I accumulated over the years and gave to Ken last year. They were empty, of course, and collecting dust at the time.

  7. Hmmmm.

    Just maybe you will have a table at the local farmers' market, selling jams. And chutneys.

  8. It looks wonderful. Try a Hungarian winter supper of Gulyas Leves (a beef soup) followed by crepes filled with plum jam.

    Of all the problems one could have in life, surely this is one of the sweetest.

  9. It looks wonderful. Try a Hungarian winter supper of Gulyas Leves (a beef soup) followed by crepes filled with plum jam.

    Of all the problems one could have in life, surely this is one of the sweetest.

  10. Yes, Sheila, I have to thank CHM (a great consumer of confiture) and Jean too, for all the jars. I still have dozens and dozens of jars that are empty and awaiting tomato sauce and other preparations that can be "canned".

  11. Well, that was a chuckle-filled post :)) Especially the part about the friend who mumbled about not needing any more jam but got some anyway ;)))

    I don't suppose there is a food pantry anywhere that you could donate them to?


  12. Great idea, Judy! I think Ken has a friend in Rouen who likes jam, maybe he can give her a couple of jars...

  13. I gave away two more jars of plum jam this afternoon. Our friend Josette, the previous owner of our house, stopped by for a tour with a friend of hers from Tours. Both departed with a pot de confiture de prunes and a couple of courgettes. Yippee! neither protested too much (I pretended not to hear).

  14. Evelyn, good idea. I'll save some for Marie.

  15. 14 jars? Exactly my output from this year's plum crop (that's all I could reach without a ladder). This is one time when being retired is a distinct disadvantage for you. I plan to unload the excess as holiday gifts for my co-workers.

  16. OOoh la la Ken we can do a trade. I can trade a couple jars of carambola chutney for some of that jam.

  17. Careful what you say, Susan. I might end up sending you some of my home-made jam!

    Islandgal, what is carambola chutney? Sounds good, whatever. I'll look it up.


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