How the plum got jammed!

There is a plum-tree on my street that is laden with both ripe & ripening fruit. It is a beautiful tree with limbs that spread outward providing shade for its owners. For me, a blatant urban fruit forager, this tree provides me with the base for a delicious plum jam.  So, while it was 100 degrees in the shade outside, I quickly picked the plums & spent the day inside in the cool making jam. This is how the “plum” got “jammed”.

Homemade plum jam on hot buttered toast.

For great jam recipes go to your favorite cookbooks or online. Look for a recipe that is simple & easy using basically fruit & sugar that can be put-up in inexpensive canning jars. I made my jam from a recipe in “jams and preserves” published by Love Food, an imprint of Parragon Books Ltd.  I do not know if you can find this particular book, but there are many, many other recipes for jams readily available. As always with any recipe I made a few adjustments & changes to suit my taste.

Ripe plums being weighed for recipe.
5.5 lbs plums, 3.5 lbs sugar & 2 c. water.
Plums & water (no sugar yet) simmering for 45 minutes to soften fruit.
Sugar added, stirring til dissolved.
Cranked up to rolling boil til temp reaches 220 degrees F...meanwhile.....
...get your jars & lids clean & ready...
...get the wax ready to melt for sealing....
..plum mixture has reached 220F...jars have been sterilized in hot oven...all is ready...
Filling the jars....
...jars filled & ready to be topped with hot melted wax to seal.

Wax has been added to each & jars will cool down overnight.
plums, yum.
Lids & labels added. I'll keep plum jam stored in cool, dark closet & give away as gifts.

Urban foraging should be done with respect to the owner(s) of property on which you are foraging when possible..meaning if the fruit tree, berry bush, walnut tree is on private property. I always ask if I can have some of the fruits I see hanging ripe & heavy on trees in my neighborhood, but amazingly enough there are many places to forage freshly that fall on public land (to me this means along roadways, alleys & freeways), not state & city parks. Last year I foraged plums, pears, apples, berries & peaches & lots of fresh-cut flowers both wild and domestic. If you see any wonderful foraging (fruits, vegetables & flowers only) opportunities and you are not interested just drop me an email and I will check it out or pass it on:

Thanks & Bon Apetito, y’all.

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5 thoughts on “How the plum got jammed!

  1. I am so jealous. The photos are so beautiful — I want to move into your house and cook with you!

    I met a native American Indian woman who said that the word forager is offensive and compared it to using the word “squaw” or “kike.” I think it’s more like gypsy because almost no one who uses that word these days thinks of it as having any negative connotations. She was very interesting. She calls herself a “Wild Food Gatherer,” and always picks wild edibles with permission or on public land, as you suggest here. She was selling some of her pickings and they were fantastic. I’d like to write a story about her objection to the word forager. She is an interesting, charming and ornery woman. I think you’d enjoy talking to her.

  2. Terese, you plum-lucky girl! My plum tree was heavily foraged by squirrels and a blue jay the size of a barn owl. Last year I got almost 200 plums. This year, barely 20!!!
    Interesting about the sealing wax—I know there is a current school of thought that doesn’t trust its safety. But having never used it, I don’t know. And, clearly, you have followed a procedure with success.

    I got my eye on a forage-able fig tree.

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