Tuesday, 1 October 2013
I was reading “Blue” on Jamie and Ilva’s blog, Plated Stories and suddenly remembered that I hadn’t yet droned on about this year’s plums.
2013 has been a record harvest for “Not Far From The Tree”. They also have a record number of volunteer gleaners, making it very difficult to get in on a pick. So I was thrilled when I managed to be one of the chosen to pick plums a couple of weeks ago.
Yes, that really IS a plum in the photo. They were all about that size!
Four of us arrived within a few minutes of each other on a beautiful sunny morning to see a large pitcher of cucumber/mint water and four sparkling glasses waiting for us on the table in a small, lovely, perfectly tidy back garden, shaded by two beautiful tall tall tall plum trees. At first, as I looked up, I thought there were no more plums left on the tree. Then I began to see them. From below, they hid themselves from our view, blending in with the lush green foliage surrounding them. But when I climbed a ladder and saw them close up, they turned out to be a stunning blue. The kind of blue that you want your formal velvet dress to be.
The trees were laden with fruit. One intrepid woman climbed up into one of the trees and in the short time we were there, single-handedly picked half of the 60 pounds of plums that we harvested, the rest of us standing on ladders, step stools and the garage roof.
We don’t know exactly what kind of plums they are. But they’re easily the tiniest plums I’ve ever seen. They look like Lilliputian prune plums!
They aren’t the juiciest or sweetest plums in the world but they are very good, nonetheless. The flesh inside was gold, as in prune plums. And the pits were almost impossible to take out.
We kept just a few plums back. I can’t quite remember why we did that. But suddenly, I had the brilliant idea to oven-dry the few that were left-over to concentrate their sugars.
Ha! Did I say we were going to concentrate their sugar? hahahahahahaha
Question: do commercial prunes (or “dried plums” if you prefer) have added sugar?
It turns out that the pits aren’t completely easy to pull out with a knife either. Hmmmm… any ideas about what we should do with our exceedingly tart tiny prunes?
They were equally wonderful with goats cheese on the pancakes we had this morning for breakfast. The photos are still in the camera – remind me to show you.
“Not Far From the Tree” is a Toronto organization that includes a residential fruit-picking program to pick fruit (with permission, of course) that would otherwise go to waste.
There are lots and lots of fruit trees and vines in Toronto!! Bearing fruit that is eaten by birds, squirrels and raccoons. If you have such a thing in your garden and would like the animals to share the fruit with people, please do contact “Not Far From the Tree”. They will send a team of pickers to clean up your yard of fallen fruit and pick the good fruit that is still in the tree. The harvested fruit is divided evenly into 3 portions: one third going to the tree owners, one third going to the volunteer pickers and the final third going to food banks, shelters, and community kitchens.
For more information about NFFtT and how you can donate your time and/or share your fruit, please go to
Have you seen Jamie and Ilva’s post entitled Blue on their lovely blog, Plated Stories?
You haven’t? You need to.
I love Jamie’s words and Ilva’s photos, crying at the last blue shirt in the closet and the broken beautiful casserole dish, and laughing at the little stained blue hands and beautiful blue grapes and blueberry pie. And how I want to have a “deep as blue as a windswept sky, the waters of a stormy sea” smile!
Yes! I need that smile! Excuse me while I go and get a little more goat’s cheese with plum preserves….
- plums and preserves
» more jam making: plums and apricots (real food)
» mmmm… plum pie
» Plum pie
» Chicken with Prunes & Apricots (WTSIM…)
» Plum Hamantaschen
» oven-drying tomatoes
» apricot preserves (oven-roasted apricots)
- Not Far From the Tree
» apple juice!
» making grape jelly (or not), step one: make juice
» mmmmmmuffins laced with grapes and green chillies
» Grape/Onion/Blue Cheese Fougasse is Fabulous
» monkey see, monkey do: cheesecake revisited… (grapes)
» Freshly Picked Cherries!
» 2 Kinds of Chutney: Pear and Coconut
» Mmmmmm… pie and pear chutney….
» Let’s share, shall we?
» Pears galore (real food)