Let’s say, hypothetically, that you’re in possession of a surplus of Italian plums. You know the difference: slightly smaller, more elliptical than your average, run-of-the-mill plum. Rather than quietly flashing their reddish highlights your way, they boast a pale blue almost powdery appearance sometimes. The first time I laid eyes on some, I thought they were some strange super-huge grapes. I know, laugh it up. The thing is, I often worry about the beginning of a love-affair with these plums.
So when you find yourself swimming in too much of a good thing, what is there to do but make preserves? Using a similar recipe to that which I used for the peaches, with the exception of maybe half the sugar, I set to work pitting the little gems. Really, is there anything prettier than the finished product when it comes to jams, preserves, and jellies? Oh, wouldn’t apple jellies be lovely? That’s an idea for another day, a little further into autumn, maybe.
I’m already feeling the pressure and the term hasn’t even started yet — oh, sorry, I’ve changed gears and am talking about grad school, now. With orientation out of the way, things seem like they’ll be running pretty smoothly. It’s just going to come down to keeping all the balls in the air, I think. Fingers crossed, I’ll be able to keep you updated as I go, but please let me apologize ahead of time if, by some horrible twist of fate, I let the blog slip through my fingers. All I can promise is ample coverage of holiday meals, should such a travesty occur.
Italian Plum Preserves
2.5-3 lbs Italian plums, cleaned and pitted.
Yes, it’s that simple: two ingredients. Thinly slice the plums and pop ’em into a pot set on low heat. When they start to appear mushy, begin stirring in the sugar, a little bit at a time, so it has time to dissolve before you add more.
Stir every so often, but leave cooking for 2-3 hours. I was finished in 2. Turn off the heat and ladle into warm, sterilized jars. Apply the warm, sterilized lid. Set aside to cool for 24 hours, then store in a cool, dry place, or just add it to everything you can think of.