Sunday, September 19, 2010

Here Come the Plums...

What is it about picking plums that makes my heart race? Their plump dusky blueness is like some kind of aphrodisiac to me... I even like the word.

Plum. So round. So full. So complete in its plumminess.

And they fit so neatly in the hand. Snug and perfect. I can totally see why 'visions of sugarplums danced in their heads' on Christmas Eve, instead of visions of sugarapples or some other thing. Plum pudding. Plum preserves. Plum dandy, by me.

This year's windfall came courtesy of a friend who just happened to be travelling the same week that local plums were at their prime. And, happily, we were available to pick while she contentedly cruised the Inside Passage being wowed by coastal scenery and endless bufffets.

Her place is right along the river's edge - a magical spot, really unlike any other. It is in one of a rare smattering of float home communities that cluster half hidden along our network of rivers.

Hers sits charmingly on a point where the Pitt and Alouette Rivers meet. A great spot for swimming, boating , berries and generally just moodling around.

Hubby and I were delighted to load up our baskets, camera and garden gloves and head over to the point to rescue her plums from the bees and bears.

Her tree was loaded, the plums literally falling into our greedy hands. Between windfall and low-hanging clusters on the tree, I nearly filled a basket, while hubby scouted out the last of the blackberries. We beat the rain, stopped at the local Home Hardware to stock up on canning jars and I came home brimming with anticipation.

Sweet plums! Filling the kitchen with their spicy smell and juicy roundness. Saucy plums! (And that's just the jam...). I filled an entire day with washing, pitting, chopping, stewing, sealing, bathing and of course - sweating (me, not the plums).  

I can't say the canning day was a complete success. I learned a lot from these plums about patience and perseverence. And about practice. And pluckiness.


Gorgeously contented. Satisfied with gleaning food from its source and putting it aside for winter. Happy to be learning, or re-learning, skills the grandmothers tried to pass along.

And, peacefully, plum tuckered.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Vickie,

    Beautifully said! Your new blog look is great and the plums look perfect in every way! They will taste soooo goood in the winter with scones perhaps? I found neat canning jars at The Container Store from Italy. The lid combines the ring and seal into one piece. The brand is Quattro Stagioni. I made fig and rhubarb jam and used their cute, albeit plum shaped jars! LOL!

    That view of the river and houseboats reminds me of houseboats on the Seine in Paris. Now that was a fantasy for me to live there! Your countryside is so beautiful. Enjoy Fall's bounty......

    :-) Sue