One of the things I most love about living in the country is that wonderful feeling of growing my own produce and being able to make jams, chutneys, cordials and wines.
Right now, the delights I have growing are runner beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, butternut squash, leeks.
The simple things in life. Really. Only this time of the year, our fruit all seems to ripen together. Starting two weeks ago, we have lamas plums. A beautiful dark purple plum, so sweet. It makes succulent jams and fabulous cordials, but oh heavens, the amount of work it causes me.
We’ve only lived here for three years and before that the fruit trees weren’t pruned so these plum trees are so tall we can’t pick the fruit, we have to wait for it to drop and when it comes down, it’s like purple rain. We spend two weeks, backs bent bemoaning this crop and the fact that it has to be dealt with immediately because the plums are ripe when they fall.
Delicious they may be, but time-consuming too.
Here’s one of the recipes I use :
10lb lamas plums
5 pints water
Juice of 2 lemons
Bring fruit to the boil, bubble for 20 minutes or until fruit is soft and the sieve. Bottle and keep refridgerated for up to 2 months.
Within the next three weeks the damsons will come, followed by the apples. Somewhere in between I will have to pluck the single peach from our new tree and harvest the greengages which is the first year we’ve seen these fruit.