Plum crazy I

I’m busy figuring out how to turn this lovely bucket of beach plums into jelly. I’ve never made jelly before. Neither me nor my kitchen is stained purple, yet. Wish me luck. Check back in a bit for the monthly Hal Borland interlude. I’ll probably be purple by then.

14 thoughts on “Plum crazy I”

  1. Ooooooh, Laura, those plums look luscious. If your jelly turns out, will you swap me a jar for a pint of my old-fashioned homemade pickles?
    🙂 Wendi

  2. The plums look delish! I’m sure there’s plenty of recipes out there on the internet. My father preserves his fruit by just cutting it up, boiling it with sugar and any spices he might fancy, then putting it into sterilized jars and sealing them. Voila! It’s not nearly as hard as we modern folks think it is!

  3. Wendy: Those wouldn’t happen to be bread-and-butter pickles would they?


    It would be fun to swap, but this is sort of a science experiment for me – at least it feels like one! Most cooking does, though. Will let you know how it turns out.

    Naturewoman: the jelly is made (I hope). I’m not purple! Just waiting to hear the jars *pop* so I know they’re sealed properly.

    Bunnygirl: Most of the recipes I found were for jam, rather than jelly, and I didn’t feel like pitting all those plums tonight. Maybe the next batch.

    My mother-in-law does a lot of canning and my brother does some too, but I’ve never tried it before. Hope it turns out okay. It was pretty easy (with my DH’s help with the boiling hot jars) and not half as messy as I was lead to believe.

  4. They really do look like wild blueberries, don’t they? Hope your jelly turns out — I haven’t made any in a long time, and was more into jam and conserves when I was canning.

  5. Laura,
    Yes, they are bread and butter pickles and I would probably be shot by members of my own family if they knew I was offering one to an *outsider*, so shhhh!
    Waiting to hear the lids ping is the most agonizing part of the process.
    I’ve never had much luck with jelly–lots of times ended up with something much runnier than jelly, but at least you can put it on pancakes. Jam’s easier, and just as delicious, especially in winter, when opening a jar is like reliving summer for a moment.

  6. I’ve been making crabapple jelly and wild grape jelly for the past five years. It’s not difficult…it’s just a bit time consuming — but ultimately very satisfying! Pulling out a jar of homemade jelly on a cold winter day, spreading it on a piece of whole grain toast, and drinking a cup of hot tea…you can’t beat it 🙂

  7. Endment: They do look yummy. Hope my jelly is too.

    Maya’s granny: My mother-in-law said the same. I was really surprised to hear that she had never eaten beach plums because she grew up in this area and has done a lot of canning in her days. Why make jam and conserves rather than jelly? Better use of the fruit?

    Wendy: I love bread-and-butter pickles! I won’t take from your family though, as I’ve found a really good store bought brand that is just delicious. I was a *dill only* picklepuss until I tried these.

    Sandy: I haven’t tried it yet, but it looks like jelly! Doesn’t look runny, but guess I won’t know till I open one of the jars.

    Randa: I’d been admiring the crabapples outside my office last month. If this experiment goes well I may try making some jelly next year from crabapples.

    Do you have to line that funnel thing in your pic with cheesecloth? Or does it depend on the fruit you’re using?

  8. Before I got that funnel colander, I put the cooked crabapples in a clean pillowcase used solely for making jelly. There is no need to use a cheesecloth or other “filter” when using the colander, though, because the juice drains through the small holes, and the pulp stays in the colander.

    After I drain all the juice I can and make my jelly, I use the remaining pulp to make crabapple butter. I love using all the parts of the fruit! I hate wasting food.

  9. Thanks Randa. I’ll have to look for something similar if I plan to keep this up – the cheesecloth is a pain.

    There is a lot of waste making jelly! I felt bad throwing the pulp away, but didn’t know what else to do with it. Those skins are so tart.

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