Thursday, September 07, 2006

Kitchen Creations

In the fall I like to make jam with some of the Damson Plums that grow wild in my yard. I also have Italian Prune Plums and have made jam with them, but they pale in comparison to the Damsons, so I usually just make the one kind now. This year, for the Salmon Arm Fair I entered a jar of plum jam and a jar of plum jelly, neighter of them were yet made. Then I waited for the plums to ripen, and I waited, and I waited, and I'm still waiting. Thank God someone I know has 2 trees of Brandy Plums that were ripe in time, so I went over there and picked a bunch of them. I've made 3 batches of jam and 1 batch of jelly with the Brandy Plums. The recipe for plum jelly (there is none for plum jam in my Joy Of Cooking) calls for 3/4 to 1 cup sugar to each cup of juice. I always use this recipe for making jam, just don't strain out the juice from the pulp, and I use the lesser amount of sugar as I don't like the jam to be too sweet. Anyway, Brandy Plums are sweeter than Damson Plums, so I did cut back a bit on the sugar and still the first batch of jam was way too sweet for my liking. The second batch I used less sugar and liked the taste much better. The third batch was the same as the second. For the jelly I also used the same amount of sugar as for the last 2 batches of jam. Unfortunately the jelly didn't jell. The morning of the day it had to go to the fair there I was popping off those nicely sealed lids, pouring the syrup back into the pot, adding more sugar and re-cooking it all. This time it is still a wee bit thin, but much better. It looks and tastes good, in my opinion. I hope the judge(s) think so too.

I still have lots of Brandy Plums left as well as will have lots of Damson and Italian Prune plums ripe in the not so distant future. Guess I'll be making a lot more jam and maybe some more jelly too before this month is over... but not until after the Salmon Arm Fair.

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