We didn't get many plums this year. I have to prune our tree properly. Myself. The last time it was pruned, a couple of years ago, Brett did it. I could hear him out there, I was feeding Izzy at the time, and I was telling myself "trust". Gotta love him. I could have cried.
It has just finished fruiting, we got about 5 plums. Dismal. So I need to prune it NOW, all the crossing and inward facing branches and beat it about the trunk. Yes I mean beat it. Frighten the living daylights out of the tree and give it a bash around the trunk with a piece of four by two, not damage it completely but scare it into fruiting next year. Sounds silly doesn't it. But I did it years ago and the next year got a bumper crop!
Mum's got plums, and of course, she gave me some, well forced them on me. Not complaining though, they are yummy. I love these ones.
I like finding recipes like this. Ones that sound interesting, enough for me to be inspired to cook stuff, like chutney. I changed it a bit, the original had real spices, I had a half a bag of mixed spice in the cupboard. It called for dried cranberries, hello, none of those.
Plum and Port Chutney
1 kilogram plums
2 cloves garlic, chopped
250 grams chopped onion
100 grams chopped apple
1 1/2 tspn mixed spice
120 gr soft brown sugar
150 mls white wine vinegar
100 mls port
Deseed the plums, and chop (I quartered them). Place in a large saucepan with all ingredients except the port. Bring slowly up to the boil, then simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the port and simmer for another 40 minutes.
Put into jars. Leave the chutney for a month before use to let the flavours meld.
I can't wait to try this out with some cheese and crackers.
To sterilise the jars, I put them in the oven, and lids, at 150 degrees for 20 minutes. Use them straight out of the oven, don't forget to use a dry tea towel or oven mitt.
DO NOT put hot jam into cold jars or cold jam into hot jars, the glass will shatter. If you don't have lids, you can buy round cellophane toppers with rubber bands, jar labels usually come with these too, at the supermarket.
The left over port goes well at night as well as a night cap, warming, calming and uplifting all at the same time. Take it from me!!