Wild Plum Jam

I grew up living outside of a small town “in the country” as we say…meaning way outside of the town on dirt roads.  A grove of wild plum trees grew near the farm where I lived.  For many years I made plum jelly from those wild plums and developed my own recipe (albeit a very simple recipe).  When I moved into my current home, I was pleased to learn we owned a plum tree.  Here is my recipe for wild plum (or domesticated plum) jam.

If you have never made jams or jellies before, I would suggest researching the topic a bit before trying it for the first time.  It’s not hard, but it’s best to be well educated on the topic as as to avoid any oops moments resulting in someone getting ill. ;)

The easiest way to prepare the plums for processing is to “blanch” them.  Prepare a pot of boiling water and two bowls.  Fill one bowl with ice water.

Place several plums in the boiling water until the skin around them slits open.  Then scoop them out and place them into the ice bath to cool.  Then peal off the skins and slice the fruit away from the pit and leave your discards (skins and pits) in the second bowl.  I place the pulp of the fruit directly into a measuring cup until I have gathered enough.  It requires 8 cups for this jam recipe.

After you have acquired all the pulp you need, use two large pots to start the canning process.  Put the pulp into one pot to cook and follow the recipe below.  In the other pot, fill it 1/2 full with water and start it to boil.

Place your new jars and lids into the boiling water for a minute or two to sterilize them.  Remove them using tongs and set aside.  Do this right before you are ready to fill them with your fruit mixture so the jars are still hot.  It is best to have the jars hot when you fill them just in case the glass might break from a big temperature difference between cold jars and hot jam.

Fill the jars up to 1/8 inch below the rim.  I use a measuring cup to dip out the jam and pour it into the jars.  No matter what method you use, it’s messy.  Put on the bottom of the lid and then screw on the top of the lid using hot pads so you don’t burn yourself.

Place the filled and sealed jars into the boiling water.  Wait for the water to return to a boil and then let them process for 2 minutes.  Using canning tongs, remove the hot jars from the water and set aside to cool.  If they have been processed correctly, within a minute or two you will hear popping sounds as the lids seal air-tight.  Wait 5 minutes and then check the tops of each can by pressing your finger down on them.  If the lid has movement, return the can to the boiling water for 2 more minutes.  Let the errant jar cool again, this time 10 minutes and check again.  I generally have 1 or 2 jars acting bullheaded about sealing but every time it has either been my impatience and tested them too early before they cooled enough to seal, or it sealed after the second water-bath.

Make sure your boiling water covers the tops of the jars.

And there you are, a very simple canning recipe for wonderful sweet but tart jam.

Wild Plum Jam
8 Cups Wild Plum Pulp
7 Cups Sugar
1 Package Fruit Pectin
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
12 8oz Canning Jars and Lids

Blanch the plums by placing them in boiling water until the skins split.  Move them to cold water bath to cool.  Remove the skins and pits and measure the fruit to 8 cups.  Put the fruit into a large pot and cook for 10 minutes at a low boil.  Add the sugar, pectin and lemon juice and return to a boil for 1 minute.  While the plums are cooking, boil to sterilize the jars and lids and set them aside.  Fill the jars up to 1/8 inch from the rims and then seal.  Put the sealed jars into the boiling water bath and process for 2 minutes.  Using canning tongs, remove the jars and set aside to cool.  After 5 minutes check the seal by pushing down on the top of the jar with a finger.  If the lid moves, reprocess the jar for 2 more minutes in the boiling water.

Oh, That Kind of Mom

I really hate how, as moms, we try to label each other by stereotypes.  You know, the crafty mom, the over protective mom, the party mom, etc.

I really wish there was a way to be accepted for who I am and who I am as a mom.  I don’t feel like I fit into any particular mold, and my guess is, most moms don’t.  But moms try to choose a group to which they closest fit and then try to squeeze themselves into the pre-labled package.

I’ve tried to fit into a mold myself, but it just doesn’t work.  I like to be crafty and cook, I really really do…but it’s not all I live for.  I also like to drink, but I’m not really a party mom, I’m more of a wallflower.  I like to be funny and talk about silly subjects but I’m not much of a comedienne.  I’m really only funny to myself.  I also like sex and I think it’s funny to talk about, but of course a lot of moms frown on it.  They will talk about it in private at ladies night but not in mixed company or around people they don’t know, which I think is really dumb.  It’s not like those people don’t do it too.  So as you can tell, I’m a bit of Martha Stewart mixed with May West and a splash of Felicia Day (who you don’t even know.)

Anyway, I’m curious if other moms have the same problem.

 

Honeydew Champagne Spritzer

I needed to make use of a honeydew melon and what better way to do it than with alcohol.  So I made this up on the fly!

Honeydew Champagne Spritzer
1 Part Honeydew Juice (I used a juicer with the melon pulp)
1 Part Champagne
Splash Midori

Fill the glass half-full with champagne first then add a Midori splash then fill with Honeydew juice.  It bubbles and if you do it in the correct order a lot less fizzing will occur.

Ready for Bed

Getting Mason (my 3 year old) ready for bedtime.

Me: Look, Bunny is already asleep (Mason has a toddler clock with a sleeping bunny and an awake bunny to tell him when it is bedtime or awake time)
Mason: We know…(he says it in a weird guttural sound like he’s possessed)
Me: So it’s way past your bedtime.
Mason: We know…
Me: (I’m thinking who is this WE crap?) Go tinkle.
Mason: OK (runs out of the room and to his bathroom to go potty then comes back.  He calls out each step of his getting dressed routine before I do it)  Underwear! Shorts!  Shirt!  Tag!
Me: (I think to myself…tag? huh? Then I realize he wants me to tuck the tag down in the back of his shirt.  Geesh)
Mason: Play?!
Me: Yes, you can play for a bit while I put the clean sheets on your bed.
He runs out of the room and sees his sister is still up and not to bed yet.
Mason: Look Mommy!  Me and Sister match!  We REALLY match!
Marc: Yes, you are both wearing night suits.
Mason: But we don’t really match…I’m wearing Elmo.  She’s wearing…something…FOR GIRLS! (he snarls it like it’s contagious)

Sigh.

 

Frozen Watermelon Lemonade Treat

I saw this treat some time ago on Stumble Upon and wanted to try it.  The original link is below and my recipe is different from their recipe but the technique is the same so be sure to visit their page.

My version is watermelon lemonade flavor.

Scoop out all the insides and process it in a food processor until smooth.  Keep the rinds and place them in the freezer while the frozen lemonade is being made.

Place in pot with the water, lemon and sugar.  Boil for 2-3 minutes until the sugar is melted and everything is incorporated.  Place into a bowl and put into the refrigerator until it is completely cool.

After the watermelon lemonade is cooled, freeze it in an ice cream freezer per the instructions.  To make it appear more realistic, I cut the seed pieces off of two blackberries and stirred them into the frozen lemonade.  The original posting used mini chocolate chips.  Or you can leave it without any “seeds”.  Fill the mixture back into the frozen rinds.

Place them back into the freezer until they are frozen solid, a few hours.  If you cut into them too early, the slush will run out and there isn’t a second chance to do it again.  After they are frozen, use a big sharp knife to cut them into pieces.

Link to original:

foodformyfamily.com/recipes/watermelon-lime-sorbet-slices

My version:

Frozen Watermelon Lemonade Treat
1 Small Watermelon
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Large Lemon
2 Blackberries (optional)

Cut the small watermelon in half and scoop out all the insides and process the pulp in a food processor.  Save the rinds and place them in the freezer.  In a pot, place the processed pulp, sugar and the juice from the lemon.  Bring to a boil for 2-3 min and then remove and cool completely in a refrigerator.  Place the contents into an ice cream maker and follow the directions for sorbet.  After the watermelon lemonade is frozen, stir in the seeds from the blackberries (just cut the bumps off the core with a knife).  Place the contents into the frozen rinds and return to the freezer until frozen solid (3-5 hours).  Slice and serve frozen.  They will melt quickly!