Too many plums!

Sunday, July 29, 2012
We spent the morning yesterday picking plums off of our trees before the birds completely devour them.  We spent about 3 hours and STILL only managed to strip one of the two trees!  There are so many plums I don't even know what to do with them.  We've been trying like crazy to get people to take them off our hands, but apparently plums are not very popular around here...  ;)

So, after picking, I then spent the rest of the day doing jam and raw-packing whole plums. 

I tried an Orange Plum Jam recipe - 8 half-pint and they all set just fine this time.  Can't wait to try this one!

Then I re-ran 8 of the half-pints from the previous plum jam that didn't set.  I found a great tutorial online for how to fix the runny jam, and it worked perfectly!  All 8 of the half-pint jars set great the second time around.

The raw-pack plums?  Well, they are a different story.  They were certainly easy to do - wash them, stick them raw, whole, unpitted into quart jars, cover with medium syrup and process.  They looked GREAT waiting to be processed - nice deep reddish purple color.  After the processing though, they look TERRIBLE!!!  They have turned white/yellow and are shrunken and floating on the top of the jar.  Totally un-appealing!  I'm sure they taste fine, but visually they are a mess.  I think they are like red grapes - the skins bleed their red color when processed.  Not sure if you can stop that from happening.  I think the floating fruit can be fixed by going the hot-pack route, but it is a LOT more work than raw packing, and I have to tell you that I am about plummed out.  Plums even showed up in my dreams last night!

Oh, and I did try pureeing some last night to freeze for baby food - spent about an hour washing, pitting and running them through the food mill, only to taste them and find out they were incredibly bitter.  Yuck!  Not sure what happened.  We must have gotten a few unripe plums in there somehow.  Had to dump the whole batch.  Grrr...

I'd take a picture of all the jars, but you'd be hard-pressed to see them through all the disastrous mess that is my kitchen after a full day of canning.  :(  Maybe after I have a chance to clean up a little.