One year as we patiently awaited beautifully tree-ripened plums, a cheeky young bear stole into the tree and ate every last plum. He cracked branches, being neither a small nor a careful bear, and he lounged around in the sunny garden long after the larceny. Every year since, we make sure to beat the bears to the plums. The fruit will finish ripening in a bowl in the window.
Little girls are a good size to slip between the leaves for plum-picking without any branch-cracking or fruit-bruising. They do eat more than their share of plums, mind you.
I’ve always got high hopes for all the things I could make with the plums. Yet in all but the most bumper-croppish years, they get eaten up while they’re fresh.
If you’ve got an abundance of plums in these last days of summer, or wild blackberries (which rarely get through our door without being plunged into whipped cream and devoured) get the quarterly, out this week. It includes a very simple recipe for preserving fruit through winter. Even if life has been too much of a whirl for jams and jellies, you’ll feel industrious and a little bit triumphant over this one – pretty good for ten minutes work.