Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Last Plum Story

I promise this is the last of the plum stories. For this year. Do you have one of these really cool contraptions shown above? I don't know it's name. It was passed down to me and I'm thinking it is most likely at least 70 or more years old. I tell you it works like a well oiled machine and last Saturday evening, I processed 12 cups of the most beautiful plum puree you have ever seen.

Emelie was the one who mentioned plum sauce. She motivated me to do it. I was on the verge of letting them all go to waste and yes with huge amounts of guilt at that. She sent me her recipe and I did a little research on the net but in the end, I do what I always do. A little bit of this and a little bit of that and taste and add more of this and some of that and taste. I simply can't follow a recipe.

Sunday morning while making the plum sauce, I just kept thinking about my grandmother who lived to be 96 and spent many an hour picking, cooking, and canning from her garden. I thought about how she surely never would let one plum go to waste. And I thought about how she did all this many years of her life in a home without air conditioning. Heck, when I was just a young one, she didn't even have running water, not to mention other very important modern conveniences. When I finished, I was wiped out. Exhausted. And I only ended up with 8 jars. That sure wouldn't be enough to carry a family through the winter. All of this thinking sure didn't help the guilt I was already heaping on that silver platter that I always carry for such special guilt. I carried the silver platter outside to have another look at all the plums that I was letting go to waste. You know, I needed some kind of affirmation that, "yep, I should feel really really guilty about letting so many plums go to waste".

Here is what I discovered. The plum tree was buzzing with hundred of butterflies, wasp and one great big red headed woodpecker. Sure enough there were many many more plums to be had. All of a sudden, the sliver platter slipped out of my hands and all the guilt just fell right to the ground along with over ripe plums. Sometimes, it is just about the big picture. Made me wonder if my Grandmother left some on the tree for ....................
I bet she did.
♥ Sharon

Workshop starts Friday morning.
I hope to see you there.


  1. I bet she did too!! :)

    I sometimes wonder too at how hard those that came before us worked - and with so few of the conviences we now have!!

    Your jars look yummy!!

  2. hi Sharon..I also have one of those contraptions..I entend to use it with my cherries (i froze them) and my plums that are not quite ready yet...Love plum jam...Thanks for sharing... ;)

  3. Good morning, a lovely stilllife of your work, and yes I have a collander. Ude it for plumbs, chokecherries,tomatoes, crab apples that sort of thing or I use to do that.
    That sauce is beuatiful. Yes grandmother left something and mother did also, they said, they were leaving something for seed, meaning next year.

    I sent out too many rain pleas, it has rained for days and the strawberies are molding on the vine, honestly, another lesson in being careful what one wishes for.

    Yesterday I was in the rainy garden and birds were so angry at me, they had baby birds leaving the nest, I don't ever remember being that frantic over children leaving the nest. Also the sun did show for an instant not bright but telling me it was still there.
    it was a painting inspiration.

    Enjhoyed your words this morning.

  4. Your word pictures are as marvelous as the ones you paint.
    I quit raising food in my garden years ago because I couldn't deal with the guilt over wasted produce and frustration over insect destruction. Now it's just war with a very large bunny who munched the top foot off my mature rose bush and ALL the blossoms.
    I love that the butterflies & insects are having a delectable feast in your tree.

  5. Good think you used those plums or I would have come over in the night and taken them all home with me. I love plums. My grandmother used to make plum butter for me. Plum ginger jelly is also good and I have made hot pepper jelly with plums also.

    Your jars look lovely.

  6. Sounds yummy...love plums and love that you have those beautiful butterflies....I've tried to make my flower garden more attractive for butterflies...so far no luck...lol

  7. Isn't it great how Mother Nature will take care of her own, if you let her :)

  8. My dear, what you have there is a Chinoise (often called a Chinese Hat or a China cap), Yours may be old but they are still made and haven't changed much if at all.

    Your plummy stuff looks great but I'm happy you shared with the friends of the garden.


  9. Sharon, I LOVE this story!! So glad you left some plums for these gorgeous visitors. pat

  10. I have never seen so many butterflies on plums! You captured them so beautifully. The first photo just screams "home, security, love". Your post made me very emotional.

  11. What beautiful words, memories, photos~~

  12. Your story reminded me so much of my own grandmother who canned everything. She even made watermelon preserves from the watermelon rinds after we ate the melon part. I have always wondered who on earth ever thought of trying that! But it was so delicious. You have inspired me. Perhaps I should hunt up the recipe and try my hand at it.

  13. Hi Sharon, I'm new to your blog and stopping by from Flying Lessons to say "hello". Beautiful artwork you are doing! Blessings, xoxo Valerie

  14. Nora says you are plum crazy!

  15. Such a great post, Sharon!
    I enjoyed the pictures very much...thank God for butterflies!

  16. I love your faces Norah !
    I've been a floral painter, but I've been inspired on improving my faces painting skills lately. (my english too) :)
    I just signed to your Ning... can wait to see more of yor criations.
    Thank you

  17. Hello! Sharon
    I am enjoying your past blog posts...they are incredible...you are an inspiration. I am 60, and you GIVE ME HOPE, GIRL!!!!
    The butterflies on your plum tree are amazing! I wasn't able to do plum jam this summer...I was too stressed out taking care of my husbands invalid mother. Life has pauses at times. My mother had a funnel colander that she used when she made concord jelly, and used cheesecloth inside so the seeds wouldn't get into the jelly. I think she still has it! They are wonderful contraptions.
    Take care, and I will come here often now that I have found your blog.
    Teresa in California
    I know I am a little slow in posting a comment for this post as I just found you!


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