A lot has happened in the last two weeks! Or is it now three? An earthquake followed by a tropical storm, days of power out, major flooding, and now, more rain. It felt like we lost a week with the storm---preparing for it and then getting back to normal. We were left relatively unscathed. I didn't have to kayak to my house, or get my belongings sucked down a river, or see months of tough farming that was just about to pay off get doused in the fires of flooding, like some friends did. The pond was overflowing, many roads were closed, and the neighborhood had a house burn down. Pumpkins bobbed in the nearby Hudson river, a sign of the fields lost to the flooding. We lost our power for only three days, and thankfully our generator kept the chest freezer, which was packed to the gills, nice and cold.
|Our street, our stream.|
How are you doing? I hope that if you weathered the storm, that you didn't sustain too much damage!
|Thank you, Coleman lamp.|
4 pounds of black plums, halved and pits removed
1 1/2 pounds of sugar
Combine and let macerate in a turned off fridge for a few days! Without the storm, I would've let them macerate a day or two in the fridge. But maceration is the boon of the preserver. It always buys you time. These firm plums probably stood up to the sugar bath better than most fruit, though.
Pull the plum mixture and put in your jamming pot. Add:
1 pound of sugar
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
Bring the mixture to a boil, and let it cook at a boil until it reaches the gel stage, or 220 degrees on a candy thermometer. This will take about twenty minutes from the time it starts to boil. When the gel stage has been reached, turn off the heat and add:
two hearty glugs of port wine
a few coarse grinds of fresh black pepper
Stir to combine. Ladle into hot jars and process in a boiling water bath for ten minutes.
|Cream cheese pastries.|