She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands. Proverbs 31

Monday, June 30, 2008

From My Kitchen ~ Plum Jam!

Remember all those lovely plums? Well I was was so blessed when my friend, Tami, called this weekend to say I could have the remaining plums on her tree. And then my father in law also offered the plums from his trees as well. So what else could I do but make plum jam!

Now I'm not the least bit experienced in canning. I set my heart at attempting blackberry jam two years ago armed with only my Ball Canning book and the little insert that comes in the pectin package. And it was actually edible! The plum turned out quite well this year and I couldn't be more excited!

I won't try explain the entire canning process but want to encourage you if you've never given it a try and have access to fruit, jump in and have fun! It is such a great experience to line your pantry shelves with all those jewel colored jars of fruit to enjoy for the year and know it came from your own hands.

Right after I set the last jar of plum, I ran out to pick blackberries. Here is how we pick blackberries. (You never know what you're going to run into out there!)

It is not nearly as pleasant as plum picking thats for certain. My poor fingers still hurt from all the briars. But they taste so good and they're worth feeling like a pincushion for a couple of days.

I need a lot more berries so I'll be going out each morning to gather berries that have ripened the previous day. Hopefully enough to make a few jars of jam as well as one or two fresh cobblers! Yummy!

Today I am thankful for:
26. the generosity of friends
27. God's provision
28. colorful fabric scraps
29. my front porch swing (thanks mom & dad)
30. a full pantry

Have a blessed day!


Cora from Nelia's Primitive Place said...

Lea, I'm sooooo glad it turned out for you. I thought about plums and blackberries all weekend! I can remember as a kid picking blackberries ----- and the best ones and the biggest were always waaaay deep into the briars. Feeling like a pincushion is a perfect description. But like you said, it was worth it!

I love all those jars on the shelf, too!!!! You have almost inspired me to get my pot, jars, caps, etc., out and start again. I promise to try to keep it off the ceiling this time!


Wendy said...

Good for you Lea!!! Its amazing how intimidating the thought of canning is, but then you find out its really not hard at all!! I love making strawberry jam, and its been a few years since I've done other canning, but I'm hoping to do more this year!! And doesn't all those jars look so pretty!! Have a very Blessed week my friend!!~Wendy

Juri said...

Lea, this is so exciting to me. I also feel that the thought of canning can be a bit intimidating (especially when you read Cora's post about her canning experience), but to take something and be able to enjoy it for months and months to come is just wonderful! I am so proud of you and inspired by you!


Vintage Linen Treasures said...

MMMMMmmm! Plum jam! I love that! My MIL used to do a lot of canning and preserves and my all time favorite that she made was the plum jam.
Patricia :o)

LINDA said...

When did you change your avatar?
Uncanny--red plum jam is absolutely my favorite jam/jelly!!!Mike's is elderberry!? I know what you mean--if people knew how easy and how delicious homemade is, Smucker's would be out of business!
Have you ever tried my sour cream blackberry pie recipe?#125 on my blog. My Grandma Fraise's recipe.
Yes those are monster hostas in front of our house. They have really outgrown the space. If I could figure out how to do it, I would send you pulled pork and lots of hostas!!!!

Linda said...

NOW I'm missing the garden we used to have ;) The plums would be about ready at this time....

I remember last year we ate them straight off the tree.. maybe 20 at a time.. You know the tale that they're very laxating and you're going to get in trouble for eating too many? Not true! *lol* ;)

greetings from holland!

Dawn said...

Once settled in my new home I plan on learning how to can. I know several people who will help me learn and I can't wait :-)


Bless you dear one,

2 Much Farm Primitives said...

You go girl. We had a bunch of blackberries in the pasture, so I went down to pick em. Well.....musta waited too late. Most of em were eaten by birds and other little critters. But I did get enough for a cobbler, and it really was good. I think we're gonna plant some plum trees in the fall. These days and times, every little bit helps :)

Love ya,

mary said...

Hi sweet Lea!
I actually canned for the first time yesterday - apricot jelly. It was fun, fairly easy, and it tastes wonderful! Now I am in the canning mood and looking for more ways to fill my pantry shelves with homemade goodies. I wish we had blueberries and blackberries here. It must be too hot and windy for them to grow well.

I love the picture of your son "armed and ready" for berry picking!

Shanda said...

Glad to hear it turned out good. I'm going to try my luck at plum jelly this year also. Our's are very small this year, but very tasty. I think they will make great jelly.

Anonymous said...

I know what you mean about the blackberry briars. ;0) My grandmother used to send me out to pick blackberries when I was a little girl and I would eat about half the bowl on the walk back to her house.
I love the pic of your son, too cute! I so enjoy your blog and I am glad your jam turned out so nicely! I love to can, it is so rewarding.


Renna said...

Armed with printed recipes and instructions from the internet, I had my first jam making experience two summers ago, when neighbors blessed us with a large bag of plums from their tree.

I was thrilled, and surprised, when my jam turned out delicious. It was fun, too! ;-)

Toby Parsons said...

Hi Lea, I'll come back later to read what you actually posted about. But, I did whiz past the adorable apron you are wearing! :)

Yes, good milage, we have only driven The Swan home from the dealership so far, but it got 31 mpg. We are driving the rental car until it has to go back.

We are on our way in 45 minutes to pick Brooke up from the airport. She called me 6 times from the Nashville airport. :)

Will be SO glad to have her home!

Blessings dear Lea!

Nancy Jo said...

Now you are a true old fashioned farm girl. Canning, " I wouldn't know what to do with a plum if it rolled in front of me", building,and wearing pj's while you do it, swinging from trees. I mean there is a lot of talent here, your family must and should be very proud of you.

Heather said...

Lea ,congrats on your jam! Our plums aren't ripe enough to pick yet, but we have tons of mulberries. Do you know of what I can do with mulberries? Can you substitute them for blackberries in recipes?

Maryjane - The Beehive Cottage said...

Hello Sweet Lea!

I have benn thinking about you all day today and what a blessing to have you come by! Something how that happens! You are up VERY late Lea! Wishing you a wonderful day! heehee!

Love ya!

Maryjane - The Beehive Cottage said...


Lea, that was Sisters on the Fly that you saw in Counrty Living! You need to become a Sister! xo Mj

KKJD1 said...

Lea, If you try the plum butter let me know how yours turns out, mine is more like plum sauce, good sauce but still not butter. Its my first time canning anything so maybe my blueberries will turn out as good as all your canned goodies look! Karen

Farm Chick Paula said...

Oooh, can I be the jam-tester, Lea? My mouth is watering just thinking about it...
I'm getting ready to do some canning as well! Wish me luck...
I had to chuckle when I saw the picture of your boy with his gun, and you said "this is the way we pick blackberries"... I thought, "do they shoot them down?" (I know, I'm a little slow.)

YD's a little bit of everything place said...

Plum jam...I have never had them. I did pick some black raspberries yesterday at my neighbor's yard. No, I did not bring a gun with me, just a container. :)
I think I may habe enough to make a batch of jam. I may get some strawberries and make mixed berry jam. That will be the project for this weekend.
Happy Fourth of July!

Small City Scenes said...

Hi Lea, it's been awhile but I am still around. I used to make Grape jelly every year for a zillion years--mainly be cause we had a great arbor full of Concord grapes. Well to this day none of my children care for grape jelly. Too funny. Between my MIL and me we put up everything but meat. I don't do any now. Just me---don't need it.
I love your blog, always have.
You take care now. MB

CathyJean said...

Those blackberries look wonderful!
I love your apron!! :)

Crazy for Primitive Quilts & Gardens said...

Yum! Plums! That looks absolutely wonderful. I have never canned except pickles. Have to give it a try sometime!

Kathleen from Yesteryear Embroideries said...

So glad your jam turned out! Have a wonderful holiday weekend! blessings, Kathleen

ByLightOfMoon said...

Plum Terrific!

Please visit my blog for an award I have to share with you. You are so inspiring all the time, mnay hanks and smiles, Cyndi

Sugarplum Cottage said...

Wellllll, aren't you just the prettiest thang. I love that sweet apron and you makin' allthat jam. Wanted to let you know I just tagged you for a meme. Stroll on over and check it our. Hugs and Luvs, RoseMarie

Julie said...

Looks delicious--you inspire me once again. Julie

naomisnotions said...

YUMMY!!!! That's all I have to say!!!! :)

Your boy looks like a REAL man with that gun!!! :) Watch out for those snakes! YIKES!


Beemoosie said...

Your flowers are beautiful, the fruit is beautiful and your aprons are adorable!!!! Thanks for the visit, I know I have been MIA! Where is that puppy of yours??? I have tons of pictures, but my computer is about ready to burst it is so full...another item on the "to-do" list!!!
Blessings to you!

Heather said...

Lea, there's an award waiting for you on my blog :)

Julie said...

Oh, Lea!
That is too cute -- having to get suited up for picking blackberries!
Snakes, ugh, shivers!

You'll have to take pictures of your beautiful jelly! About 20 years ago, I made apple jelly for Christmas gifts. I don't think anyone (except my Daddy) ate theirs. (They only eat stuff from the grocery store!) So I haven't canned since then. I really want to, again, though! I think my feelings are almost healed!

Please show pictures! There's just something so comforting about canning jars. Does that sound weird?

Also, you are too precious in your apron! Did you make that, too?

Have a safe 4th!


Nen said...

i've never even given plums a thought! but i do love blackberries!

i hope some day to start canning... my kitchen is too dinky to try though. maybe one day when i move into a bigger house!

Idaho Quilter said...

Your blackberries make me homesick for the coast, we always had an abundant supply. Today the land we pick on as kids is all covered with houses. I had to laugh at your photo of you never know what you will run into, my worst fear was the snakes.