It will be July Sunday Cafe. I will have the pleasure of making dinner for extra family this time.
My brother and sister-in-law will be coming from Yakima. I am excited, we will be celebrating his 49th birthday. Ken's birthday is actually Aug 10th, but this way we can celebrate on the west side of the state now, and He will be home in Yakima to celebrate again. They will be stopping by on the way back from the coast, in celebration of their 26th wedding anniversary.
Time really does go fast when you celebrate the birthday of a younger brother that you picked up while he was a toddler and carried to the dinner table; and it does not seem such a long time, never mind 49 years ago.
Today I played in the kitchen making plum butter. I read a post on refrigerator plum jam over at A Sonoma Garden, and thought why not. I had 8 very ripe black plums, so it was a natural way to spend the afternoon.
I cleaned and quartered them, and added 1/2 c port wine. I brought it to a simmer and simmered for about 30 minutes. Then the mixture was pressed through a stainless steel colander, until only the skins were left behind. There was 2 1/2 puree, I added 1 1/4 c sugar.
This was brought to a boil (added a cinnamon stick), stirring well.
Reduce heat and simmer until reduced by 1/3 to 1/2 depending upon how liquid the mixture started out. Towards the end you will want to stir at 5 minute marks and not let it get too hot. You do not want to caramelize the mixture, you want to simmer out the excess liquid to make a thick "butter" consistency. I made this as an experiment and did not intend to process in a boiling water bath, simply have it be refrigerator jam. This turned out delicious, but tart. The ratio of 2 parts fruit puree to 1 part sugar, is a bit tart for most folks. I also think the old fashioned rule of equal parts fruit and sugar would be too sweet. I am thinking maybe for each cup of puree I will use 3/4 c sugar.
Son and DIL have a flowering plum tree that produces small cherry size fruit. I plan on gleaning the fruit when it is ripe and making plum jam. It will be a win win situation, I will have plums for jam and they will not have a messy driveway. It will be fun to make some combination jams, plum with blueberries, plum with rhubarb. And of course just plain plum.
As always thanks for taking the time to stop by,