For the first 5 years that we had the house, the plum tree was a messy annoyance. The plums were little with a huge pit and sour skin - nothing to rave over. The dogs would step in the fallen fruit and track it all over the yard and the house. Annoying.
Then two years ago, thanks to the Ball Blue Book of Preserving, we learned to can. No fruit tree is safe from us.
Last Sunday, the boy spent the day in the backyard trimming trees and picking the plums. He ended up with three bags full of fruit, and I'm guessing that it was about 30 pounds. After I sorted through the plums and cut off the bad spots, I ended up with four huge pots of plums.
To each pot, I added a bit of water, and then let heat soften the fruit before I remove the pits and skins.
Since the pits are too large for my food mill, I use a strainer and the back of a soup ladle to press out the pulp.
I was left with two pots of plum pulp, which I boil up and add some sugar. I'm skimpy on the sugar since I use the plum jam to braise lamb shanks, chicken thighs, and chuck roasts. Last year, I ran out of plum jam in February, and I was very sad. This year, thanks to the boy's amazing tree climbing abilities, we have 17 pints of jam! That should last us until next season!
I need to figure out how to make hooch from all these plums. Maybe next year.