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Preserving plums


It is a so-so year for plums. We’ve had so much water this summer, endless days of rain, and some of the plums were wormy, some bland, and some very tasty. K. and M. have been eating them straight from the tree, and the neighbour lady picked some too, but we put the real picking off, silly tired us. Because then a storm came and blew the (almost overripe) plums down into the grass. I think the same thing happened last year, actually. Fortunately, there were a few left, and K. picked a last bowlful today. He cut them in half and pitted them (leaving some for the kids to eat fresh) and then I made a simple sugar syrup for freezing.
Previous years we have either just frozen the halved plums as they are, in freezer bags, or cooked them with sugar (and sometimes vanilla), freezing them as a compote. Both are nice, but, as I read, the halved ones suffer too easily from freezer burn (which is when the water in the fruit is drawn out, forming ice crystals). This year I wanted to try freezing them in syrup instead. Which incidentally is exactly the way my old cookbook told me to do it the first time I checked, four years ago. Sometimes you have to learn the hard way.
I made a sugar suryp of 600 ml water and 250 ml sugar, heating the liquid to dissolve the sugar. Always makes me think of chemistry class (I didn’t do a lot of chemistry, I have to admit). I stuffed the plums in Weck jars (so pretty) and poured the cold liquid over them before freezing. There is more about syrup strength and freezing fruit at the link above.
After seeing a photo of a pantry in a Jamie Oliver cookbook I wanted to use white writing on glass jars instead of labels, too. I bought a white marker pen at Panduro, a hobby shop, and it works really well and is easy to clean off afterwards. No more paper labels and sticky glue residue.
Little O., by the way, is 9 months old now and a food lover. He is very sad when he’s not allowed to share our food. He grabs the plums and eats them, skin and all (we make sure to remove the pits though!). And then he cries when they’re gone. He’s a happy little guy. We love him very much.

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