Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Great Apron Swap Final Sign Up and the Best Plum Jam Recipe Ever

I am in the process of making a big batch of plum jam out of a surplus of plums that I have, but before I tell you about my plum jam recipe, I wanted to give a last opportunity for anyone that wants to sign up for the apron swap to sign up now, tomorrow we will pair up the ladies and let you know.

Just as a reminder, you don't have to sew these to participate in the apron swap...just scroll down a few posts, and read the previous post about the apron swap if you want to double check the rules.

Now for my plum jam.  I was just looking around the internet to get a few plum jam recipes and compare them to the one I already have, and found this one, and was delighted with how very much like mine it was.   The outcome is also very much like of the best plum jam recipes I've tried.  Check it out you might even agree with me :) but be sure to  read it all the way through before you decide you are not interested in my plum jam recipe.  I think if you read the whole thing, you will decide that you might want it.  Ok, and incase you are not catching on,  get ready to laugh out loud at the author's directions.

It's that time of year again. Summer fruit is ripe for jam making, and my plum tree just produced a bumper crop of fruit. It isn't the sweet kind of fruit just made for eating warm from the sun. Nope. Mine are the tart-sweet red plums that make the best jam.

Oh, I've tried giving the fruit away to relatives. I've tried. Present them with a big box of plums and say: "It's simple. Wash 'em, take out the pits, and boil 'em up with three-fourths cup of sugar to every cup of fruit. Just enough water to cover the bottom of the pot. When they reach a full boil with foam on top, dip them into jam jars. Let cool. That's it. And, " I add casually "if you think the jam might not be thick enough, add a little pectin to the mix."

And they come back and say: "Well I followed your directions. I did! But my jam just didn't turn out like yours. Are you sure you follow the same recipe?" After careful thought, I grudgingly admit: "Well, not exactly. But mine is" And I get "That Look."

So, well, here it is. My 
Never Fail Recipe for Perfect Plum Jam:

1. Collect plums from tree into a container that only holds 80 percent of the plums. After trying to stack the plums in a pyramid on the top of the bucket with limited success, go look for another bucket. Ignore the wasps. They are just mad about losing "their" fruit. Come back with second bucket and transfer the excess plums from bucket one to bucket two. Pick up the half-bucket of plums that ended up on the ground in the process. Finish picking plums from the tree.

2. Take the plums into the house and set the buckets in the sink while looking for the tube of stuff that treats wasp stings. Dump the first bucket of plums into a colander and start water running, then add the fruit from the second bucket until the colander is filled. Try adding the remaining two cups of fruit by stacking them into a pyramid. Pick up all of the spilled fruit and put it in another container. Clean up the floor where fruit was stepped on, and dump stepped-on fruit into the compost bucket.

3. Pit the washed fruit by cutting one side with a knife and lifting out the pit. When this gets tiresome, try pitting the plums with a cherry pitter. Clean the plum juice off of the sink, walls, and ceiling fan, then put the "cherry-pitted" fruit in the compost bucket.

4. Finish pitting the fruit with a knife and dump contents into a stockpot. Add a half cup of water, turn on the heat, then realize that the pitted plums were never measured to determine the number of cups. Estimate the number of cups in the stockpot, then add the appropriate amount of sugar. Add another cup of sugar just to be safe.

5. Realize that the jam will eventually need jam jars. Go to the storage room to look for the jam jars and search the five boxes on the top shelf for jars, without success. Stop and think "Now why am I smelling something with the scent of burned fruit?"

6. Turn off the stove and move the stockpot of plums to a trivet while cleaning up the two cups of sticky liquid that boiled over on the stove. Suddenly remember why you wanted a stove with a solid ceramic surface. Try cleaning the outside of the stockpot without removing the contents. Pause to look for the tube of stuff that treats burns.

7. Move the remaining plums to a clean pot, then worry that there's not enough liquid. Add another half cup of water, and turn the burner on low. Write a note to self that says "Don't leave the kitchen when the fruit is coming to a boil. It boils over FAST!" Decide the best place for the note is on the inside of the jelly cupboard door. Open the jelly cupboard door, and add the note to the five other ones from previous years. Discover the jam jars in the jelly cupboard, and take them to the sink. Realize that the jars need to be sterilized, but one stock pot is in use for the jam and the other one is in the sink covered inside and out with sticky jam-like stuff. Clean up the sticky pot and fill with water and jam jars. Put on burner to boil.

8. Check the plums and worry that they have too much liquid. Go look for the pectin. Read the label and remember that the pectin needs to be dissolved in a half cup of water before being added to the fruit. Prepare the pectin and add it to the boiling plums. Add another cup of sugar just on general principals. It can't hurt.

9. Check the jam jars. Turn up the heat on the plums to get the excess liquid out. Check the lids for the jam jar. When the plums boil over, quickly turn down the heat. Try cleaning the stove without taking the pot of plums off the burner. Go look for some more stuff to treat burns.

10. Turn off the heat under the boiling jam jars. Gently lift the jars out of the water with a jar-lifter thingamajig. Carefully clean up the floor where one of the jam jars broke. Pause to find bandages to treat cuts, and more of that burn salve.

11. Turn off the heat under the boiling plums, then carefully transfer the hot jam to the jars. Add lids and transfer the filled jars to the cupboard to cool. Clean up the floor, sink, stove, and (unaccountably) the overhead fan where the jam spilled. Make a note to buy more burn salve.

Okay, that's it. My recipe for perfect plum jam. It goes quite well with a pat of butter on fresh homemade yeast rolls. I'd give you my recipe for the yeast rolls, but it's a bit complicated. 


Ha ha ha.  You have to admit, this one was funny, it just cracked me up when I read it.... and really, a little  too close to home... Other than the 15 minute waterbath canning procedure which I give mine...or is it 20?, this recipe is about like mine :)


  1. Pam,
    Your Jam looks DELICIOUS...My husband and I canned last year for the first time..and had so much fun..we did a Long Boil process with our jam because we wanted to try it the old fashioned way....We had plans for much more canning this year..but just haven't found the time..I will post a quick post for the last minute sign up...
    Looking forward to Swapping..

    OOOOOHHHHH! Just had a BIG BOLT of LIGHTNING OVER the house...

    Have a Blessed Night..
    In Christ
    Your DEAREST BLogging Friend.. : )

  2. What a wonderful post!!!!
    I LOVE the recipe! Any-one that has ever tried canning can identify with the mess, and glass. . .:-D How fun!
    I agree that your jam jars are beautiful. I read once that home-made jam in glass jars were like jewelry for your cabinets, and it stuck with me. :-D

    Love you, LOVE your posts.

  3. p.s.
    Sign me up for the apron swap. AND I have NO idea what size to say. hmmmm I'll just have to let you decide for me. :-D

  4. Yes, I would love to be part of your apron swap! I am so looking forward to it. My email is

    I hope you had success with the chocolate pudding! I always tell myself that as long as you eat well 80% of the time, you can indulge the other 20%!

  5. Beautiful canisters Mom! Its like candy in a candy shop! Happy memories as I read through your post. I can't wait to talk to you hopefully tomorrow! I love you!