Mr. Homesteader and I went flat out again this weekend, which will be the norm until we get all of Fall's projects and bounty finished and put away. Mr. spent his time putting bead board up in the back porch and reworking the door and window finishes (everything was moved) all the while trying to ignore the fact that he has a cold.
I spent the weekend in...you guessed it....the kitchen! This time it was to make ahead and cook several meals for the coming week and to preserve some beautiful plums. Our plum trees this year gave us our first handful of precious, purple orbs, but not enough to preserve so of course we just ate them. Knowing that we homestead, knowing that we are living a cleaner, simpler life...our neighbours often pop over with gifts from their gardens or hedgerows. So along with the plums that Mr. bought from our local orchard, some donations were made also. All in all, after picking through the bad ones, I ended up with 7 pounds of perfect plums, all purple and of what looked like, three different varieties.
All pitted and in a lemon bath to preserve colour while waiting.
In the syrup, doesn't take long for them to soften. I used a light syrup this time.
As soon as cooking starts, the skins give off their colour, and you can't see the yellow flesh anymore.
Perfectly Preserved Plums in Light Syrup. You can still see a little of the light flesh colour, but by the next day or two, all of the purple has taken over. Although runnier, these plums are a perfect side to roast chicken or turkey when you've realized that you've run out of Cranberry Sauce.
7 lbs fruit yielded 11, 250 ml bottles of bottled plums
Next job on the list for me will be canning pears in extra light syrup, it will be a first for me to do up pears but something that I've wanted to try for a while. I have 10 lbs of pears and have left them in a cool room, in a dark box to ripen, they should be perfect today or tomorrow.
In our hours and hours of conversations about food preservation, Mr. and I have been wanting to create a room in the basement for that purpose. We've thought about concrete walls and a fan for circulation and a separate room for apples and pears so that they don't spoil the rest....but what we didn't realize is that we have a bedroom that we keep unheated all winter (with the door closed) and only bother heating up if we have guests. From what we understand this kind of temperature is perfect to keep roots and squash and the like. In Mother Earth News there was an article recently about using a spare room for this purpose, putting boxes of veg under the bed and in the drawers....I'm thinking this is brilliant.