Tuesday, August 7, 2012


I made a startling discovery yesterday -- this is my last full week of summer break.  Without actually studying a calendar, I assumed that I had one more week sandwiched in before the new school year lurches to life.  I was extremely wrong about this.  Next Thursday we have our annual district and site teacher meetings and additional meetings and such planned for Friday too.  While it's true that all of this is scheduled for the end of the week, the real angst (other than being hit by the brick that summer is pretty much over a week sooner than expected) comes because our Back to School Night is also set for next Thursday evening.  This means that my classroom will need to be pulled together for public (ie, parent) viewing by then. And pulled together it will be -- I just thought I'd have another week before I needed to commence pulling in earnest. 

So, true to form, instead of working on school stuff, today I did Frogpond stuff:
I hauled the ladder into the orchard and picked plums off our old Santa Rosa plum tree.  The fruit is small (large marble to around ping pong ball size) and colored a blotchy sort of greeny/purple/pinky-orange.  Not terribly attractive by supermarket standards:  they look like they came from someones garden (which they did).  However,  they have rustic charm and an intense sweet/tart flavor that is addicting: after you eat one, you absolutely must reach for another.

Turning them into jam, however, is definitely labor intensive.  Today I picked them from the tree, lugged them up to the house, and then washed, pitted and chopped nine cups worth.  In a pot with several peaches (for a bit more juice) and sugar, they bubbled for about half an hour.  The house smelled heavenly.

Sealed in jars, they looked like this:

What amazing alchemy turns the greenish flesh into this gorgeous deep amber color?  Who knows.  All I do know is that cooking up eight pints of plum jam feels like magic.

On the downside, I still have half a lard bucket of plums to go.  Tomorrow.  Or the next day.

Here is the other plum that landed in my lap today.

I found this skinny little boy (a half-grown kitten, by the look of him) sprawled out on a feed sack outside the barn this morning.  He ducked into a stall when he saw me, but came out of hiding when I came in with a can of catfood and a bowl of milk.  He is the most shockingly emaciated cat I've ever seen -- skin and bones.  But such a pretty boy -- look at the lovely dapples on his side. 

He was only a little skittish -- he wanted very much to love on me, even as the food I gave him sent him over the moon.  He ate, sat on my lap, drank milk and allowed me to pull ticks off of him. 

Lord, we so don't need another cat.  But here he is, and, while we may not need him, he needs us. 

Plum of Frogpond
I'm thinking we'll name him Plum.

No comments:

Post a Comment