Editors note: This post was written by our youngest contributor about harvesting wild plums on our property. Oddly, we have not harvested these plums in their 25-year life span but Frederick was insistent this season and, lo and behold, we’ve been missing out on great flavor.
One day I saw the fruit trees on our property and I thought “How would this fruit taste if I made something out of it?” I asked my grandma about it. They were wild plums. She said we could make jam out of them but she wasn’t sure what it would taste like.
At my birthday party I dared my friend T.J. to eat one of them. He ate one and said it was sweet and he got all of the other kids at my birthday party to eat them. They didn’t like them a bit. They were making weird faces because they were sour but T.J. didn’t care. He ate twelve plums to the pit.
After my birthday party, my grandma and I became even more curious about how they would taste so we picked twelve of them and used them for a test. The test was to see if they were a good fruit for making jam. My grandma cooked them and tasted them. The test turned out well.
My grandma said that we needed a lot of wild plums. I climbed the tree and tried to get them but it was making my legs sore so I climbed down to pick all the rest. We had a total of two colanders full.
Then we brought them inside of the house. My grandma, Bea, was surprised even when I brought in one colander and then when she saw the other colander she was even more surprised. She said, “We’ll be able to make a lot of jam out of this.”
She cooked all of the wild plums and then we had to get all of the pulp and the flavor out without getting the pits. We used this weird gadget to do that job. The gadget squishes the fruit through these little holes and the pits are too big to go through the holes so they stay in the top part of the gadget. After we were done, we measured them and it turned out to be 12 cups of plum pulp.
I was surprised when my grandma said we needed fifteen cups of sugar to sweeten that. That was even more than the plum pulp. No wonder jelly is so sweet. We put the sugar in a bowl — it was like a mountain! Then my grandma and me took turns stirring the pulp for ten minutes then we put the sugar in. We stirred it up and got it dissolved. After that, my mom and my grandma told me to get out of the kitchen because they were canning the jam. After thirty minutes of canning our jam was made.
I learned that wild plums make good jam.