Thursday, November 26, 2009
We have a forty foot plum tree that is an escape from somewhere,( Prunus cerasifera) . It is a red leaf plum that produces an abundance of small, one inch, somewhat sour red plums in such an abundance that the birds cannot keep up to them. I probably collect fifty pounds of plums and boil them down for the rich red juice of superior color. There is , however, little or no pectin in these plums . We, the pianist and I, also have a mature Dolgo crabapple (Malus domestica) , that we also collect a great many crimson crabs from and boil down as well for juice of a similar rich color. I have been doing this for decades. The crabs have lots of pectin and when the two juices are combined for jelly making, a very superior, piquant jelly emerges. This is Crum jelly and the family favorite for bread and for meat. I hang the boiled fruit in the basement under the rafters in big cheese cloth bags which I make from small bolts. The boiled mash drips overnight . The scene may appear grotesque to some, in the semidark. Years ago, my little daughter came screaming upstairs because, when she looked in the semidark basement, her elder brother told her we had butchered and hung the dog, our white Samoyede, and it was dripping blood. Forgiveness sometimes needs a long reach!