Thursday, August 28, 2014

Friday, August 28, 1936

plesant cool but rain all evening-
I made a lemon pie and canned 4 pints of Damson plum* preserves
Leroy Hall worked all day cutting wood and relaying the walk and cleaning out rubbish in the garage-
I made muffins for supper-
Mother has been very keyed up all day-
Mary Brong Miles and daughter & Mrs. Youngs called-


Page 14 plum - Imperial Gage, Shropshire Damson, Lombard, Maynard, Yellow Egg
Damson plums are the small, dark purple ones^

^Image attribution: By Alois Lunzer (Brown Brothers Continental Nurseries Catalog 1909) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


*Damson plums are a small European plum. The recipe below is from Ten Thousand Places blog...

Damson Plum Jam

1 quart damson plums, stemmed and washing, but still whole
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup water

Bring all ingredients to a boil, mashing the plums with a potato masher (my favorite jamming tool!).  

The  pits will mostly float to the top, but they are tiny and I found it difficult to scoop out while the jam is cooking, so: once the jam is mashed and cooking (it will seem very very juicy), pour it through a fine mesh sieve or, if you have it, a food mill, into a heat proof bowl.  With the sieve, you will have to use a spatula to press the pulp through the sieve, so some of the skins get into the jam too (they will continue to flavor the jam with their tartness).  Thrown out the remaining pulp/pit mixture, and return the jam to the pot.  If you want to be really really diligent, you can scoop out the individual pits and put the entire pulp back into the pot, but I got lazy after about ten minutes.  So long as you are using a nice flexible spatula with the sieve, you'll be able to press almost everything good out of the skins through the sieve.  A food-mill would just make it that much easier.
Boil till jelly state, continuing to stir and scrape the bottom of the pan.  You can tell this by several tests, but I usually eyeball it.  When you lift you spoon, if they jam comes off it in sheets, rather than individual drops or streams, then it is ready.  I tried to take a picture of this, but, failed.  The picture to your left is of  not-yet-jelly stage, badly out of focus.

Pour into hot sterilized jars, sealing them or covering with paraffin according to your preference.  This recipe makes about five 4oz. jars.  I successfully doubled the recipe to make to 11 4 oz jars.


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Thanks for visiting this flashback to 1936. I'm sure Irene would be pleased! We'd love to hear from you.