Harvard takes perfectly good plums as students, and turns them into prunes - Frank Lloyd Wright
Hope your weekend was good.
I was 7, I think. It was 19XX coughs ;)..
During vacations, my grandma whom I fondly called 'Amma' and the little me, each carrying a wire grocery bag walked hand in hand to our local fruit market. Just the BAG, brings back nostalgic memories.
After much bargaining, we load our baskets with different fruits. Walking to the auto stand with heavy load was a task in itself, we take an auto-rickshaw to a place I loved to go.
I still remember the whitewashed walls, big huge 5 foot industrial style machines and the smell of sweet sugar and fruits. Large aluminium tables adorned the middle of the room, knifes and peelers were all set to be used.
We went there to make JAM. It was a jam making facility.
Oh, what fun it was for us kids to see the machine peel oranges and the fruits turning to mush. I don't exactly remember how it was cooked but all I remember is that my grandma would bottle it up and promise me that she would buy some fresh bread from our corner bakery. I could never get enough of fresh jam.
The process took a whole 5 hours and I am still surprised that we could do all that in India way back and now it is gone :-( . The concept of using local produce to make our own products is coming back in US now.
Inspired by my fond memories of summer, I decided to make jam with my boys. I just got a huge bag of fresh of the tree plums from my good friend's garden (completely organic).
With Plums simmering in sugar, our home smelled exactly like how I remember from years ago. My little one comes running down and asks If I was making Halwa(Indian dessert). He sat on the kitchen counter and saw his brother stirring away, constantly complaining why he wasn't in on the action.
When it was quarter way done, my older one decided to taste it and his face went all sorts of weird, we realized that the plums were not sweet at all, they were tart.
I had to make it work, quickly turned it into a Spicy BARBECUE sauce. Brilliant, tasted like none other. It went perfect with grilled chicken and my vegan friends enjoyed their tofu with barbecue sauce.
Go ahead and try a small batch to see how you like it and you will be making bottles before the season is over..